Palmetto alumnus Claudia Cifuentes and her sisters, Lisa and Karina, have begun an Internet campaign to raise money to help them produce a low budget feature film. Claudia Cifuentes is the writer and director for the film, while Lisa and Karina are the producers. Their production company is Pink Forest Films and they are using an Internet website called Kickstarter to help them find investors to finance their film. Kickstarter assists independent artists with a unique fundraising technique that offers incentive packages ranging from celebritysigned collectibles to an actual executive producer credit in a film.
“We have an ambitious goal and it’s all or nothing,” says Lisa. “We’re building a community around our project and our cause before we even begin shooting.”
Their movie script follows newlywed and developing novelist Diego Diaz, played by another Palmetto alumnus, comedic talent Nick Puga. His character is on a brief sabbatical in Miami trying to finish what he hopes will be his breakthrough novel. He unexpectedly becomes involved with a sexy bartender named Vanessa, played by Westminster Christian graduate Krizia Bajos, and is forced to re-examine his marriage.
The Cifuentes sisters say they are determined to produce their film and are sparing no ingenuity in bringing their dream to reality. As a supporting element to the film, they have begun an interview series on their website <www.aftertheweddingmiami.com> called Our Secrets to a Happy Marriage. On the website, they interview successfully married couples on their approach to maintaining a loving matrimonial union.
“We wanted to reach out to some of the great couples we know to hear their take and ask them fun questions about how they knew they were meant to be together and what advice they would give to newlyweds,” says Claudia.
The Cifuentes sisters’ parents operated an acting school and nurtured their daughters’ creativity. They will mark their 36th wedding anniversary this year. As the creative roles have gradually reversed, the sisters are maintaining that familial nature of growth, support and equality. Their mother will handle the catering for the film and their father has a small role in the film. All three sisters are contributing to the fundraising incentive program.
Comprised of Guatemalans, Chileans, Mexicans, Cubans and Brazilians, this filmmaking troupe is representative of the Latin culture that has brought out both pride and expectation in the Cifuentes sisters.
“Latinos are now the fastest-growing minority in the U.S., but with a few exceptions our portrayal is still generally stereotypical or nonexistent,” says Karina. “The people in our story are trying to navigate their messy romantic lives like everyone else and they just happen to be Latino.”
The Cifuentes sisters say they must raise a total of $75,000 by midnight on May 27 in order to fund their production. To date, they have collected about 20 percent of the money they need, so they are now appealing for help from Pinecrest and Miami- Dade County residents.
“We hope that people will recognize that this film is a piece of homegrown art,” says Karina.
For more information or to contribute to the Cifuentes production, go to www.aftertheweddingkickstarter.com.