'Inside the Director's Cut' features filmmaker Alberto Triana on March 30 at the Millennium Fandom Bar
Alberto Triana has been a mainstay of the Las Vegas film scene for years, working in just about every behind-the-camera position on a wide range of projects. “It taught me a lot about how I want to tell my stories, working with so many different people,” he says. “It’s an eye-opening thing.” On March 30 at the Millennium Fandom Bar, the spotlight will be on Triana’s own artistic visions, in the latest installment of the “Inside the Director’s Cut” series. Triana will present three short films that he wrote and directed, along with a post-screening Q&A session.
The films demonstrate Triana’s artistic range, from the sensitive, personal drama of “Novenario” to the historical martial-arts action of “Onion Soup” to the sci-fi horror of “The Hunted.” They’re all passion projects, which is pretty much a given at this level of filmmaking. “Sometimes I just want to be entertained, but sometimes I want to see something really thought-provoking and emotionally driven,” Triana says of his choice in material, and these films often accomplish both of those goals.
“Novenario” is the most personal, a story inspired by the death of Triana’s grandmother. It stars Amanda Guardado as a woman dealing with the loss of her grandfather, and coming to terms with her feelings of disconnection to her heritage. Like Triana, the character is the child of immigrants, but grew up without learning to speak Spanish. “That’s where ‘Novenario’ came from, was this search of identity within your own family and your own race and culture,” he says.
“Onion Soup” also deals with themes of immigration and race. It’s a fan film inspired by the Cinemax/HBO Max series “Warrior,” which is set among the Chinese immigrant community in 1870s San Francisco. Based on a concept initially created by Bruce Lee,“Warrior” combines martial-arts action with thoughtful social commentary, something Triana aimed to do in “Onion Soup” as well. “One of my favorite things about the show is how empowering it was for the Asian-American community to watch that, and to see the history behind it,” he says. “If we’re going to do this project, I don’t want it to just be a bunch of fight scenes. I want there to be a heart to it.”
“The Hunted” is also a fan film, featuring characters from “The Last of Us” video game series, which is set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. It’s focused almost entirely on suspense and action, with a concept developed by star Jackie Gerhardy. “We definitely wanted a more action-oriented [story], and the idea of the hunter becoming the hunted,” Triana explains. “She’s out to get these guys, but every moment you step out that door, you have no idea what’s out there or what’s waiting for you. We throw everything at her.”
“There is no real commercial venue for these projects,” Triana says of his fan films. “They are done strictly out of admiration and love of the properties.” Viewers can see that love onscreen at Millennium Fandom, along with the more individual, heartfelt love displayed in “Novenario.” Triana completed all three projects in a stretch of a few months last year, and after several film festival showings, he sees this event as a culmination of all his efforts: “This is nice to put those films out there and let them go.”
Inside the Director’s Cut: Alberto Triana. March 30, 7 p.m., free. Millennium Fandom Bar, 900 LasVegas Blvd. S.