Joaquín Güiraldes

The Aficionado

The son of an architect, Joaquín was born in Argentina and lived there until the age of twelve, when he moved to the US. Ages twelve to eighteen—the formative years—were spent binge watching VH1 documentaries, salivating over IMDB, and riding his bike to the library, where he would spend entire summers, day after day, checking out films he was too young to understand. Then, to make things even more interesting, he returned to Argentina for film school, adding to his already self-described weird perspective “because in Argentina college is public and public education in Argentina is very much sort of left wing. So they opened my eyes to a lot of very different film traditions,” he explains.

After graduating from the University of Buenos Aires with a degree in Image and Sound, he found his medium for storytelling through editing at Argentina’s renowned Argentinacine. He then entered the agency world, where he resided for five years, garnering much recognition at David before deciding to direct. His experience on the editing side and the agency side influences his process. “When I approach a project, I try to remember everything that I learned from that time at the agency, and my big aim is that I’m very clear in what I want to do and I say it in a way that everybody understands it, and I think it aligns with what everybody’s trying to do, but I also try to sneak in some fun stuff for myself.”

An admitted control freak with an incessantly curious mind, Joaquín credits his father for his film career and his obsession with buildings. He’s also a notorious, often obsessive planner, and respects the upfront time as much as the production itself. “My dad used to say ‘If you want to cut down a tree in two hours, you better spend one hour sharpening the blade,” and sharpen his blade he does.

In his methodical, maybe even slightly maniacal process, Joaquín channels that. He refers to his as a classic storytelling style and considers himself some sort of old-school storytelling nerd who really likes to it break down. “I need to tell this story. There’s a person going from A to B. What shots do I need? What part of this is important? That’s my approach to everything,” he says. Since there is no film these days, “people just shoot a lot and then they get to the editing room and find how to put it together, and I’m like the opposite of that,” he continues. “I want to know exactly what I’m gonna say, what I’m gonna do, how I’m gonna tell it, what shots I need, break it down. And then I shoot it. And then I go to the editing room and I know what I have. I know what I want and what shots go where.”

“I’m interested in everything, which kind of drives me insane sometimes because maybe I lack focus, and then it’s fun because you’re mixing stuff—you’re mixing languages, and you’re mixing problems, and you’re mixing ideologies, and you’re mixing art forms.”

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