We had the good fortune of connecting with Rubén Navarro and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rubén, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think risk is the beginning of something new. Without that risk and everything that comes with it such as fear or doubts, there’s no opportunity of growing. For me I took a huge risk leaving my home country Spain to move to Los Angeles, I had never visited the USA, barely spoke English and I took a leap of faith to follow my dreams and the new experiences and adventures that were ahead of me. It was very scary but taking the risk of putting myself outside my comfort zone has taught me so much, my life is never the same after that, I have grown as a person and professionally; the risk, fear and the unknown became allies to grow, learn and have the adventure of my life.

Although the fear doesn’t completely go away I love taking risks, I just tell myself to focus on the growth that is on the other side and I never regret it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

As a writer/director I have three short films in the festival circuit right now. “Of Hearts and Castles”, “Masaru”, and “i am” are winning film festivals around the world and getting selected at Oscar qualifying film festivals such as Palm Springs Shortfest, Edmonton Film Festival or Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival. At the moment I’m finishing writing a feature film called “Me, After You” and I am also developing the feature length of the short film “Of Hearts and Castles”.  As I track the festivals and develop these stories, I also work as an editor for tv and films, I have a couple of films coming out next year. As you can see all these keep me quite busy, but the truth is that I have an urge to tell stories, it’s what I enjoy the most and I keep creating and collaborating with other filmmakers as much as I can.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

I have an urge to tell stories, it’s what I enjoy the most. My art is an expression of those stories that are in me. I think it’s very important to be humble while creating stories, they are universal and there are millions of them, I’m aware that that’s so much bigger than me, but I want to put my print in those stories that are closer to my heart. I have people reaching out to me thanking me for creating films with such real characters and emotions; to me that’s what makes me happy. If only one person feels something or is touched by a film of mine, I have already succeeded; all the hard work is worth it in the end.
To get to where I am now I have written and done many short films and projects. My work as an editor has helped me tremendously to develop my storytelling skills. Collaboration with other filmmakers and learning from each experience is what has shaped me as a filmmaker, and keeps doing so.

To be honest it has been both easy and hard at once. Easy because it’s what I wanted to do and hard because there are so many burdens and walls to go through, not only from the exterior but also within ourselves. I think it’s important to reach a healthy inner emotional journey with yourself. To be an artist is full of self-doubt, rejection and hard work, and to me the hardest has been to find a balance in between those and being nice to myself. I have noticed that many artists have that same journey. To overcome that I keep working not only in my art but in myself, we are as important as the stories we create, and sometimes we forget that.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When I have friends visiting I always try to make them feel like they are part of the city and do things that only locals do. Besides a little stop to the typical tourist spots like Santa Monica, Venice or Hollywood; I would go for a walk in DTLA and the Art District. Maybe we can grab a drink or have brunch at PerchLA where they can also enjoy a nice view of Downtown or have lunch at Grand Central Market.

One of my favorite spots is Griffith Park, but I wouldn’t just go to the observatory, I would take them for a hike all the way up and see the breathtaking views of the city, after that hike a stop at Alcove for food is a must. For dinner time I really enjoy Salazar or Bacari in Silverlake. I’m a big ice-cream fan, and a hazelnut ice-cream at Gelato Pazzo is always a great way to finish one summer night. I would also check out the concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and take them there.

We can also enjoy of a beach day in Malibu or a day trip to Santa Barbara or San Diego.

I personally like Larchmont Village, it’s nice, cozy and walkable and we can stop for a coffee at Bricks and Scones. Another great day could be to go to Melrose Ave and check all the stores and finish in West Hollywood for dinner. I also really enjoy the LACMA museum court and the Urban Lights at night.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people have contributed to my growth. I can’t start this list without thanking my parents. They have been a big support from the beginning, they encouraged me to follow my heart to do what I love the most. It’s hard to name everyone, but I thank every person who gave me a job and an opportunity to show my talent, because they saw something in me and I appreciate that. Film Independent has also given me an opportunity to create community and meet wonderful fellow filmmakers who I collaborate with. My friends are my rock, they are the ones that encourage me to keep going and the ones who listen to me when the journey feels bumpy and uphill, they make it feel easier for me. I’d also like to thank imagination and creativity, because they are the ones that make me dream big, without them I would have never created the stories and films I’m passionate about or even the life that I have in Los Angeles.

Website: www.ruben-navarro.com

Instagram: @rubenss82

Image Credits
Profile picture is by Charles W Murphy (I have full permission from him to use this picture)

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