David, a middle aged painter and former Navy officer living in a secluded but beautiful shoreline house in the Florida Keys, breaks his willful isolation to do a portrait of a very special guest: young, edgy and openly gay Justin; but as the date takes an unexpected turn, David must do everything in his power to keep control of the situation while discovering Justin's true intentions.
Our lives changed in 2020 when the pandemic hit. We had just premiered our first film, The Last Rafter, when the world came to a halt and our hopes of an in-person round of festivals quickly faded. But this was not as important anymore. We were up against a crisis that affected us on a global scale but also on a very intimate and human level. Physical contact became dangerous and we got invaded by fear of death and loneliness, but we also got a unique opportunity to appreciate life in a different way. In this context we set out to make BORROWED, a strikingly compelling story by Jim Kierstead, beautifully crafted as a stage play. Together with producer William Fernandez, they shifted gears after Broadway shut down and entrusted us to adapt Borrowed into a film. We had managed to complete the festival run of our first film, mostly in online versions, which culminated with securing distribution on HBO Max, and Borrowed felt like the perfect project to continue our filmmaking journey, not only because it was manageable to produce during the pandemic, but because it is a story that encapsulates the cathartic, contradictory and beautiful times we are living.
This is a very personal story for Jim, championed by William and we couldn’t be more happy to embrace the beautiful challenge of making it our own. The combination of drama and tension and the underlying danger of the story was exciting for us as storytellers, shifting the narrative and growing away from the danger and into the heart of the characters as the film progresses.
Jim and William have an impressive career as producers and recently won four Tony awards for The Inheritance by Mathew Lopez, the first Latinx playwright to win a Tony for Best Play. They are committed to championing new voices and changing the landscape in theater, and this was their first venture in film. We knew that the location would determine our story, and thanks to the tireless work of producer William Fernandez we found the perfect house by the ocean at the secluded Tavernier Key in Florida. The schedule was planned to use as much natural sunlight as possible, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery and bringing an organic quality to the image, which was a very important factor to contrast with the claustrophobic nature of the story.
We went deep into the characters with Jim, unravelling their motivations and struggles and connecting with them on a human level. To bring those characters to life we couldn’t ask for better actors; seasoned Jonathan Del Arco from Star Trek and our friend, lead of our first film and many other acclaimed Cuban films, Hector Medina. Jonathan’s experience and beautiful heritage as Uruguayan-New Yorker, combined with Hector’s rawness and unpredictability, elevated the film in a very powerful way. We all connected with the material and the underlying theme of love versus loneliness. This film was an act of love from the beginning. We were very fortunate to have a small but very accomplished crew that always brought their best, from the production in Miami and New York to the postproduction in Los Angeles and receiving music from France and Havana.This combination of nationalities and cultures is very much in the fabric of the film, being a very personal, human and contained story, we hope it can connect with audiences everywhere.