Inside Barry Jenkins's Chlorophyl with Lead Ana Trevino

Categories: Film and TV
Ana Trevino
Chlorophyl, the 25-minute short directed by Miami native Barry Jenkins, stars first-time actress and Miami local Ana Trevino. It premiered at last month's Borscht Film Festival. If you saw the movie, regardless of your opinion, it didn't quite fit into the context of the arena in which it was presented.

It was wedged between fast-paced, zany flicks like Otto and the Electric Eel and the one-minute home run I Am Your Grandma.  By contrast, Chlorophyl was a sprawling mood piece with a quiet look at listlessness by one opaque girl, so perfectly portrayed by Trevino.

This year's Borscht sought to capture the sounds of Miami, making films (not music videos) inspired by local minstrels. Creating a film based on a song is not easy. Neither is working with a budget under $10,000 or coordinating the schedules of rising stars like director Barry Jenkins, who literally is the next big thing, or at least one of them.

Chlorophyl indeed had its obstacles. MillionYoung, whose title song inspired the film, was unable to appear in the movie because he was on tour. One of the last scenes, shot at Grand Central, had to be re-written on the fly due to an unexpected lack of backstage access and low crowd turn-out. The film shot in just over three days, meaning no second chances or re-shoots.

Going up or down?
Another potential obstacle for Chlorophyl could've been the lead, Ana Trevino. She'd never acted before. However, Trevino proved to be the perfect fit for Jenkins, a filmmaker drawn to subtle themes of humanity, loss, and what it means to be alive.

Miami has this annoying tendency to scream its image, whereas Trevino's simplicity was visually spellbinding and strikingly original. She was able to convey a quiet look at loneliness in a city known for its decadence and false idols -- a theme totally conducive to Borscht.

Borscht still has high expectations for Chlorophyl. Now that time is actually a luxury, Barry Jenkins is tightening the film, and it will be re-sound designed out in L.A. Then the boys will send their baby off to all of the fine mustache twirling film festivals like Cannes and Sundance. In the meantime, we caught up with Trevino.

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