What a way to make a splash in the world of filmmaking. Not long ago, writer-director Sarah Clift was working as a creative director in the advertising industry. In fact, her career spanned 17 years, but last summer she gave it all up to follow her true dream of being a filmmaker. She recently released her first project, a short film titled La Buena Madre (The Good Mother) and it promptly won her a handful of trophies at the Kinsale Shark Awards, an international film festival held in Ireland. Clift picked up honors for Best International New Director, Best International Short (under 5 minutes), among others, for her amusing story about a little Mexican boy who, much to the chagrin of his adoring mother, is implacably bent on having a Donald Trump piñata at his birthday party. Stymied at first, the boy’s mother hops on her moped and traverses the Mexican countryside in search of the elusive Trump piñata.
“The idea is a simple tale that focuses on things that are very important to me: the theme of strong women and making a beautiful portrait of Mexican people that has lately been downgraded, particularly in the U.S.,” Clift told Little Black Book in an interview. The timeliness of the film, in what is one of the most contentious and dramatic election cycles in recent U.S. history, is palpable and something that Clift is hoping to capitalize on by releasing it online. Provoking some thought on Trump and American electoral politics was a motivation for her. Clift said she “wanted the film to be something for people to be able to share and talk about, especially in the current political climate.”
In an interview with Hunger TV, Clift, who hails from the U.K., said she wasn’t expecting to clean up at an awards festival with her debut project. “A big challenge for my debut: filming in Spanish, directing children, handling a large crew, and everything with no prior film training,” Clift said. In fact, she said making a “successful film” wasn’t a conscious priority. “What I did think every step of the way, however, is what idea could I bring to this film now? I just constantly injected ideas into everything, tried new things and most importantly created a space for the team I was working with to have the freedom to do just that,” she said. Below, watch the entire five-and-a-half-minute film.