Vee Saieh’s “La Ruta”—A Compass for Social Transformation and Gold Telly-Successful Storytelling

Vee Saieh, an award-winning screenwriter, is on a mission to make narratives that not solely entertain however stir societal consciousness. She broke into prominence with “Magdalena,” a script that clinched the Silver Prize in Drama on the PAGE Worldwide Screenwriting Awards in 2013. Competing in opposition to hundreds of worldwide submissions, this accolade showcased Saieh’s storytelling prowess on a world stage. But it surely’s not simply her expertise that distinguishes her; it’s her unwavering dedication to tales that replicate vital points and resonate with a broad viewers.

In an unique interview, Saieh opened up about her newest undertaking, “La Ruta,” which delves deep into urgent social points. The movie has been a cornerstone in her burgeoning status as an advocate for social change via cinema. The story follows a mom and daughter on Mexico’s treacherous “Route of Demise,” exploring themes that attain past the display to the touch on real-world crises. “La Ruta” didn’t simply captivate audiences; it gained the Gold Telly for Social Video, including one other feather in Saieh’s cap and affirming her as a dedicated advocate for significant storytelling.

This recognition, Saieh notes, amplified the movie’s message and its attain. However past the accolades and applause, what drives Saieh is a deeply rooted perception within the energy of storytelling to foster understanding and empathy. “Your responsibility, before everything, is to entertain,” she explains, “but when it doesn’t hook the viewers, nobody will watch it.” For Saieh, the story is the vessel via which the message travels. By charming her viewers with compelling narratives, she ensures that the message lands, resonates, and—most significantly—evokes motion.

Her contributions to socially acutely aware cinema make her one of the thrilling voices within the business at the moment. The stability Saieh strikes between authenticity and leisure worth is nothing wanting creative alchemy. It’s a tightrope stroll over the pitfall of being too preachy or too indifferent from the problems at hand, and Saieh navigates it with finesse.

In an age the place tales could be highly effective brokers for change, Vee Saieh is undoubtedly a storyteller for our occasions—one whose affect goes past the massive display to the touch the material of society itself. It’s clear that her work has not solely enriched the cinematic panorama however has additionally laid the groundwork for a extra compassionate and understanding world.

What drives your ardour for integrating urgent social themes into your narratives, particularly with tasks like “La Ruta”?

La Ruta tells the story of a mom and daughter traversing Mexico’s “Route of Demise.” The undertaking itself originated with the director however, what drew me to come back on board because the lead author is similar ardour that drives all my tales—having one thing to say. My themes aren’t at all times social, however they’re typically a commentary and a mirrored image alone lived experiences or, on the very least, giving voice to the lived experiences of others who haven’t gotten their time within the highlight.

I’m enthusiastic about not simply telling tales, however telling tales that matter, that enrich individuals, and that go away them with one thing to consider.

How did you come throughout the story or concept behind “La Ruta”? Have been there private experiences or observations that influenced your method?

As I discussed, it was a narrative that originated with the director, however there was loads of private expertise I drew from to put in writing the character. The idea for the protagonist’s hopes, fears, and driving pressure stemmed from my very own experiences as an immigrant pursuing my very own American dream. Regardless that my state of affairs is vastly completely different from the protagonist’s, I do know her desires and her anxieties as a result of they’re additionally mine. The feelings fueling the narrative are genuine and true to life, and that’s what in the end makes the story work.

Tackling social points in leisure could be difficult. How do you strike the proper stability between conveying a message with out compromising on the story’s leisure worth?

It is a nice query and one of many largest challenges writers face typically. The principle factor, I feel, is to watch out to not be preachy. You’re writing a script, not a textbook or a keynote speech. At the beginning, your focus must be on telling the story (although you may subtly carry up key factors right here and there).

All through the narrative, the viewers gained’t completely get what you’re making an attempt to say, and that’s okay. In any case, the message is what they’re left with on the finish of the movie after they can see the entire image. So don’t focus an excessive amount of on telling them what you’re making an attempt to say. When you’ve executed your job as the author, they’ll get it by the tip.

What kind of real-world impression or conversations have been you hoping to spark with “La Ruta”? Have there been any notable reactions or modifications that you simply’ve noticed since its launch?

I feel one of many largest points we’re dealing with as a society is how tribal and insulated we’re. Hardly ever do individuals take the time to know one another and, as an alternative, we simply pull additional and additional aside.

My intention when writing any undertaking is just to create empathy and expose individuals to completely different life experiences they may not normally come throughout. It’s only by understanding one another and bridging our variations that we will transfer ahead collectively.

Because the launch of La Ruta, the reception has actually been large. On multiple event I’ve had individuals come as much as me after the screening telling me they cried. I feel the movie was very profitable in creating that consciousness

Have been there any specific challenges you confronted when advocating for social change via your work, particularly with a undertaking as profound as “La Ruta”?

I feel the most important problem was the one you talked about about balancing the message with telling a narrative. One other problem was treading the skinny line between authenticity and drama. “La Ruta” could be very a lot a grounded, fact-based narrative. Nonetheless, actuality doesn’t at all times make for one of the best story, so it was an ongoing balancing act between remaining true-to-life and taking creative liberties for the sake of leisure.

Mockingly, typically information should be modified as a result of they’re so on the market that they may come throughout as too unbelievable! In the long run, you’re actually simply making an attempt to hit that candy spot of a nuanced story that’s as plausible as it’s participating.

Successful the Gold Telly for Social Video with “La Ruta” is a major achievement. How did this recognition amplify the message of the undertaking, and what did it imply to you personally?

Successful such a prestigious award as a Gold Telly elevated the undertaking’s visibility exponentially, and with extra visibility got here extra consciousness. It was validation that not solely does the movie have one thing vital to say, however that as many individuals as potential ought to hear.

Personally, it was extraordinarily gratifying and rewarding to obtain such a recognition. After all of the challenges creating the story and ensuring it hit all the proper notes, it felt like we obtained it proper. And it’s a way of accomplishment not simply as a author, however as somebody hoping to impact constructive change on this planet.

As a dedicated advocate for social change in cinema, the place do you see the way forward for socially acutely aware storytelling heading? Are there rising points you’re desirous to deal with in your upcoming tasks?

I feel what makes movie an particularly highly effective medium for social commentary is its capability to put the viewers within the sneakers of so many alternative individuals, providing perspective and nuance to subjects we not often see from multiple angle. I feel within the close to future, we’ll start seeing even bolder storytelling from factors of view that just a few years in the past would have been thought-about fringe.

My subsequent undertaking, IRON LUNG, a couple of post-polio affected person and her caretaker sister, seeks to reframe how we view incapacity and residing a full life. It additionally explores the complexity of the caretaking dynamic in addition to survivor’s guilt.

What recommendation would you give to budding filmmakers and screenwriters who need to contact on social points of their work, making certain authenticity and resonance with their viewers?

The principle factor to recollect is that your responsibility, before everything, is to entertain. Sure, your story must be genuine and have one thing to say, but when it doesn’t hook the viewers, nobody will watch it. After you have a compelling storyline, then you may concern your self with balancing authenticity and drama in addition to weaving within the commentary (which ought to thread all through the whole narrative with out drawing consideration to itself). You’re making an attempt to have an effect on individuals emotionally so probably the most surefire manner of getting your message resonate with them is making them care about your story and characters.