• Kriti Agarwal

How I Made It: Hotel Paraiso (2019)

Hotel Paraiso (2019) is a coming-of-age story about family, first love and restoring self-esteem. When Guillermo, a pre-adolescent introvert, arrives with his family at the wonderful HOTEL PARAÍSO (Paradise Hotel) for summer vacations, he does not only have days full of activities and colorful entertainers, but he also runs into Andrea, a beautiful and curious girl from his school, he regularly fantasizes about. Unfortunately for him, Nahel, the popular and heartthrob boy, who often bullies his classmates, is also staying at the hotel and seeks to make Andrea fall in love with him. With the help of unexpected allies and family members, Guillermo confronts his insecurities and participates in different hotel activities to win the weekend’s real big prize: Andrea’s heart.

93 Mins | Spanish | Coming of Age, Comedy, | 2019 | Peru

In its persistent mission and zeal to promote good cinema, the Indian Film Institute brings you the experience of the Director of the film - Daniel Rehder

Why this subject matter for your film?

It’s a very autobiographical film, most of the details are fiction, but the feelings are those that I experienced in my preteen years. So I wanted to reach out to any kid that was feeling the same way and tell them that it’s okay to feel that way, that they can control those feelings and overcome them.

Where did you find this story for this film?

I was writing a similar film for film school, I was about a 15-year-old going on a family trip to a cruise ship in the Galapagos, but I knew it was going to be very difficult to make. So I decided to change it to a place I knew and had experienced something similar. When I made that decision, it was clear to me that I had to change the age of the protagonist to when I had those experiences in that hotel.

What were the challenges you faced in making the film?

The biggest challenge was the coordination. We shot in 24 days and only had each location in the hotel for a certain amount of time, so everything had to be very planned out and I had to improvise a lot during the way, but I think that always gets your creative juices flowing. Limitations are your friend.

Did you face any problems in releasing the film?

I think the biggest problem was the marketing campaign. Trying to get so many people in to watch the film was very tough and something I don’t know a lot about. There is so much relying on that opening weekend that it’s very difficult to be objective to try and make the best call.

What was your background before making your first film?