Maya Eterna

Maya Eterna is a short drama where reality and surrealism are blended together to create an extraordinary visual display. The thematic backbone of this piece is isolation and is embroidered with threads of culture and change. The story is inspired by my father’s immigration from Argentina, so the production design for this film is an amalgamation of Argentinian and Canadian culture. Colour palettes shift between the vibrancy of Latino flavour and the neutrality of North American minimalism. The stark contrast between the two slowly fade as Maya finds a balance in staying true to her identity and making a home in a new country. This piece uses speed ramping to aide in storytelling. With it, the audience is given intimate access to how Maya is feeling. The unnatural speeds are indicative of a world passing by at an uncomfortable pace in which Maya has no control. It is only when she meets Lorena that she is able to truly relish a moment.

Still picture from the film, Maya Eterna.

Filmmaking should always be a collaboration. The director is the vision keeper, but she still needs each individual piece to bring the project to life. The most important puzzle piece for me was finding a lead who could bring authenticity to the voice of the story I wanted to tell. I sought out to find a Latina could both act and dance and found the ever-talented Juliana Duque. She was able to channel her own experiences, challenges, and accomplishments from her own immigration experience coming from South America to New Brunswick into the project. Working with Juliana taught me to stay vulnerable and receptive to outside creative contributions, and I think the film is so much better for it. She breathes life into Maya, and I can’t imagine my film without her.

Behind the scenes

I also can’t imagine making my movie anywhere but here. Making films in New Brunswick is like magic. There is so much raw talent here that is just waiting to shine. I’ve never experienced so much generosity, resourcefulness, or genuine desire to be a part of something in any other facet of my life. People here just want to help. The kindness goes such a long way and makes the creation process that much more fulfilling because it’s a community effort as opposed to an individual one. This makes collaboration that much more essential.

Filmmaking truly is a craft that you cannot do alone, so I need to take a moment to thank my main collaborators Gordon Mihan and Lance Kenneth Blakney; together we make up Strike Pictures. They are both my creative partners and my family. They encourage me to dream bigger than I would ever allow myself to do.

Behind the scenes

Getting to shoot Maya Eterna was an incredible opportunity for me to grow as a filmmaker. It brought about challenges, successes, and artistic development that pushed me to create the best work I’ve made thus far in my filmmaking career. I experimented with different forms of storytelling and got to practice and achieve new technical feats with enormous payoffs. I had the opportunity to try my hand at less expository storytelling, using precisely tailored conceptual visuals throughout the film to elicit a feeling from an audience instead of solely relying on dialogue.

This film experience was a lot of learning, a lot of growing, and a lot of fun, and it would never have been possible without the support of my incredible cast & crew, artsnb, and the New Brunswick Filmmaker’s Co-operative.

Arianna Martinez is a filmmaker and educator living in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She is a co-founding member of Strike Pictures, and with them has produced several short films that have screened internationally and have been licensed to CBC for broadcasting. Her filmmaking primarily focuses on intersectionality, with her ultimate goal being to foster and promote a platform for women to share their stories through filmmaking.