Anything is Possible – Bernardo Arsuaga Q and A on The True Underdog Story of a Man, His Son and the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race

Filmmaker and Attorney Bernardo Arsuaga of THE WEEKEND SAILOR

 

Film Courage: Where did you grow up?

Bernardo Arsuaga: I was born and raised in Mexico.

Film Courage: What were your plans after high school?

Bernardo: To practice law, which is what I currently do in Mexico.

Film Courage: Did you go to film school?

Bernardo: No. I did not.

 

 

“THE WEEKEND SAILOR is much more. We have love, we have death, we have an underdog story, we have the first race around the world, we have a non-experienced Captain. We have humanistic story, as well as a sports/competitive angle to the film.”

 

Bernardo Arsuaga, THE WEEKEND SAILOR Filmmaker

 

Film Courage: Do you sail?

Bernardo: Yes, I do sail a little bit. I received my first license at 11 years old.

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

 

Film Courage: How/When did you first hear of this story regarding Ramón Carlín, his son Enrique Carlin and the other courageous men on the Sayula II?

Bernardo: At the Volvo Ocean Race headquarters in Spain.

Film Courage: Have you ever done anything on a whim similar to how Ramón Carlín read the magazine article and became involved in the race?

Bernardo: Many things including making this film, THE WEEKEND SAILOR.

Film Courage: When you first thought of making THE WEEKEND SAILOR what were your first steps?

Bernardo: To search for Captain Ramon Carlín.

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

Film Courage: How long have you been planning the film?

Bernardo: About a week. I really never gave it much thought. I just did it.

Film Courage: What do you notice about sailors? Is there a common personality trait, quirks, fun attitudes, etc.?

Bernardo: I my opinion there are two kinds of sailors. The preppy ones that just sail on the bay with their rich friends, wearing white polo shirts and fancy sailing shoes. Then there are what I feel are real sailors, those capable to sail and do brave things similar to sailors from the golden age of sailing. They will put their life on the line to further themselves, win offshore races and set records. These sailors do not wear white polo shirts, they are not rich, but receive tons of money, promotion and sponsoring from the highest players. These kind of sailors (the latter I mentioned) are the ones I like. These are the kind of sailors we have in THE WEEKEND SAILOR.

Film Courage: Where did you get the old footage/photos from?

Bernardo: Much of the footage/photos are via the Carlín family, from Volvo Ocean Race and some other key sailing associations around the world.

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

Film Courage: As every ship needs a leader at the helm, so does a movie. Did watching Ramón Carlín teach you anything about leadership and directing?

Bernardo: To me, Ramón Carlín was and still is an example of an incredible leader.

Watch THE WEEKEND SAILOR on VOD January 10, 2017

Film Courage: Each interviewee seemed relaxed and to be enjoying the experience. Did you coach them beforehand or during the interview process?

Bernardo: No coaching at all. These are the first interviews I have done in my life. The only thing I had was a camera and a list of questions.

Film Courage: When shooting a documentary, how do you deal with subjects wanting to change their footage, what they said, how they appear, etc?

Bernardo: When someone wanted something I did not like or to change this and that, the solution is very simple. You say NO.

 

 

Film Courage: How did you get Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon as the narrator?

Bernardo: Simon is a very competitive sailor. He was once part of the race in 1985. When he found out we were working on this story for THE WEEKEND SAILOR, he got on deck to be a part of the crew.

Film Courage: Were you ever a Duranie?

Bernardo: I have always been one!

Film Courage: Why were the men on the Sayula II so threatening to the boating world/other contestants?

Bernardo: They were not considered threatening, more so they were mocked and laughed at by other contestants at the beginning of the race. Nobody was expecting a Mexican boat to enter the race….let alone to have won it.

 

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

Film Courage: How badly did others in the sailing world want the Sayula II to fail? What tactics were employed to combat their winning?

Bernardo: After the first leg, when the British Captains found out that maybe they would not be the winners, they went to the organizers and convinced them to change rules and set up a line honors trophy. So this way they could at least take something back home. But this was not against the Mexican boat, this was just the classical British attitude of the participants in this race, to set up the rules to their own benefit. They lost anyway.

Film Courage: What camera(s) did you use for the interview and B-roll?

Bernardo: We leased a Canon 5D camera and a Blackmagic. And regarding the special treatment of the 16 mm footage, well, it’s a homemade secret. Sometimes you have to invent and improvise stuff when you’re starting/learning.

Film Courage: Former CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race and Yachtsman Knut Frostad shares an interesting take on when someone says “I have THIS many years experience in doing something” and he questions “You do? In what capacity?” (i.e., winning, losing, being successful, unsuccessful at something.). Since this appears to be your first feature film which you’ve obviously been successful at making it enjoyable to watch, compelling, etc. did you take any of that to heart? Meaning sometimes it doesn’t matter how much experience you’ve put into something and a beginner (such as Ramón and Enrique Carlín) can also be brilliant at an endeavor one is passionate about? Anything you’d like to share on this?

Bernardo: Knut is more than great, he was very patient and gentle with us all. He shared the best he and his organization could share. Well yeah, the experience fact, Knut has been 4 times around the world so he know what he is talking about, but for others this “experience fact” is a real and harsh reality. They say they have the experience because of their age, but we have to ask ourselves “what kind of experience is that?” So true, I love this idea. It helps a lot to identify lies from real advice. Depends where is it coming from.

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

 

Film Courage: Where is THE WEEKEND SAILOR available to watch?

Bernardo: We are very happy with our agents, 108 Media in Toronto. They managed to take THE WEEKEND SAILOR to the best online stores. We are now on iTunes, Amazon, Google play, Xbox, Vimeo, Vudu, etc.

Film Courage: You’ve won about 5 film festivals. How many film festivals did you enter? Were the festival fees worth it to you? Are there any other plans for distribution?

Bernardo: We have 10 awards so far. These come from all sorts of festivals and we feel fortunate. Of course, every festival entry fee was worth it. l’m hoping to get a good distribution deal in Mexico. In my opinion, Mexican distributors are not thinking of Ramon’s victory or the race. I feel they are thinking on their own pockets. This issue of the bottom line has slowed us down on our own country. Even if a company has an impressive website, there is still a lot of work to do in Mexico for documentary distribution.

Film Courage: What do you take away from the long life of your film’s main subject, Ramón Carlín?

Bernardo: That anything is possible!

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

Film Courage: In other interviews, many people have consistently shared that they are pleasantly surprised, not expecting a documentary on a yacht race to be such a fulfilling and emotional experience. Why do you think this is so?

Bernardo: I guess they are. Maybe waiting for a regular sailing documentary, not knowing this is not just a sailing movie. THE WEEKEND SAILOR is much more. We have love, we have death, we have an underdog story, we have the first race around the world, we have a non experienced Captain. We have human story as well as a sports/competitive angle to the film.

BIO:

Filmmaker and Attorney Bernardo Arsuaga was born in 1975. He currently resides in Mexico with his wife and three children. His film THE WEEKEND SAILOR can be found via iTunes, Amazon, Google play, Xbox, Vimeo, Vudu, etc.

108 Media has released this documentary The Weekend Sailor on January 10, 2017

108 Media, the Toronto-based global distribution company, today announces the release of The Weekend Sailor, a new feature documentary focusing on the crew of the Sayula II and their unexpected victory in a race around the world.

 

 

CONNECT WITH THE WEEKEND SAILOR:

Vimeo link
Facebook
108 Media page

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM:

With the odds stacked against them, Ramon Carlín, his son Enrique, and a crew of novice Mexican sailors represented their country in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, today the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race. The Weekend Sailor features successful yachtsman and Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon as narrator.

Photos courtesy of TheWeekendSailor.com

In early December, The Weekend Sailor featured at the Jachtfilm Marine Film Festival in Warsaw Poland. The film has one several awards including the Grand Prix du Public at the Festival du Film d’Aventure de La Rochelle in La Rochelle, France and Best Screenwriting Award at Doc LA in Los Angeles, California.

The Weekend Sailor makes its way to Hawaii in a few weeks for the Waimea Ocean Film Festival and is set to release January 10, 2017 on video on demand.

 

The Weekend Sailor from 108 Media on Vimeo.

 

THE WEEKEND SAILOR is a new feature documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world in 1974. The most demanding sailing quest in history.

Sailor, Ramon Carlín visits his rebellious son, Enrique in the United Kingdom and comes across a magazine advertising a sailing race around the world. Although he had been sailing casually for two years, Ramon embarks on this race and brings his son along as an opportunity to not only teach him discipline but real life experiences as well.

Genre: Documentary

Cast: Skipper Ramon Carlin and Family, Enrique Carlin, Volvo Ocean Race Team

Crew: Bernardo Arsuaga, Erik Virtanen, Christopher John Malanchen, Pietro Amato, Enrique Carlin, Eduardo Lopez-Frias, Christopher John Malanchen, Jaime Romandia, Lawrence Elman, Adrian S. Bara

Year of production: 2016

Running time: 55 Minutes

Festivals and Awards:

Winner, Director’s Award – Hong Kong-San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, 2016
Winner, Best Cinematographer (Documentary) – Madrid International Film Festival, 2016
Winner, Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary – Oceanside International Film Festival 2016
Winner, Grand Prix du Public – Festival International du Film d’Aventure La Rochelle, 2016
Winner, Best Screenwriting Award – Doc L.A

 

 

 

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Watch THE WEEKEND SAILOR on VOD January 10, 2017

THE WEEKEND SAILOR is a new feature documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world in 1974. The most demanding sailing quest in history.

Sailor, Ramon Carlín visits his rebellious son, Enrique in the United Kingdom and comes across a magazine advertising a sailing race around the world. Although he had been sailing casually for two years, Ramon embarks on this race and brings his son along as an opportunity to not only teach him discipline but real life experiences as well.

 

 

 

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