At 30 years old, Alfredo Andreu from Zaragoza could continue to progress professionally in the pharmaceutical company where he remained until 2019 after having studied this specialty at the University of Navarra. But the drive to tell stories is so irrepressible and his artistic vocation so incorruptible that the pulse has been won by the highly unstable and unpredictable world of art. His desire to express himself led him to shoot the short film ‘My Neighbor Yuan’ last weekend as director and to present this Thursday, January 19, at the FNAC in the Aragonese capital, his first novel, ‘Paper Swan’ (See Editors).
“Leaving work was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I think the right decision becomes obvious when you have the information you need. The hard part was getting over the embarrassment of telling my friends, family and co-workers that I was leaving to dedicate myself to something with which I knew it would take me years to earn a living. And if I do manage to achieve it, which is not guaranteed at all. But I quickly put an end to my doubts. I said to myself, ‘When I’m on my deathbed, what would I have been most proud of?’ It was the sword that cuts the Gordian knot,” he reveals.
His passion for movies germinated as a child, in the solitary pleasure of watching the VHS tapes that were within his reach at home. “That’s how I started watching movies. But my vocation for telling stories has been very gradual. I didn’t get out of bed one day and say ‘I want to be a director’. I realized that this figure existed in the ESO room. Specifically I was looking for a chemistry book in the library when I came across Frank Capra’s autobiography by chance. I had a big connection with that book. More than with chemistry,” he recalls.
During his university days in Pamplona, he juggled to find gaps in his very busy schedule of the Pharmacy and Nutrition degree to attend acting classes (“It was the easiest way I found to stay connected with that fascination that movies produced in me” ). Later, in 2021, he had the pleasure of studying film in Los Angeles, the mecca of the seventh art. “In Los Angeles I gained confidence because it allowed me to shoot a lot, which is what I needed and wanted. It is the most stimulating place I have known for those who want to dedicate themselves to the cinema. That experience made me break down many mental barriers because in Spain making a living from making films is not considered a ‘real job’. There, on the other hand, the audiovisual industry is one of the three sectors that contributes the most to the country’s and California’s GDP,” he reasons.
Knowing that the road is going to be hard and not free of obstacles, he embraces the only possible recipe: work and perseverance. He has just shot his fourth short film in Zaragoza, ‘My neighbor Yuan’. “It’s been a grueling effort and it’s been worth every second of the fight to pull it off. I wanted to tell a story of prejudice and hatred of the neighbor, and how there are experiences in life that are capable of turning what you’ve heard about someone upside down, and how to grow is to realize that what unites us is greater what sets us apart,” he shares.
On the horizon he glimpses his most desired dream: directing a feature film. “Everything is aimed at that. What happens is that for someone to trust you and support your story, you must first learn the trade and make yourself worthy of an investment. If there is health, I will do my best to manage to direct a film. There are voices that always try to dissuade you because “directing is not a real job” and “only two or three of them make a living out of it. Cinema is a long-distance race. It’s like a mantra that every person who is in This is repeated in this country. What I try by all means is to keep this career alive without breaking down along the way”, reflect.
At the same time, Andreu feeds another sacred fire, the literary one. Another creative process that will take shape this Thursday with the baptism of the novel ‘Cisne de papel’ at FNAC (7:00 p.m.), with Encarna Samitier as godmother. “I wanted to give an outlet to a story that had been in my head for a long time. My initial idea was to write a script with it, but that was going to stay in a drawer for a while. So I wrote a novel, which is already a finished product in itself. In addition, I considered that the literary medium matched well with this story, because I wanted to get deep into the inner world of the protagonist, who is an actress, and pour into it what I had lived through both direct experience and what I had observed in other friends. actors”, he summarizes.
An experience with which he has delighted and in which he will persist. “Literature is a wonderful toy, as Rosa Montero says. For me the vocation is camera and script, but if that could not be, literature will always be there “, she concludes.