Ma’s work has screened and been in festivals in seven countries on four continents. She produces and directs in both English and Spanish, and in certain respects considers herself an international version of the documentarian Les Blank, best known for creating documentaries about key American singers and musicians such as Lightnin' Hopkins and Dizzie Gillespie, as well as important artists such as the Cuban santería drummer Francisco Aguabella.
Ma's passions are music, dance, and communicating across ethnic & cultural boundaries; and she tries to combine each of these elements in her work, whether documentary, narrative, or experimental. She has traveled to over 20 countries and speaks several languages. In addition, her earlier careers (history professor, lawyer, and non-profit administrator) also have a significant effect on her filmmaking.
Antonio de la Malena has worked with me on most of my productions in Spain. This was the start of that collaboration, when he took a less prominent role than he did later, as he acquired more experience. Having produced and co-produced many flamenco stage productions, he was a great help as line producer. It's a kind of work with which he is very familiar. He is also full of good ideas about staging.
De la Malena is, in his principal career, a flamenco singer (cantaor). As can be seen in looking at the page The Music, he also is one of the singers in this video and acted as Music Director. A native of Jerez, he was also able to supply us with the talent for our supporting actress - in short, an invaluable member of the team.
Adela Olmos, star of Two Streets & Adela, is in fact a flamenco costume designer and dress maker. This dramatic short is not, however, biographical - as Adela frequently pointed out during the filming process. But her career and her apartment (where she kindly allowed us to film) ensured that details about the life of an independent costume designer and about the setting would be authentic.
In addition, at the climax of the film, her character was required to dance a touch of flamenco, appropriate enough since we filmed in Jerez de la Frontera, known as part of the "cradle of flamenco." It was, then, a great asset that Adela could dance a little of the flamenco party dance called bulerias!
A scientist (marine biologist) as well as an actres, Pila Yamuza worked as a stage actress with a theater group in Jerez de la Frontera called Teatro de la Plaza Quema. She emotes beautifully, important in this film since the actual dialogue is brief and a lot of emotion is packed into it. I am sorry to report that not long after our shooting of this film, her duties as a marine biologist led her to temporarily abandon her acting. Hopefully, she will be able to return to it in the future.
Pepe Montilla Blanco was born and raised in Jerez de la Frontera, and has lived there his entire life. Since we were filming in Jerez, he seemed an obvious choice to represent...to represent...well, what he represents. Besides, he's a very good sport, so when I told him what I wanted him to do for me, he did it all without complaints.
In the final analysis, of course, we don't really know why the flower left him.