In 2021, Mateo Castrejon accompanied his mother as she planted oats in the field. It was there that the makers of “Piru” came to meet her. The team of Peruvian filmmakers Bismarck and Sara Rojas were scouting locations in Cajamarca and who would be the protagonist of their first film. Today’s 7-year-old boy, off-screen, was perfect to play a character like himself. “Thank you Bis for choosing me…,” said the young promise, on the verge of tears, in front of the audience at the theater where Avant premiered.
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Last week, Mateo traveled to Lima for the first time from his hometown of Cajamarca, and was surprised by the lights and cameras of show business during the “Pru” red carpet. In the film, the boy is abandoned by his parents and is taken care of by his centenarian grandmother Hermelinda. They have only each other, a house in the country and several hectares of land. The Rojas brothers’ cinema shows a child aware of the intentions of some mining tycoons who want to buy the lands of his family and neighbors.
Mateo Castrejón: “I’m grateful that ‘Pirú’ chose me”
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El Comercio was the first media to visit Lima to give an exclusive interview. Accompanied by his mother, Luzmila, his fifteen-year-old sister, Luz Esther, and producer Sara Rojas, he walked hand-in-hand through the corridors of the Santa Catalina headquarters, looking up at people three heads taller than him. Photographer Mario Zapata. “Want to learn how to take photos? Now you take them, okay? “I’m leaving,” he joked, to sympathize with the small and mischievous boy, and to get his best angle, because he subtracted his shyness from the few words he gave us in the previous interview.
“I was nervous (at the “Pru” screening) because there was a sad part and I came out sad on TV,” she added, shrugging her shoulders in her chair and hiding her hands down. “I’m happy because I recorded the picture and my friends Emanuel, Andrés, Cuculi, Eliseo, they saw me,” said Mateo, trying to smile despite his nerves and the excitement of seeing Lima for the first time. Costa Verde, with the eagerness of a playful boy, even dared to taste the sea water, and discovered that it was indeed salt, as he had said.
Filming took place over seven weeks with Mateo and Maria Teresa Tello, who played her grandmother Hermelinda in the fiction. However, the conception of the “Pru” story began seven years ago and was funded after several applications to the Audiovisual Direction, Phonography and New Media (DAFO). For the first time, they were among the 10 winners of the Ministry of Culture’s economic incentives, but they did not win. But they finally got government support and it was released on October 5 this year.
“The production that Mateo had on the film was focused on the game. (…) To be honest, as a producer I was scared because I thought he was going to get bored, but he made the shooting set his home and our crew his friends. (…) That atmosphere of friendship. It was, if he made a mistake, nothing would happen,” producer Sara Rojas tells the newspaper. “When Bismarck saw it, he thought of the hero of his film. ‘It was beyond logic,'” he added. In addition, the boy had the help of acting coach Kelly Skerrett. .
“They say that making films in Peru and making films in general is very complicated. And how important it is that the efforts to create art and culture in our country are recognized”
“In the production of ‘Pru’, we encountered robberies, very complicated situations, accidents, weather problems, etc. They say that making movies in Peru and making movies in general is very complicated. How important it is to be recognized for the effort to create art and culture in our country. (…) Outside Lima Capturing Peru is very challenging, but it’s necessary. I think it’s important to diversify our proposals creatively,” added Rojas.
For his part, Mateo wants to continue acting in films and his mother, formerly a nanny at Las Casuarinas in Santiago de Surco, approves of a child commercial actor. “Two years ago, I was working in Lima, but I returned to Cajamarca to be with my children. Of course the economy was a little difficult. When I talked to them (producers of “Pirú”), we started to believe, others told me what they were going to do with your son, but That’s how it works, I already know they won’t do him any harm, says Luzmila, a single woman, 39, who currently lives in Trujillo, but will soon return to La Encanada, a city in Cajamarca.
On the billboard
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