Shireen Seno and John Torres, wife and husband, are the director and the producer of Nervous Translation, one of the projects selected for the first workshop of the first edition of Biennale College – Cinema. It’s the story of Yael, a eight-year old girl, nervous to a fault, who lives in her own private world. One day she finds out about a pen that can “translate” the thoughts and feelings of nervous people… We caught up with Shireen and John and had a little chat about the experience of the workshop, about Nervous Translation and about their future.
“The first workshop really pushed me to develop the script of Nervous Translation from something very lean, a skeleton of sorts, to something more fleshed out”, told us Shireen, who is now promoting her debut feature film: “I had a bit of trouble sustaining that energy since then though and decided to put the script on hold while travelling with my first feature, Big Boy, which screened at Jeonju in South Korea in April after premiering at Rotterdam in January. This June, it will open Hors Pistes Tokyo, organized by the Centre Pompidou, and will screen in competition in Festival de Cine Lima Independiente’s No Borders section, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and in the Edinburgh International Film Festival. In July, I will participating in a group residency at Green Papaya Art Projects here in Manila and have a solo residency at Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking in Singapore in August”.
John is not only the producer of Nervous Translation, but a director himself: his fourth feature film, Lukas Nino (Lukas the Strange), has had its own adventures since premiering at Rotterdam. It has travelled to the Images Festival in Toronto, in the Avant-Garde & Genre competition at BAFICI in Buenos Aires, and in Jeonju International Film Festival’s Stranger than Cinema section. John was also invited to the Sharjah Biennale in UAE with his short We Don’t Care for Democracy. This June, Lukas Nino will be screening in International competition at Lima Independiente and in the Directors’ Showcase at Edinburgh International Film Festival.
But even if they’re both very busy with their latest works, Shireen and John are planning to make Nervous Translation happen soon: “The other day we received some good news about it”, added Shireen, “Nervous Translation has been selected for a Script & Project Development grant by the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. I’m excited to go out and look for locations, not to mention find Yael and that pen!”.