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Most Beautiful Island Ana Asensio Interview


Interview: Ana Asensio (Most Beautiful Island)

Interview: Ana Asensio (Most Beautiful Island)

Winner of the 2017 Grand Jury Award at the SXSW film festival, I got to sit down with writer-director, producer and lead actress Ana Asensio at the 2017 Fantasia Intl. Film Fest – one of the many film fest pitstops prior to its theatrical release via Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films in the final quarter of the year.

Filled with biographical elements, the actress borrowed from her own experiences to build the template for a psychological thriller genre-bender directorial debut. A harrowing immigrant story of desperation, Luciana finds herself lured by the quick money that the underbelly of Manhattan offers her and inescapably places her in a real life Russian roulette styled game of death.

I spoke with the Madrid born, NYC based actress about the choice introductory sequence for Most Beautiful Island, how she plays with audience expectation and anticipation levels, discussed stylistic references of the Dardennes and Cristian Mungiu and the DNA of the characters that surround this heroine.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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