Jhosimar Vasquez is a Los Angeles based film director, originally from Peru. His recent film, The Scorpion's Tale, won the Top Shorts Film of the Month award, gaining an overall 9+ rating from the jury.
After directing several music videos, seven shorts and a feature, Jhosimar (only 23 years old!) is now in the process of making his second feature film, "Blue Fernanda", about the reality of illegal immigration to America.
In the following interview, Jhosimar shares his thoughts about filmmaking and storytelling, and inspires us with his unique, humble approach to life.
There is no doubt - this talented filmmaker is on his way to the top.
Tell us about your background. What was it like growing up in Peru, and why did you leave?
I am lucky to have experienced many different cultures that have helped me develop a unique perspective on life. I went to kindergarten in Lima, Perú, it was very different then schools in the United States. Kindergarten and first grade were in the same classroom and the same teacher would give us different lessons, there were a total of 25 students. There were blank white walls, we sat at tables. One time, I was failing school and my dad brought me to his room and instead of being angry with me or scolding me for doing baldy, he told me that he didn’t think that school was a good fit for me. The next day, he took me to a new kindergarten. I remember him carrying me on his shoulders the whole way there. The kindergarten was called Mi Nuevo Mundo (My New World), I felt more comfortable at the new school and did much better.
My dad used to sing a lot, but before he’d sing, he’d tell us stories about how he met my mom and how having his 5 sons changed his life for the better. He always said to “Recordar es volver a vivir” (to remember is to live again). I grew up really close to my family.
We left Perú in 2000, when I was 6 years old, to move to Los Angeles, CA. My parents were entrepreneurs who had started a company in Perú and wanted to bring it to America. I remember my first impression of California: it was so big. There were fast-moving freeways and huge buildings. I remember I couldn't understand English, so I would twist words in Spanish and pretend it was English so my parents would think I knew English.
I was first exposed to the film industry while living in L.A.. We used to walk around Hollywood blvd and see the movie premieres with their red carpets and the movie stars wearing beautiful clothes. I remember even my dad was impressed by the suits. He said, “one day one of my kids will be there, and wear a suit like that.” At first, I thought it wa