James Al-Mudallal gets under the hood with Walthamstow filmmaker Jonathan Caicedo-Galindo, to talk about the short film Stationary
Recently I enjoyed having the opportunity of interviewing Jonathan Caicedo-Galindo, a 27-year-old who helped produce the acclaimed short film Stationary.
Colombian-born Jonathan, who was raised in Walthamstow, has a background of documentary filmmaking for the BBC, Channel 4, Sky Arts and a number of online platforms, and has always had a keen interest in filmmaking. He began his career after completing a degree in Film Studies at the University of Winchester.
Back in 2017, while attending a networking event for short film makers, he met Louis Chan who told him he was in the middle of writing a short drama.
“We did the usual thing of swapping details at the event,” said Jonathan.
“A few months later, I got an email from Louis saying that he’d now finished the script and, if I liked it, would I come onboard to produce the film.”
“Up until Louis’ email, I’d always been more involved in documentary making. But when I read the script for Stationary, I knew this would be a really interesting project so I had to get involved.”
Jonathan met Louis at a Colombian restaurant in Seven Sisters, where the pair talked about the filmmaker’s script and how they could shoot it.
What followed was a kickstarter to raise film production funds and a speedy month-long casting process whereby they took on actors Aaron Thomas Ward, Rebekah Murrell and Xavien Russell as the three lead characters, Jimmy, Che and Gino.
Stationary is a film both small in duration and actual location, with most of the action based in a parked car. However, this London drama, written and directed by Louis, has a surprisingly complex and enthralling script.
During the course of one afternoon, the audience follows the progress of Jimmy, a reformed drug dealer, now recently returned from university. Against the backdrop of an atmospheric soundtrack, Jimmy confronts Che, his former drug-dealing partner in crime, and her younger brother Gino, in an attempt to make Che realise the path she’s going down can only lead to bad things.
Talking about the drama, Jonathan said: “Me and the others in the crew couldn’t directly relate to the situation Jimmy, Che and Gino are in, but we could see that there are moments in all our lives when we’re in our early 20s where things happen, with us maybe making certain mistakes that we sometimes live to regret. Stationary is a good example of people learning from their mistakes before it’s too late.”
The film was shot in Kilburn in a dead-end street and, according to Jonathan, “was actually fairly quick” with the 12 minutes all being wrapped up in “about three days.”
But Jonathan explained that although filming was “painless” and “there was always a good atmosphere on set,” post-production the film had to deal with a new challenge.
“We started our festival run at the end of 2019 but then in February/March, the world stopped with Covid, so there was a level of uncertainty after lots of film festivals were postponed, cancelled or just silent.”
It was then that Jonathan, Louis and the rest of the team decided to put Stationary online, and since June the film has already gained several award wins and nominations and was selected for film festivals in Ireland, LA, London and Wales.
“When it came to releasing Stationary online, there was a kind of anxiousness about it, with us all wondering, will people get it? Will they understand it? But it’s been up for over a month now and it’s had a good reception.”
The film has now had more than 127,000 views online, rising daily. Aaron Thomas Ward and Rebekah Murrell have both won awards for their parts in it.
As for the future, Jonathan now hopes to both produce and direct his own film sometime between the end of 2020 and early 2021.
WATCH THE FILM
Images courtesy of Stationary Film