Mijo (my son)
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Mijo emerged as an alternate project to fulfill my MFA thesis requirement when Foreign Puzzle my initial thesis project faced serious setbacks. Foreign Puzzle is an hour-long documentary about love, life, breast cancer, dance and the transcending power of the human spirit. In an attempt to unravel an individual's struggle with mortality, to understand a child's adaptation to a mother's illness and to document the healing power of creativity, I began filming Sharon Marroquin's life from September 2010. Unfortunately, when filming real people undergoing life threatening medical illness it is impossible to stick to a timeline. Sharon Marroquin, the central character in the film developed serious medical complications that pushed the deadline for Foreign Puzzle significantly. While, I was committed to the completion of the film Foreign Puzzle, I did not want to delay my graduation from film school by almost two years and hence was forced to come up with an alternate thesis project. I had an animation script ready to go into production. But, I was so deeply involved with the production of Foreign Puzzle that it became impossible to work earnestly on a completely new film. The only viable alternative was to make a short film from the footage filmed for Foreign Puzzle. For the film to work and function independently, it had to have a strong and distinct thematic strand and not seem like a trailer or a scene from a longer film. This report is an elaboration of the process that went into the creation and exhibition of Mijo and its influence on Foreign Puzzle.