Donald Myerston has more than 50 years of important professional practice in the national film scene as a director, screenwriter, editor and producer.
Together with his wife Viveca Baiz, he has made an important duo in favor of Venezuelan cinema.
For him it is more important to make auteur films than commercial films and he is a faithful promoter of a true and good training of filmmakers.
This afternoon, within the framework of the 126 years of national cinema, he will be honored at the Aquiles Nazoa Cultural House, together with Pablo de la Barra.
From documentary to animation
Myerston founded the film department at the Universidad de Los Andes (ULA), which he remembers as an extraordinary and rich experience.
There he made, together with the students, documentaries for training needs as well as for his personal work.
In 1996, his wife Viveca Baiz founded Zootropo Producciones together with him, a non-profit civil association to which they have dedicated their lives to make documentaries, work for children, as well as for national culture. For this reason, the documentary genre is important to Myerston, although his interest is also focused on animation. And he proved it when he produced his wife's award-winning film: Kaporito, the Guardian of the Mountain.
—How do you see Venezuelan cinema in recent years?
—I see him trying to find his way both thematically and in the construction of a cinematographic profession. He is looking for the side of commercial films, looking for, for example, horror films that were not made in Venezuela and that are now internationally successful, as I understand it.
I see, on the other hand, the same authorial searches that have marked our cinema throughout our lives, being more intense and more interesting and, of course, the incorporation of many new people; which gives it a special freshness and vigor.
—It lacks an organizational mechanism that allows progress towards collective objectives, where we can sow cinema in an important way.
He needs to address the schools and create a consciousness of a cinematographic critic spectator from childhood.
It also lacks money and formal film schools, aimed at both training technicians and filmmakers.
"And what is left over?"
-Desire. That is what all filmmakers and those of us who work in this medium have. Right now there is a very good possibility because the Cnac (National Autonomous Center for Cinematography) returned to its course of being the promoter of cinematographic creation and supporter of cinematographic policies.
So we have the added desire of the filmmakers with the authorities that accompany us in this process, be it Cnac, La Villa del Cine with its particular way of seeing production and Conatel that is beginning to join the support of Venezuelan cinema.
—How did you receive the news of the tribute that will be paid to you today, the day of national cinema?
-With joy, emotion. I'm not very prone to public exposure. I like discretion; that's why I feel more comfortable in production. The producer is like an invisible being, who is creating the conditions for a film to be made. Second, because he scares me a little. When people start paying tributes to you, it's because your physical life as a creative is coming to an end and it's not something you can easily deal with. But my companions chose me and Pablo de la Barra. We feel happy because it is a recognition of the work one has done.
I have more than 50 years of professional practice, more than 50 years militant in culture. I worked very little in commercial adventures related to cinema. I have always worked with auteur cinema.
Congratulations friend Donal, always accompanying friends in their demonstrations and wanting to thank you for the balance that you offer to those interested in what to do culturally about the reality of cinema in Venezuela.
I congratulate you Donald, a well-deserved tribute, as well as to Pablo de la Barra, from FONCINE I have been getting to know Donald and his interest in the development of our cinema in many of its facets is always constant, successes Donald