Mariah Qué Baile

A Latina teen fears being edged out by her closest friends while she trains for a coveted ballet audition.

Creative team

Writer: Anita Abbasi
Directors/producers: Anita Abbasi, Martin Baena

Filmmakers’ statement

As first generation Canadians who grew up in immigrant households, it was important for us to make a film that reflected our experiences and to do so without lionizing or trivializing them.

While stories in the media about immigrants achieving remarkable things may be a positive thing in and of itself, it doesn’t speak to more common experiences and too often runs the risk of becoming escapist. Likewise, while crafting a coming-of-age narrative we wanted to avoid the usual pitfalls of bringing an extraordinary character to life that is misunderstood by her peers. Rather, to highlight these characters’ opposing viewpoints and desires without disparaging them.

The conflict between Mariah and her peers is typical of early adulthood – if the timeline is accelerated for the purposes of our story – friends drift apart as they explore their respective interests and differentiate themselves as individuals. That Mariah feels the need to reconcile this and bridge an impossible gap is completely understandable, if ultimately impossible.

About Anita Abbasi and Martin Baena

Anita Abbasi and Martin Baena

Anita is a Montreal-born, Toronto-based filmmaker. Hailing from two disparate immigrant backgrounds, Anita’s work centres on identity and belonging. A lover of cinema since childhood, Anita has a cerebral relationship with film, complicated by her unconditional love of Sylvester Stallone movies.

Her work has shown at KurzFilmFest, Diessen Am Ammersee, Germany (The Talent Scout, 2015), Mexico International Film Festival (Charity Ball, 2010) and COMMFFEST (Raising Our Voice, 2011).

Toronto-based filmmaker Martin Baena is a graduate of Concordia’s film program. Martin’s work can be seen online at The Seventh Art where he served as lead video editor. He also contributes to Screen Rant and Dorkshelf.com.

Past directorial efforts include the post-apocalyptic Soledad (2009), Talent Scout (2015, co-directed with Anita Abbasi) and the short subject travelogue Spool (2015).

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