The protagonist faces a difficult decision between pursuing her dreams abroad and staying with her family in Colombia. What motivated you to explore this theme of sacrifice and ambition?

I think ever since I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker and I realized what that actually entails, I’ve had to think about this kind of internal conflict of ambition versus sacrifice. I’ve seen it play out in my own life, albeit in much less high stakes scenarios than the protagonist in my film, but nevertheless there is something that you give up when you decide you want to be among the best at anything. In the writing process, I was able to infuse my own experience into the character and adapt it to her specific situation and it felt right.

The cinematography in the film captures both the beauty and the grit of Bogotá. Can you discuss the visual style and any specific techniques you employed to evoke the setting and mood?

It’s very important to me to have beautiful cinematography in my films. But the beauty doesn’t just come from the technical aspects, it comes mostly from how each visual choice is transmitting the emotion and psychology of the characters’ journeys and psyches. Years ago, when I first saw the work of my DP, Ryan Marie Helfant, I knew I wanted to work with him because every single one of his pieces moved me on a really deep level. When we collaborated on Bogotá Story we knew immediately that we wanted to shoot on 16mm not only because Ryan is known for shooting on film but because we knew that the 90s era in Bogotá would be best felt on contrasty celluloid. Bogotá is a gorgeous city and much of it still looks like it did 30 years ago. Many of the cars on the street are still from the 80s and 90s. And the Andes Mountains are omnipresent. All of this, coupled with the production design, costumes and locations that we found created a realistic sense of the place and time, especially when shot on 16. My goal was to create a visual mood that felt naturalistic and restrained so that the performances could shine. But I also wanted it to feel like it was floating slightly off the ground in a style of its own.