In the world of film and art, few individuals demonstrate the depth and breadth of experience that Khotan Fernandez does. As a Mexican/Brazilian actor, producer, and director, Khotan Fernandez has made significant strides in the industry, bringing stories to life through his versatile talents and innovative vision. In this exclusive interview, we delve into Khotan’s journey, his thoughts on the convergence of art and AI, and his views on the future of filmmaking.
Khotan’s journey is characterized by an unwavering commitment to the creative arts. As the founder and producer of Chibal Entertainment, he has led the production of critically acclaimed projects such as the nominated film “Iguana like the Sun”. His background in film production technologies, combined with his extensive industry experience, has equipped him with a keen understanding of the production process and the creative intricacies involved.
In our conversation, Khotan shares insights about his creative process, the challenges and rewards of storytelling across different mediums, and the inspiration behind his most cherished projects. He also delves into his upcoming project “TODOS BAILABAN”, promising an engaging narrative that audiences will connect with.
The interview further explores Khotan’s thoughts on the role of AI in filmmaking and art creation. As a leader in the industry, Khotan believes in the power of AI and other emerging technologies to shape the future of filmmaking, creating immersive experiences and expanding the boundaries of traditional cinema.
With a career that spans over 35 credits in film and television, Khotan Fernandez brings an invaluable perspective to the evolving landscape of the film and art industry. His commitment to fostering artistic excellence and his vision for the future of filmmaking make this interview a must-read for anyone passionate about the convergence of art, AI, and cinema.
Q and A:
- Khotan, could you briefly introduce yourself and your journey in the film industry?
After dedicating numerous years to my acting craft, I realized I yearned to evolve and engage with the filmmaking process from its inception. In my pursuit of this, I firmly believe that it is imperative for actors to explore the realms beyond the camera. It enhances your ability as an actor and enables a more profound
connection with storytelling.*
- Can you discuss your role as an actor, producer, and director? How do you balance these
Each role holds its own distinct responsibilities and challenges, but they all contribute to my overall goal of being a well-rounded storyteller. As an actor, my primary focus is on
bringing a character to life in a convincing way. As a producer, my role shifts toward filmmaking’s logistical and organizational aspects. Most of all I strive to create a harmonious working environment so that a creative vision can rise above the
practicalities that production requires. Directing, at its core, in my opinion, embodies the pursuit of a captivating vision—a vision that hopefully transcends the ordinary and dares to explore the depths of artistic exploration and possibilities.
- Tell us more about your experiences working with major networks like Telemundo, Televisa, and O Globo Brazil.
Televisa was my 1st house, it has a massive presence and a rich history in the industry.But it was challenging because they have a level of predictability and formulaic storytelling that has worked for them for so many years that it’s hard for them to step out
of their comfort zone and establish framework. O Globo has an incredible commitment to high production value and they strive to create immersive storytelling experiences. It was a fantastic experience working with them. Telemundo have diversified their offerings beyond traditional telenovelas and I respect them for that, they demonstrated a willingness to take chances and embrace risks in their productions, at least that has been my experience over 7 projects I have worked with them.
- You founded Chibal Entertainment in 2012. Can you talk about the mission of your company and its major accomplishments so far?
My friend and now business partner Julian Robles co-wrote an incredible and unconventional script, I knew the story had a heart so I embarked on a mission to produce it and that is how Chibal was born. “Chibal” is interpreted as “bite” in the Nahuatl language, I self-define it as a savory bite of artistic enchantment. I’m proud to say Chibal has now produced short films, feature films, stage plays, and operas.
- Your film “Iguana like the Sun” made history at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Could you share more about the creation and premiere of this project?
We are incredibly proud to have achieved a momentous milestone: the premiere of our movie at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. This iconic venue stands as a symbol of Mexican culture and history, making it a perfect setting to connect our
film with the rich cultural heritage of Mexico. As the first film to ever premiere at thiscillustrious location, we had the privilege of immersing the audience in a truly unique sensory experience. We had a full orchestra on stage, so our film came to life through the
captivating synergy of visual storytelling and live performance. It added an extraordinary layer of depth and emotion to the cinematic experience.
- How have your experiences directing spec short films and creating content for various companies influenced your approach to storytelling? I have come to appreciate the importance of pushing boundaries, embracing unconventional narratives, and delving into subject matters that are interesting to me and hopefully engage the audience with my fascination and originality.*
- Your career spans both the film industry and the art world. How do these two passions intersect in your work?
While painting is perceived as a solitary pursuit, and filmmaking thrives on collaboration, their shared ability to touch the depths of human experience forms a profound connection between the two mediums. In my recent work, I found inspiration from a short film I helped produce, set primarily in a motel. The setting became a catalyst for contemplation on themes of longing, remembrance, and the interconnections of diverse lives. I used it as a potent symbol of transience and impermanence, inviting
- As someone deeply involved in the art world through your representation by Camp Gallery, how
would you describe your understanding of the needs and challenges faced by artists today?
It’s a constant flux for artists and galleries, It is an ever-evolving landscape, one that
demands constant adaptation and critical thinking. The needs of artists range mainly from the balance of creative exploration to financial sustainability, while also grappling with the pressures of securing representation, finding exhibition opportunities, and
gaining fruitful exposure. You’ve served as a judge for the Ibero American Film Festival. How has this experience impacted your perspective on cinema and artistic excellence? I was thoroughly impressed by the diverse and rich narrative approaches emerging from
different countries. Recently, it struck me that commercial films often become constrained in rigid formulas. Despite the limited availability of commercial platforms for short films, some even devoid of dialogue offered a refreshing experience. Their ability to break free from conventions allowed for a uniqueness that truly resonated and left a lasting impact.*
- How do you see the integration of AI in filmmaking influencing the future of the industry? AI is bringing an immense revolution to the world of filmmaking, 7 months ago I used
Dalle to create a storyboard whole in beta when nobody knew what it was. AI technologies are becoming more accessible and advanced, filmmakers now have unprecedented opportunities to leverage these tools in their creative process. It opens doors for independent filmmakers and emerging talents like never before.
- How can filmmakers leverage AI in their creative processes, and what potential do you see for AI in enhancing storytelling?
The possibilities seem boundless, truly off the charts! It’s like a game-changer that seeps into every nook and cranny of the process. From hyper-personalization to saving bucks on pricey equipment, we’re talking about mind-blowing visual effects, smooth workflows,
and soundtracks that adapt to the emotional ups and downs of the story. Brace yourself for a transformative experience like no other! I keep saying that and I wasn’t wrong.*
- What advice would you give to emerging filmmakers navigating the intersections of art,technology, and innovation?
Go get them, let creativity soar! Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. Surround yourself with individuals who share your passion, and embrace collaboration. Stay curious, this is just the tip of the iceberg, at the same time, these new technologies
should serve as a means to amplify your creative expression, not overshadow it. So even if you are using “robot-charm” as I call it , be authentic.