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Press Conference, Mexico City
October 21, 2000

At the occasion of the shooting of the film 'In The Time Of The Butterflies', which is carried out on locations like Mexico City, Veracruz and Morelos, the distributors of the film as well as the director and the producers talked about the details of this new coproduction between the United States, Canada and Mexico that will be aired on the Pay TV channel Showtime in 2001.

The film is directed by the Spanish Mariano Barroso and is the result of the participation of Mariposas Productions, Ltd., Amaranta Productions, Showtime, MGM, Phoenix Pictures, Barnstorm Films and Ventanarosa Productions. The shooting will last about six weeks.

Based on the novel of the same name by the Dominican writer, living in the United States, Julia Alvarez, In The Time Of The Butterflies narrates the story of the four Mirabal sisters, founders of the movement "14 of June", who lived during the dictatorship onf Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. Dede Mirabal, the survivor, recalls their story. A case of dictatorship in Latin America, a history of freedom and love in which these women obtained that one of most brutal regimes fell. Played by Salma Hayek (Minerva Mirabal), Edward James Olmos (the dictator Trujillo), Mia Maestro (Mate Mirabal), Demiàn Bichir (Manolo Tabares), Pilar Padilla (Dede Mirabal), and Lumi Cavazos (Patria Mirabal), this film also includes the participation of the actors Ana Martín, Pedro Armendáriz and Marc Anthony. The script was in charge of David Klass, Judy Klass, Jenny Wingfield and Rodrigo García. The cinematography is done by Xavier Perez Grobet and the executive production by Helen Bartlett, Tony Bill, Mike Medavoy and Salma Hayek.

How did you find the cast and how did you prepare the filming?

Mariano: "It took like 5 years of preparation, and like 1 year since Salma has entered the project. People like Helen Bartlett have been working on it for years. Because of the similarities between the Dominican Republic and Veracruz, I suggested to film it in Mexico."

Salma Hayek: "I came with the intention to support my state and they surprised me with the fact that there are already 20 films being shot there. It took us time to find a hotel."

What contact have you had with the writer?

Salma: "We have always had contact with the writer and Dede (the only survivor of the Mirabal sisters), and she has given us advice regarding the script during these years and when we showed her the final version she was very contented."

Why not do it in Spanish, with a Mexican cast and setting?

Mariano Barroso: "There are two forms to see the things, one is to look for the problems and the other to look for the advantages. I believe that it does not matter if it is filmed in English, Spanish or Arameo, although English is certainly not our language, it is the language of the cinema. That is to look for the problem in it, when in fact it is a luxury that history can be seen around the world."

Salma: "The original interest came from Americans, they bought the rights of the novel and Helen (the producer) obtained the deal with Showtime. Later they showed the project to me and they asked to me if I was interested. We know these types of history in Latin America and it seems important to me that others get to know them to find out that we Latin women are brave and we have anger." With your projects 'No one writes to the colonel', 'Frida' and this one you have created a certain vision of Latin America?

Salma: "I would like to discover many ways to always do it like this. I try to still stay in contact with my roots."

Will they movie be shown on the big screen?

Salma: "If the possibility occurs, yes."

What kind of power do you have on American producers, Salma? Are they attracted by your sex appeal or your talent?

Salma: "I believe that I have talent to be assigned to roles, but not more talent than other actors of our cast."

The Press

"Quiero reestructurar mi carrera como actriz y además, ustedes tal vez no lo sienten, porque lo ven desde fuera, pero llevo cinco años de trabajar sin parar y necesito tiempo para dedicarme a mí como mujer". "Si vengo a visitar a mi familia, si vengo a ver a mis amigos, si vengo a un evento en el que soy invitada especial, que es una fiesta, no quiero hablar con 200 medios de comunciación, es que son muchos, han crecido. Pero cuando tenga un pryecto, con mucho gusto hablo con ustedes".

"I want to restructure my career as an actress and also, you may not notice it, because you just see it from the outside, but I have been working non stop for 5 years now and I need to dedicate some time for myself as a woman." "If I come to visit my family, if I come to see my friends, if I come to an event where I am a special guest, which is a party, I don't want to speak to 200 different media, because you're a lot, you've grown. But if I've got a project, I'll certainly speak to you."

"Y otra cosa, también dijeron que mis guaruras habían golpeado a los periodistas, siendo que yo estaba en Los Angeles, están inventando estos chismes.... ¡mentirosos!"

"And another thing, you also said that my bodyguards had beaten up the reporters, given the fact that I was in Los Angeles at the time, you're just inventing those rumors... liars!

"Las fotos en un yate.... le estás creyendo a una revista que se llama Star, que es la revista número uno de amarillismo en el mundo. Y no te voy a tratar de convencer, decide lo que ves o lo que te cuentan". "Cuando yo vivía aquí, no había programas especializados en el chisme, era otra prensa en México, los periódicos cuando hablaban del espectáculo eran informativos, no eran sensacionalistas".

"The pictures in a yacht...... you're believing a magazine called Star, which is the number one yellow press magazine in the world. And I'm not going to try to convince you, decide what you see or what is told to you." "When I lived here, there weren't TV programs specialized in gossip. It was a different kind of press in Mexico. The newspapers, when talking about showbiz, were informative, not sensationalist."

"Estamos trabajando muy duro para poder tratar de introducir cada vez más proyectos latinos al cine y la televisión de Estados Unidos, me ha costado mucho trabajo, nunca me imaginé que fuera tan difícil".

"We're working really hard to try to introduce even more latin projects to movies and television in the United States. It has cost me a lot of work, I never imagined how difficult it would be".

"La gente habla del boom latino y yo me enfrento a las compañias de televisión y a los productores y eso es muy difícil, pero gracias a Dios lo estamos logrando poco a poco".

"People talk about the latin boom and I face the television companies and the producers and that is very hard, but thank God we're achieving it little by little."

"He creado mis propios proyectos en vez de quejarme de que sólo me ofrecen papeles malos. Trabajo como un burro, trabajo sábados, domingos, desde muy temprano y trabajo mucho, mis padres me dijeron que no hay crisis que durara 16 horas de trabajo continuo y con ganas".

"I've created my own projects instead of complaining about only getting offered bad roles. I work like a donkey, I work on Saturdays, on Sundays, from early in the day, and I work a lot. My parents told me that there is no crisis that lasts 16 hours of continous work and motivated."

Translated by Morris.