Piloting vs. Filmmaking: a decision that has changed the whole life

Chilean director, Giordano Valenzuela Murua, was a commercial pilot in Santiago for a long time. One day has changed all his life. Now he makes short films in Prague and prepares for a long-term feature series.

Airport. Plane. Takeoff. The sun hidden by clouds. Landing. New life.

William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet, once said: “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” Since Giordano Valenzuela Murua’s senses grew sharper, he made his most important decision. And the world showed him its magic.  

“I have always believed that imagination is one of the main things in the world,” says the 27 years old Chilean film director who lives in Prague. “From early childhood I was interested in films, memorizing all the scripts and actors’ dialogues. However, something made me change my passion to something more serious and reliable. It was a good experience, but I am happy I got such decision, and my family supported me that moment.”

Murua was a commercial pilot in Santiago, soaring above the clouds and risking his life every day. Nevertheless, one day he woke up with the idea of doing something different. Feeling mistaken and scared of the profession he had chosen for the rest of his life, he decided to study filmmaking.

“I loved to fly, to realize that time and distance can be immeasurable, to see the world in a way many people do not see,” says wistfully Giordano, looking somewhere into the distance with his brown, full of enthusiasm eyes. “But every landing was a risk. I realized that piloting made me scared; I forgot all the things that made me alive. I followed my heart and my dreams, and I am a filmmaker now.”

Felipe, one of Giordano’s childhood friends, says, “I have known this guy for centuries; I feel I know him for my whole life. Even if he is living abroad now, we are very close. I always came to Giordano’s home to watch some films with him and his family. It was like tradition. And while we were watching, I felt it was his passion. I mean, for many people these two hours of a film mean just a relaxing pastime; for him this scenario play means the whole world.”

After he graduated from the university in Santiago, Murua moved to Prague in 2016. He took a one year course at Prague Film School to improve his practical skills. During this year he was focusing on making his own short films. For 12 months he made three projects for the Czech festivals, figured in his friends’ films as a director and actor, and graduated from the Film School.

“One of my short films “Insomnia” (2016) is completely without dialogues,” he says. “It tells a story about a man who does not sleep; he just cannot close his eyes to rest. A shadow hunts him. One day the protagonist gets up to face his follower. However, he realizes that his shadow is just himself.”

It was Murua’s first experience in filmmaking, but he was already dealing with serious themes. “The point of my film is to show people that all their problems are just in their minds; they need to face challenges bravely and fight against fears,” he says.

The director spent last summer in Chile, working on creative projects with his friends. For almost three months he had been enjoying Latino-American culture to find inspiration for the next stage of professional life.

Now Murua is working for the Prague galleries, improving visual art technologies; he is creating the glasses able to make people believe they are transported to the past while they stay in the same room. He believes that in the future people will be able to put the glasses on and travel to the past, so it is very important to progress in virtual reality. “I would like to make a project that mixes film with virtual reality in order to give the experiences to the audience of traveling in time,” he says.

The director has started working on a serious proposal; he is writing a script for his feature series now. “A successful film is all about its story,” tells Murua. “It has to hook the audience. Of course, everything depends on the director, how deep he shows his idea, sounds, colors, and his imagination. As for me, I believe, I can get such a story when all the pieces of the story are a part of my soul, when this is my passion,” adds Giordano.

However, that is a long-term project, and for now Murua has other plans. “First of all, I want to create the first episode of a fiction series about Franc Kafka,” he tells. “I have always been interested in his life. Now that I am in Prague, so this subject seems more valuable for me. I want to make a connection between his life and literary works,” shares Murua. “Secondly, I want to direct my first feature film before my ’30s.”

Murua was brave enough to reject routine for his dream. People must seek their reveries to live a saturated life. As the director says, “Dreams come true. You just need a little bit zeal, and everything will work out.” Flying in the clouds of his dreams, Murua draws inspiration and creates art. One decision. Lots of difficulties. Reached dream. Exciting life. Formula of happiness is simple: do not be afraid of changes.

Photo by Angelina Nikonova.