“Communication is a potent tool to raise awareness’’

A UM Communications student participated in the shooting of a documentary film that received a silver medal in the New York Festivals: World's Best Tv & Films

UM School of Communications´ student, Matías Cerviño, along with his brother Martín, and Miguel Luzardo put together the team in charge of producing the successful project “Kassandra, A 13 Year-Old Mom”, filmed in Cariari, Costa Rica. The documentary received a silver medal in the New York festivals’, World’s Best Tv & Films; it has been awareded with a Capital Emmys in the Washington area, and was recognized in the Award of Excellence at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, "Focus", and Los Angeles Cinefest.

The internationally focused Colombian channel NTN 24 was interested in producing a documentary film about teenage mothers in the region and, in order to complete this task, hired the production company Cabo Films -run by Martín Ceviño, a Uruguayan based in Panama-. Martín then traveled to Costa Rica with the NTN24s’ United States based news director, Gustau Alegret, and Miguel Luzardo, a fellow Uruguayan.

Matías, who appears on the right in the cover image, and in the first photo of the gallery at the end of this note, fulfilled the role of assistant director during the second trip of the team to Costa Rica; his brother fulfilled the role as director; and Miguel Luzardo, who traveled with him from Uruguay, was the director of photography.

Matías told us that his desire for choosing his career path came from the desire to “tell stories.” And with this project he was able to do what moves him, and this motivation explains the decision to enter the life of a family in order to shed light on this social problem: “It seems to me that Communication is a very powerful tool to raise awareness. That's why I really like the documentary. Because it puts you in someone else's shoes for a while, to give you something different, to change. I think it's the richest thing that Communication has.” The remarkable story in the documentary -which has several moments where the characters look at the camera and question the viewer- puts a face to the statistics on adolescent pregnancy.

The Communications student assured us that it was a “very strong” experience, from which he had learned a lot. Especially about the meaning of teamwork: “There are things you learn: to manage the camera, to edit, to work with lighting; but the key is a good human team, that is consistent, that you can trust. So, when the project needs a little more, you know the team will do it. And in that sense the project was formidable because Miguel is an extraordinary person, filled up to his neck with everything he has to do, and my brother is always paying attention to all the details.”

In reference to the various awards, Matías expressed the joy that comes when someone acknowledges the work of a piece “done with such dedication, so much love, and investment of time and dedication.” On this matter, he also said that Diego Sardi, Cinema and Television coordinator at UM School of Communication, helped them with the applications to different audiovisual festivals.

Image credits: Cabo Films.