I’d already queued up Velociraptor when the director, Chucho E. Quintero, contacted me on Twitter. He invited me to preview the film legally, ahem. Omar Flores Sarabia, a friend and colleague of Quintero’s, and the director of Peyote, had posted my review of his film on his personal Facebook page. Following the link, Quintero thought some of what I’d written was “really cool” and since he was always looking for ways to get as many people as possible to see his film (a goal I share, and not just for Velociraptor), he thought, why not?
I watched twice Quintero’s fearless and funny last-day-on-earth film, liked it the first time, but even more the second, when the goals of its digressive formal structure, and stylistic experimentation within those digressions, became clearer to me. I knew I would write about the film but since I’m oh-so-very slow at that, I asked him if he’d do an interview. Velociraptor struck me as the kind of idiosyncratic and personal filmmaking that used to define estadounidense independent cinema in the 90s, and which now seems to have all but died out, even in queer cinema, so I was interested as much in the process of and impetus behind making such a quirky, sexy, rough-hewn and charming sci-fi-inflected digital film in a Mexican context, as I was in talking about the specifics of the film itself.
Perhaps the interview’s greatest and most encouraging revelation was that gay independent filmmakers like Quintero can make the movies they want, sell them to a distributor like TLA, Wolfe, or Breaking Glass, and so earn enough money to make another one, bypassing the commercial festival circuit for the most part as irrelevant, implicitly critiquing that model’s attendant, unexamined ideological and class biases, as well as its straight-cinephile pretensions. As colleagues of Quintero’s told him, that’s living the dream.
Is this a sustainable model, or one that’s transferable to other marginalized, under-represented film-watching communities? Quintero has some thoughts on that. I don’t know, but what’s clear is that films like Velociraptor would not get seen by as many if such a system and its possibilities didn’t exist.
Watch the interview below with Chucho E. Quintero, director of Velociraptor.
Velociraptor won the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 17th Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in May 2015.