Local Author Competes in Oaxaca FilmFest
Photo courtesy of DAVID TALON
When it comes to adapting a book into a screenplay, author David Talon explains, “it is like turning your novel into an epic poem in which every word has to count.” For David, author of The Last King of the Maya, a modern fantasy set in Chiapas, Mexico, this is a task that involves sometimes beginning in the middle of a scene and using dialogue as subtext.
This year, David Talon earned his way as a finalist in the Oaxaca FilmFest in Mexico, November 8-17. Since its inception in 2010, the film festival has seen 35,000 attendees and, with 25 venues, 300 screenings, and 10 days of activities, this year’s event is sure to attract an even bigger audience. The FilmFest has received about 2,000 submissions from 77 different countries. David’s selection as a finalist in this highly-competitive endeavor is a great honor and Western North Carolina is rooting for this talented member of our community. The final results will be determined during the competition.
The novel The Last King is predominantly narrated through the eyes of one of its characters, Juan, who is a descendent of a Maya king master and must stand against the Maya god of death who threatens to return to his world. However, the screenplay spotlight Juan’s love interest and Irish archeology student Kat O’Riley, which helps to explain the environment’s culture to those who are unfamiliar. “I describe The Last King as an ‘Indiana Jones meets Mexican soap opera,” explains the writer. “I keep enough [from the novel] to give a more realistic view of Mexico, which was very important to me.”
Forty-one other finalists are competing in this screenwriting competition. Regardless of the results of this competition, David will have already succeeded. His involvement in the Oaxaca FilmFest has meant a memorable traveling trip to Mexico as well as ability to meet other talented writers from around the globe. An exciting part of the festival only open to these screenwriter competition finalists is a class based on how to pitch a screenplay to film producers followed by a teleconference with those producers.
We congratulate David on his successful screenplay adaptation and for representing Western North Carolina arts at the Oaxaca FilmFest in Mexico this month!
For more information on the film festival, visit online at oaxacafilmfest.com. To learn more about author David Talon, visit online at davidtalon.net.