Eli Zavala speaks at AFI Fest about cultural authenticity by playing “Nelly” in “El Carrito”

Eli Zavala at AFI Fest. Photo: AFI / Shutterstock

Eli Zavala as Nelly in El Carrito

Eli Zavala as Nelly in El Carrito

“El Carrito” premiered at AFI Fest and lead actress Eli Zavala talks about the importance of being specific and culturally respectful when creating a character.

This adds another type of responsibility on my part as a performer, as a producer, as a storyteller: to make the invisible and the unrepresented worthy. “

– Eli Zavala

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, USA, November 20, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – “Authenticity is rooted in the specificity and respect of a culture”, Eli Zavala who gave a ravishing performance as “Nelly” in “El Carrito,” told audiences at the film’s premiere at AFI party. “As a performer, these two approaches are fundamental to avoiding stereotypes on screen”.

In the film, deeply rooted in neorealism, Zavala plays Nelly, a street vendor living in Queens, New York. Determined to improve her situation, Nelly makes a risky business decision that ends in disaster. Zavala delivers an organic performance to the point that “sometimes the film looks more like a documentary than a fiction,” commented one viewer at the film’s premiere.

To prepare for this role, Zavala shared with the press and audience gathered at the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theater, which she tracked and helped street vendors in New York City. “It was something necessary for me to do, to fully immerse myself in the world of street vendors, to understand the material world of this character and, above all, to be able to respectfully play Nelly, who represents thousands of salespeople. street not only in [New York City], but all over the world. ”She added,“ Beyond that aspect of the character world, I wanted to bring my Mexican, immigrant and WOC experience to Nelly. For me, it was extremely important to bring the isolation and fear that comes with leaving the country you were born in and, at the same time, bring the excitement that comes from pursuing and gradually getting better. opportunities in a foreign country, while moving away from stereotypes ”.

Zavala noted that “being close to the street vendor community has brought another layer to me and to this film, which has been fully embraced by the Latin community in Queens and the street vendors in Queens Plaza,” said the actress, “[they] told us between takes that scenes like the ones we were shooting, where precisely what happened to them, especially when the police arrived.

Before concluding the presentation, the actress said, “It adds another kind of responsibility on my part as a performer, as a producer, as a storyteller: to make the invisible and the unrepresented worthy.”

“El Carrito” had its world premiere at AFI Fest and Zavala’s performance creates a buzz on the Festival circuit, while the film itself is highly regarded by audiences.

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James C. Tibbs