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Georgina Riedel, writer/director, and Edy Ganem, star of Ana Maria in Novela Land

Fluency opens Ana Maria in Novela Land in select theaters on February 27th, 2015.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How did you find the right balance between entertaining the audience and provoking them emotionally as well as intellectually?

Georgina Riedel: When I write a project, it's first and foremost trying to figure out the character's journey and the story. When I write, I ask myself, "Is this funny? Is it going to make me laugh?" And then I feel like it will make other people laugh, and I find the right actors. Every one played it real. When you have an amazing cast with a funny script, at the end of the day they are playing real people---whether it's the novela actors or not. Edy Ganem: Through the journey of these characters, they both realize where their life can go and the decisions that they can make. You go through the emotions of being really excited, confused and sad.

NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of magical realism would you like in your life? What kind of film genre(s) would you like your life to be?

EG: It's hard to say for me because that's why I'm an actress---I can't make up my mind, so I want to be, like, everything. I always joke with friends about superpowers. I feel like I want to fly or be invisible. If I fly, the genre would be witches or something. But I've always been attracted to vampires, which means that the magical realism is that vampires live forever and have crazy strength. For genre, I would choose romantic comedy. They always end happy.

GR: It would be really cool if I had the skill from Like Water for Chocolate where she her emotions would transfer into whatever food she's making. So, I'd finally be able to cook and also manipulate people. I like more of a sense of control. With magical realism, there are things happening without your control. I don't like that part of magical realism---I like watching it and reading it, but I don't think I'd do well in a world where I have no control. I'd like my life's genre to be any Marvel movie. Maybe I'll be like a Black Widow character who gets to kick ass and save the world. There we go!

NYC MOVIE GURU: How challenging was to act in the style of telenovelas?

EG: I grew up watching telenovelas in Mexico. I never really judge the acting style. It was really hard to go into that novela world to play Ariana because this passionate woman is really glamorous and searching for something that she doesn't realize is her destiny. In general, though, I found it really fun. I aspire to continue to do roles that are from TV and film that, to me, seem more human and have real problems without being glamorized.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you imagine Ana Maria when she's much older?

GR: I really think she would have gotten her s&*t together. She'll probably become the next J.K. Rowling. I liked her journey that she goes through. She has to learn how to become a better person while living in the fantasy land. I don't think that she's an intentionally bad person. She'll be harnassing everything that makes her unique into something tangible. That's kind of what I hope when people of her age do when they see the movie. There are some people who have talent and should do something with it.

NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you find spirituality in your life?

EG: I grew up in a family where my mom is more into religion than my dad is. I grew up believing that there is an upper powerful being out there. When something happens to me, I say things to the higher power. When I really need something, I pray or say it to someone to put it out there. My spirituality is about knowing how I'm going to be treated and trying to respect people while going back to realizing about the good things in life. This might sound cheesy, but I hate to see people throwing trash. Every religion asks you to respect those around you, so I feel like I identify with that.

NYC MOVIE GURU: What film do you think would make a great double feature with Ana Maria in Novela Land?

GR: Bring Up Baby because there are a lot of similarities. Katharine Hepburn's character is doing all these zany things that might seem selfish, but in reality she has a heart of gold. When I think of Edy and Elizabeth Peņa, I feel like they're screwball comedians. They're up there with the greats.

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