Director Biography: Carlos & Karen Torres (XIETY)

Carlos and Karen Torres are a married creative duo. They wrote, directed, edited, and sound designed XIETY. Karen was also the lead actress. Individually, Carlos is the co-owner of CutFocus with DP, Jake Slonecker. A production company based in SF. Karen is starting her freelance directing journey, is a sound designer, and working actor.

Director Statement

“XIETY” was inspired by my very own journey with generalized anxiety. It’s an internal battle I’ve struggled with for years all while keeping it hidden from 98% of those who know me. But man, it’s been a battle and I’m grateful to say that I’ve learned to manage it without ever taking any sort of medication. One of the reasons I never shared my struggles was because I felt like no one could understand or relate. At one point, I just felt like my days were limited and my desperate want for it to go away just made it so much worse. Back in 2011, it was so bad that it was literally from the second I woke up to the moment I fell asleep. I would limit my words because it would use up too much energy I couldn’t waste. On some drives home I had to park my car because I swore at any second I was going to take my last breath. Even then, I still never missed a practice or changed up my life routines due to my anxiety. It was rough. My life changed when I learned to embrace my anxiety rather than fight it. With the skillsets I’ve developed in filmmaking, the help of the best crew I could dream of working with, and my wife, I can finally share a visual representation of what I’ve felt on my worst days. Thank you Karen for taking on such an emotionally demanding role. She really threw herself into my shoes. She’s supported me at my lowest and has practically done a 7 year character study for this short. There are those out there that you would never guess had any sort of mental health issues but internally they are fighting the big fight of their lives. This short film represents those out there. Power to all of you that are going through the anxiety journey. I’ve been there and every now and then, I still go there.

By femalefilmfestival

The irony of this festival is that its goal is to not be around in 5 years time. To eventually not be relevant because there is zero need to have a festival geared for female talent and female stories because the stories presented in Hollywood and around the world are a balanced showcase of the human experience from both sexes. Our goal is to achieve a lot of success and then fold into oblivion simply because there is no need for this festival. This festival was created by the FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival as a simple reaction to a strong need to showcase female talent from around the world in a more profound way. When putting together the weekly festival, the administration noticed a lack of a female presence in the stories being shown at the festival. A classic example and analogy to the frustration is how the festival noticed that even the smaller roles in a screenplay were written for a man to play. There was zero reason for this in many stories. How a police officer, or a political campaign manager, for example with 3-4 lines in a screenplay was a "HE" character. Why? And these are the screenplays written by the winners! The talented one who have obtained agents and have began/beginning their careers as a writer.

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