Director and Screenwriter Borja Moreno’s New Feature Script “Going Home” Gains Production in Hollywood

Director and Screenwriter Borja Moreno

One can only imagine the thrill of accomplishment that award-winning Spanish director and screenwriter Borja Moreno felt when he got news that Going Home, one of the newest films he’s co-written alongside Pablo Riquelme, was green-lit for production in Hollywood by producer Cleve Jones.

“It’s a universal story about the youth, and their quest to find themselves and their place in this crazy world we are living in,” explains Borja Moreno, who also co-wrote the Best Shorts Competition Award winning film Heads Will Roll that Riquelme directed last year.

“[Going Home] is written by two youngsters themselves who have experienced the birth and rise of this Social Media revolution. So this is a film that’s going to speak volumes to the Millennial Generation.”

Producer Cleve Jones is predominantly known for his involvement in socially relevant projects that have far-reaching effects on society as a whole. An American AIDS and LGBT rights activist who co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, one of the largest and most influential advocacy organizations in the United States back in 1983, Jones is known throughout the entertainment industry for his key role in the pivotal film Milk starring two-time Oscar Award winner Sean Penn, as well as for his work as a key consultant on the GLAAD Media Award winning film When We Rise, and numerous other high profile projects.

In addition to Jones producing the project, another major highlight is the fact that two-time Oscar Award nominated director Gus Van Sant (Milk, My Own Private Idaho, Drugstore Cowboy) has been supervising the script.

(From Left to Right) Producer Cleve Jones, Borja Moreno and Pablo Riquelme

“We are all very excited with this project, and can’t wait to share more good news with you,” says Moreno.

While Going Home has undoubtedly ushered Moreno into the Hollywood spotlight, the multi-talented writer/director, who hails from Mallorca, Spain, first began making an impact on the entertainment industry when he began his career nearly a decade ago.

Moreno earned a Greenpeace Award from the Posivideo National Short Film Contest, as well as a IBAFF International Film Festival Award nomination for the film Nobody is Watching aka Nadie está mirando, one of his first projects, which he directed alongside Vicente Cerdán back in 2011. The documentary film took viewers on a journey into the impact humans and the local oil refinery have had in the Murcia region of the South-East Spanish coast, with imagery depicting a trash littered coast and an ocean filled with garbage.

He recalls, “We won a Greenpeace award for making a film that was honest in its depiction of our relationship with the environment, without any preaching, just by showing the space, and letting the environment tell its own story.”

That same year, while making the film Nobody’s Watching, Moreno also founded his first production company, Day Off Pictures, with fellow Spanish filmmaker Vicente Cerdán.

“Back then it all seemed quite an adventure, but the several projects we did, all those little commercials, music videos and short films took us on a journey around the country, and paved the way to bigger and more ambitious films.”

Since those early days, Moreno has gone on to create numerous impactful films as both the writer and director of projects including the 2015 dramatic films My First Time starring Marie Gibeault (Forever Not Maybe) and A Proper Motivation starring Paul A Rose Jr. (What Doesn’t Kill Us), the 2016 film A Dancer with Akihisa Ueno (In Full Bloom) and more.

Moreno discovered relatively early on in life that being a filmmaker was his calling. “I remember it perfectly, I was 12 and I was watching the 4 hour long making of the first ‘Lord of The Rings’ movie. I was in sheer awe with all the prosthetics, the wagons, the props, the lights,” recalls Moreno. “At that age you kinda know the difference between fantasy and reality, but with those documentaries I discovered making films was the closest thing to living in that world. And I was determined to get there.”

Director Borja Moreno and production assistant Luis García at HollyShorts Festival Screening of “A Man”

And getting there he certainly did. In 2017 Moreno earned the prestigious LAIFF September Award from the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards for Best Produced Screenplay for his film A Man, which he both wrote and directed.

The following year his film Everybody Knows earned a distribution deal with First Focus International and is currently playing on Amazon Prime USA and DirectTV.

The dramedy film, which stars Nicole Coulon (La La Land), Carol Elain Cyr (Ripper Knows Best) and IndieX Festival Award nominee Eian O’Brien (Back to the Wall), depicts the fictional story of a small-town musician who spends a decade trying to make it in Los Angeles, but ultimately returns home to his small town where he is faced with breaking the news of his failure to all of the people he knew from his past who believed he was living the dream in LA.

Still of Eian O’Brien and Nicole Coulon in “Everybody Knows”

Moreno has established himself as a powerful director and screenwriter with a unique vision and goal for the style of stories he works to bring to the screen. For Moreno, who’s directed everything from cutting-edge documentaries to heart felt coming of age stories, not to mention written and produced powerful horror films such as Heads Will Roll, filmmaking is a way of making sense of the world around him. Time and time again he has used his craft to take audiences into the lives and experiences of the characters on the screen where his stories have helped viewers to connect with their own emotions and see life through a new perspective.

He explains, “I love a good old story, and those for me are the ones that place you and the audiences in that uncomfortable spot in front of a mirror… They invite you to take a good look at yourself. Those stories that force you on a journey you’re not sure you wanted to jump into in the beginning, but when it’s finished, and those credits roll, they’ve shaped you into a completely different person. That’s what I look for in a script — growth.”

With Moreno being a lead figure behind the script, alongside Pablo Riquelme, there are definitely high hopes for the upcoming film Going Home. Moreno first began collaborating with Riquelme several years ago after moving to Los Angeles where they both studied film.

Poster for “Heads Will Roll” by Borja Moreno and Pablo Riquelme

Their first film together, Heads Will Roll, starring award-winning horror film star Tony Todd(Night of the Living Dead, Candyman) and Hollywood Blood Horror Festival Award winning actress Lia Chapman (Before Night Falls), was a resounding success; and now with Going Home well on its way into production, the powerful collaborative team are already underway with their second feature film script, Barefoot, which is currently in pre-production.

“I’ve worked with Borja three times at this point. ‘Heads Will Roll’, ‘Barefoot’ and ‘Going Home’. When we first collaborated on the script for ‘Heads Will Roll’ I realized that he had a magnificent approach to writing structure and conflict development. He’s able to find the perfect spot for every single beat that a good story needs,” explains Riquelme.

“‘Going Home’ is our biggest project together so far. He brought to the screenplay the perfect level of family drama that the plot required, making the characters deep and realistic, characters that the viewers will feel empathy for.”

Collaborators Pablo Riquelme and Borja Moreno

Moreno and Riquelme’s other upcoming feature film, Barefoot, centers on a young girl’s abduction in a national park and the investigation that ensues following her disappearance. For Moreno, who admits that he loves a good coming of age story and the thrill of a horror film, Barefoot was the perfect for him to write alongside Riquelme.

Riquelme says, “In ‘Barefoot,’ Borja was critical to flesh out the suspense and color of this abduction thriller. His endless knowledge of the moviemaking craft allows him to always find the perfect beat for the story to be told, playing with the audience’s emotions in a way that delivers the film with a punch.”

With Barefoot on deck and Going Home already moving forward in Hollywood, it’s clear that Moreno and Riquelme have found a strong collaborative partnership within one another.

Portia is a journalist & poet from Los Angeles. You can find her work through №3 Magazine, ElephantJournal.com, Gypsyrich.com, Stillstoked.com and more.

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