La Ráfaga (The Gust)

Director: Edgar García

2020 | Puerto Rico | 30m | Spanish

A lonely middle-aged man finds himself obsessing over his squatter neighbor, a young closeted and tormented athlete who insistently pursues his attention.

Starring: Hector Enrique Rodriguez, Edgar García, Jafet Ortiz, Jaffette Rolón, Guillermo Martinez

Playing in shorts program: Now That I’ve Found You

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Edgar García

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Edgar is a UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television alumni. Edgar has worked with several theater companies across the USA. He has written and directed a couple of television series in PR, premiered several Spanish language versions of well-known theater pieces and most recently directed the awaited revival of the classic Latin American musical La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja, as well as the first bilingual version of Lisa Loomer’s Living Out (Casa Ajena). As a writer, in 2016 Edgar received the IBEREX, a Spain Education and Culture Ministry Grant to become part of the Einstein created Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid and worked with IBERMEDIA to develop a full-length script (Lovely) about political corruption and human trafficking in the Caribbean. Edgar’s short film “La Ráfaga (The Gust)” has been presented in all the continents around the world and has won several awards, including best international short.

Director's Statement

My intention as an artist is to pursue work that depicts subtlety, diversity, and richness of characters through intimate, layered explorations. I am seeking to find a voice that steps away from the “preciosismo” (pristine image) that could be expected from Puerto Rico. Through collaboration, I hope to become a storyteller that reveals microcosms that incite to look beyond the quotidian. I am especially interested in bringing to the forefront stories related to my LGBTQ and Latino experience.

The Gust has been a particular struggle to make. When some crew members and volunteers found it was a queer story, they resigned without wanting to explain. I knew the island is facing a renewed conservative wave, but I did not realize to what extent. The women producers from La Malicia Films (Colombia-Miami) came in to set things off and we found incredible replacements that made all the difference. More than a no-budget film about a torn paradise, broken people after hurricane María or closeted athletes; La Ráfaga (The Gust) has turned into a testament about not giving-up to silencing.

This small movie is also about growing up at 50. I was a bit saturated by the gay teenage coming of age stories and wanted to write something about growing up when you are supposed to already have done all your learning. We are always “growing up”. Adrian is in his absolute most vulnerable moment and in an even more forced fragility after a huge natural disaster. What if he chose to have sex with this gorgeous guy who practically offers himself? He would probably bring more anguish to his life. Rafa is an unstable young athlete, with huge issues to resolve and stuck in a mindset that Adrian left ages ago; a queer world that is still full of anguish to this day, as shown by the displaced “others” (elles) that come looking for Rafa. Maybe in a newer world, we need to learn to offer other kinds of intimacy and be OK with that, from the get-go.

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