Pieces of Life is about a middle-aged Hispanic woman who has built a successful life and marriage with her caring husband and step daughter, both being a foundation of stability and unconditional love. Yet she's never come to terms with a previous life of addictions, reckless behavior and abandoning a young child. It is our pleasure to interview MARGARET SANCHEZ for LA Indies.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
I drew my inspiration from my oldest brother who suffered addictions for many years and then finally when he was about 50, sought professional help and for a time it seemed he was on a path to recovery. However, it was a huge struggle for him, and ultimately could not triumph over the substance abuse. Eventually he passed away due health conditions exacerbated by his addictions. He was also a father to a son that went on to be adopted by another family. Later in life my brother attempted to reach to his son but the connection never occurred. So, my story tells a different perspective. A grown son that chooses to meet his biological mother, and she is very reluctant to meet him because of her inability to reconcile with shame and guilt that she has lived with.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in this particular genre?
The biggest challenge was trying to move the story along without feeling too heavy with the drama. So after a few adjustments in the script I interjected some light humor that moved the story along and made the characters more real and human.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you worked on?
I was about 5 years old when I knew I wanted to do something in film. My parents would take me and my brothers and sister to the movies. Sometimes Spanish speaking films, and I just remember the expressions and emotions the actors conveyed to me. I wasn’t capable of really understanding any of the dialogue at that age, but it didn’t matter. So much can be said with few words or none. I just remember being drawn to this and moving me. My first film project was a local film completed here in Dallas, I played a high school principal. “Portrait of an American Family”. Many local actors worked on this film and several are doing great work on the small and big screen. The biggest film I worked on was “Miss Juneteenth”, and played at the Sundance Festival in 2020. When I first started as an actor, being in a Sundance film was a huge bucket list item!
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film and what was the most challenging aspect of production?
I worked with most of my cast and crew on various projects, and all personalities just clicked, and we laughed quite a bit on and off set. Todd Jenkins who shot the film is brilliant at filming and editing. Ray Hosack (husband) cast me in one of his first films 14 years ago. He is amazing and his humor offered some nice levity in the film. Kim Cicio (therapist) and I have studied together for several years. I could not think of anyone else to play the role of my therapist, she was fabulous. Madelyn Hosack (Val) is adorable and although I have not worked with her, I thought her charm added to the film. She is also Ray’s real life daughter. Elijah Paul Glidewell (Jamie) I met in my acting class several months before COVID. I knew immediately I wanted to work with. He has a promising future, and is a kind sweet young man. One of the hardest thing to do for me was ensuring everyone was available to work on a given day. Two people involved in the film had a premiere to attend one day, so I accommodated for that. The other was the evening shot in the pool. Which was shot in my back yard. We had to wait for the sunset, which was about 9:30pm, here in Dallas in the middle of summer. We completed that scene just before mid-night. I had to spend that entire time in/out of pool. It was getting pretty chilly at the end. Ha!
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and which genres do you prefer to work on?
I’m most attracted to Drama. I love films that speak to the vulnerabilities and humanity in each of us. I believe some of the best films that depict darkness are powerful whey they end with the promise of hope. One of my favorites, “The Hours”, I can watch that over and over just for the compelling performances ever!! Now having sad all that, I do love a great dark comedy, like “Dead to Me”. And “Sexy Beast”, is another favorite.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
Cinema is the tool film makers can use to influence much needed compassion in this world, and diffuse hostility and anger that is like an epidemic everywhere in society. I want more films to show how important it is to come from a place of love in spite of all the pain and hatred we are around daily. At the end of the day, we ALL know love.
What is your next film project?
Definitely a dark comedy, I have a few stories brewing in my brain. I think could be hysterical!! I am laughing as a write this. LOL