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Progressive Mexican director Alma Jimenez Ochomogo
Hailing from Toluca, Mexico, a bustling city an hour outside of the country's major cultural hub Mexico City, director Alma Jimenez Ochomogo has made an impressive mark on the US film industry and abroad with her progressive work.

Bringing powerful stories to the screen that often bare a cultural and social impact, Jimenez Ochomogo has become known for her work as the writer and director behind the films "The Play," "Monster" and "The Player"; as well as the film "The Pair," which was directed by Jimenez Ochomogo and written by Alci Rengifo ("Valerie"). 

Jimenez Ochomoga says, "I don't think there is any filmmaker that doesn't want to have an effect on people. For some reason I'm attracted to characters that seem to be at the edge of society. I think one of the reasons is, of course curiosity, but because I feel the need to show them, to make them visible so people can empathise with them."

In 2016, Jimenez Ochomogo made a huge mark with the dramatic narrative film "The Play," which follows Kim, a transgender actress who lands her first role as a woman. Starring Aean McMullin as Kim, "The Play" depicts the struggles the actress faces after transitioning from a man to a woman, and the difficulties of bringing her female character to life on stage in her new body.

The film, which was written, directed and produced by Jimenez Ochomogo, also stars Ted Heyck from the film "The Evil Game," and the series "Criminal Minds," and Edwin Dyer from the upcoming film "Bakersfield".

Jimenez Ochomogo explains, "My inspiration for the story came four years ago, when I saw a documentary named Candy Darling, about an American transgender actress, best known as a [Andy] Warhol Superstar. I fell in love with the character and her obsession with the Hollywood stars of the 50s."

An emotionally touching and beautifully shot film, "The Play" earned Jimenez Ochomogo extensive attention in 2017 after being chosen as an OFFICIAL SELECTION of the UK's Transforming Cinema Film Festival where it was nominated for the Best Screenplay Award, the Los Angeles Women's Only Film Festival, Los Angeles CineFest, where it was a Semi-Finalist, and the Hastings Film Fringe Festival, where it is slated to screen next month.

"The Play" was also chosen as an OFFICIAL SELECTION of the Digital Box Office Competition earlier this year created by DBO, a global streaming provider for movies, TV series and original content, which gave the film a coveted place as part of the inaugural DBO launch and has made it available for viewers to stream on the company's website.

Prior to moving to the US to attend the prestigious film extension program at UCLA several years ago, Jimenez Ochomogo's vision and skill as a director was singled out and recognised back home in Mexico when she was awarded the $10,000 Audiovisual Production Scholarship from Mexico's National Fund for Culture and the Arts, a scholarship that thousands of filmmakers apply for, but is only granted to a small selection of the country's best. In 2014 she was recognized by her country once again for her extraordinary talent, this time earning the Audiovisual Production Grant awarded by the Bank of Mexico.

While Jimenez Ochomogo has proven her ability as a strong storyteller within the medium of film, she is also an innovative force in the industry who continues to seek out ways to create cutting edge developments in the industry. One such area where she's managed to effectively make a mark came earlier this year when she combined technology, social media and film in the project LA LIVfe.

A live cinema project that uses Facebook Live, LIVfe launched in February, putting out a new film every week for that month, which was broadcast live on the platform to viewers across the globe.

Jimenez Ochomogo says, "My most challenging project has been LA LIVfE because of its nature. We recorded and broadcasted each story live so it required a level of synchronization. The cast and crew had to be coordinated because we only had one chance once we went live."

Through LIVfe Jimenez Ochomogo, who also served as the producer of the project, and with the help of directors Sona Mkrtumyan and Chrissy Harding, brought the films "You Have to Turn it Off," "Lost in LA" and "The Pair" live to viewers using Switcher Studio to film the projects. Of the three films, she was also the director of the film "The Pair," which tells the love story of an Israeli and Palestinian who meet in a bar in Los Angeles, CA.

"We rehearsed for hours, but we only broadcasted live one take so the project was in many ways a make it or break it type of project," explains Jimenez Ochomogo.

With each film garnering thousands of viewers through the Facebook Live platform, Jimenez Ochomogo's project LIVfe proved to be a successful storytelling innovation. Up next for the Mexican director is the feature film "Staying in Vegas," which is a modern take on the story of Romeo and Juliet. The project is slated to begin filming in Las Vegas, NV next year.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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