“I actually submitted two of my films,” he says. “I almost feel more proud of the other one [that didn’t get in], but showcasing this one definitely makes me feel happy.”
Villanueva says the film was largely improvised on the spot. Friends of his had written a mumbahton song that rhythmically repeats the word “hands.” Villanueva starting thinking about the word, and the way humans have opposable thumbs as opposed to, say…. a bear, or a wolf.
For the shoot, Villanueva brought along some fuzzy caps with animal designs, and the resulting comedic short is a man vs. beast story with an explosive finale.
Villanueva, a senior at North East School of the Arts, will be going to college next year, and majoring in mathematics or actuarial science. Seeing his film get into South By Southwest made him regret not applying to film school. But he still sees film being a big part of his future for a long time to come.
Hear Villanueva's full interview with TPR's Nathan Cone here: http://audio.tpr.org/sxsw12-alex.mp3