Spanish lawyer turned filmmaker Pedro Del Santo tells us more about “Paranoid Girls”

When and why did you start writing and making film?

I was an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer for many years, but always felt that it wasn’t what I wanted. I started working as a fashion photographer and really enjoyed it. Then, one day in Paris as I was shooting for an editorial, I decided it was the time to make movies!

In 2012 I shot the short film, Esquizofrenia, about 3 days in the life of a fashion photographer who is a schizophrenic with an unstoppable urge to kill his models. Esquizofrenia was awarded by international short film festivals in Los Angeles and had the Jury’s Honor at the New Delhi International Short Film Festival.

After that I decided to shoot a feature film about the fashion world and asked Helena Montesinos to write a screenplay with an only condition: that the title should be “Paranoid Girls” – she did the rest!

1

What inspired you to make Chicas Paranoicas? What was your intent in making a film like this, and what message, if there is one, was at the core of the film?

Paranoid Girls is the natural evolution of my work as a fashion photographer; it’s the first fictional Spanish comedy about the world of fashion, thought with dramatic elements. The three girls are seduced by fashion and gradually discover its darker side, the insidiousness behind the fame and spotlight glamour. Michael is a photographer who represents the dark recesses of fashion – a “cancer”, as Diana puts it.  The film tells of fashion, friendship, jealousy, sex and drugs – but with a comedic undertone. The message at the core of the film is: fashion is fantastic, despite the fact that there is a dark side beyond the spotlights… you have to enjoy it all and live passionately!

2

Chicas Paranoicas is full of beautiful actors and actresses playing what we believe to be some of the most glamorous jobs: photographers, models, bloggers. Do you feel that your film glamorizes the darker side of the fashion industry?

Of course the film is full of beautiful actors and actresses… fashion has plenty of gorgeous people surrounded by beauty but there is a dark side behind the catwalk and the glamour. The film will tell you about it all, no hiding anything.

The film has a ‘happy’ ending – had this always been written into the script?

The happy ending was always there. Montesinos found the end in a natural way. I also don’t want that people believing that the fashion industry is dark. On the contrary, fashion is fun and jolly and filled with fantastic people. The models are young and gorgeous, with great senses of humor! I love them…

How has growing up and living in Spain influenced your filmmaking?

Growing up and living in Spain helps a lot. I’ve been unconsciously influenced by different cultures; my influences are not only Spanish filmmakers (Almodovar, Trueba ) but European photographers too (Guy Bourdin , Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel). There’s an important cultural aspect to Paranoid Girls: everything in the film was created by Spanish people (Costume designs, script, etc.), to whom individuality is very important.

What makes a good film?

That’s not easy to answer! You must love what you do, feel the passion and desire as much as you can, and try to entertain people… there’s some kind of delicious insanity in making movies, and you must of course be surrounded by talented people working with you closely!

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