“Voces is the film which I always dreamt of making as my debut as a film director” – Ángel Gómez Hernández, director of VOCES.
After the recent success of his first feature film released this summer, Algeciras born filmmaker Ángel Gómez is now setting his sights on new projects in Spain and the United States.
“This is the kind of film that I had always dreamt of directing, because of the screenplay, because of the script, because of the team, because this is the horror genre without inhibitions… If someone had told me 15 years ago that it would be my debut film, I would have undoubtedly signed it.”
2020 has been an unforgettable year for Algeciras-born filmmaker Ángel Gómez Hernández, who released his first feature film, “Voces” (“Voices”) this July. It has been a summer that he will never forget, and not just because of the COVID19 pandemic, which nearly prevented his team from filming the final scenes in March, just before the lockdowns were implemented.
“We were worried that there were a few remaining scenes to film, but in the end we got there, just in time: we had finished shooting only one day before the lockdowns were implemented. I’m really grateful, of course, for having been able to finish the filming and then to have it released like this”, Ángel told ReachExtra.
Starring Roberto Sancho, Belén Fabra, Ramón Barea and little Lucas Blas, and produced by Estudio V and Televisión Española (TVE), “Voces” hit the big screen throughout Spain on July 24, making it one of the first films to be premiered after cinemas reopened in the so-called “new normal”. The film is a psychological thriller about a haunted house and the world of supernatural sounds. It placed between the 3rd and 5th highest grossing films in the weekend of its premiere and is still ranking among the top 10 films that are attracting the biggest audiences into cinemas, masks of course included.
Ángel Gómez, a prophet in his own land, was clear that if he could choose, the premiere would not be in Madrid or in any other big city, but in his hometown of Algeciras, surrounded by his family who were there for him since the very beginning, supporting him as he made his dreams a reality. “I was excited that my first time seeing my film on the big screen was in my city, and so it was.”
The event, held in the Yelmo cinemas, in the Puerta Europa shopping centre, drew a high-profile audience which included the Mayor of Algeciras, José Ignacio Landaluce, and the Councillor for Culture, Pilar Pintor, among other prominent guests. But no could have been more proud than the filmmaker’s own father, Ángel Gómez Rivero, who is a writer and promoter of cultural initiatives such as the “Algeciras Fantástika” festival, and the mentor from who the director of “Voces” inherited a fascination for frightening films, fantasy literature and horror stories.
“When you are certain that you want to go into Cinema and specialize in it to try to make a living from your passion, you know that you’ll need to go abroad, that’s just the way it is, but being from Algeciras was never a disadvantage to me, in fact, it’s the other way around. Algeciras has been a source of inspiration to me, and I’ve received a lot of support for my projects, especially when I was starting out”, explains Ángel, who is the also director of “Behind”, one of the most revered short films according to critics and the public at large recently; which helped him make the leap to feature films and which has opened doors for him in the US.
In fact, although he is still enjoying the fruits of his success with “Voces”, Ángel Gómez now has one foot in the United States, after sealing a contract with Lionsgate to make the feature film of “Behind”, which will be produced by Sam Raimi; signing with CAA, the most important international management agency in the world, which organises his career from Los Angeles; and having some “new projects” on the horizon, which will materialize in the coming months.
However, the filmmaker from Algeciras does not see himself living on the other side of the ocean, at least for the time being. “My intention is to make a career in my own country and to be able to continue working with people with whom I have an absolute understanding, culturally above all, but it is also exciting to be able to do things there, in the North American film industry, where horror, especially with supernatural narratives, carry such weight”, he said.
In any case, whether on one side of the pond or the other, Ángel Gómez is certain that his future lies in filmmaking and producing films which he says is one of his greatest pleasures: entering a movie theatre for the fright, to indulge in the pure thrill of a quality and uninhibited horror film.
FROM SHORTS TO FEATURE LENGTH FILMS AND TV
Despite his young age, Ángel Gómez Hernández already has a fruitful audio-visual career, which has also included work for television. He has a degree in Film Direction and Screenplay writing and also in Audio-visual Production; he has directed more than fifty projects for which he has received over 60 international awards and 300 nominations.
Among his short films, in addition to the multi-award winning short-film version of “Behind” (2016), there are also “Lágrimas de papel” (2008), “Sed de luz” (2009), “La última víctima” (2011), “Pertenecemos a la muerte” (2012) , “Y la muerte lo seguía” (2012), “Deep House” (2017), “Cariño” (2018) and “The silent weeping” (2019).
Likewise, at only 31 years old (turning 32 this October) he has worked as a film director and screenplay writer for feature films for Aliwood, producer of “Un cuento chino” (Goya for best Ibero-American film), “Justin y la espada del valor” (Nominated for the Goya) or “5 Metros Cuadrados”. He has also directed prominent adverts for institutions such as the Ministry of Equality and the Community of Madrid, and also for international films such as “Frank”, “The Collection”, or “El volcán”.