For Colombian actress Martina Garcia (TV’s Narcos), it’s always a bonus when a script comes across her desk that will allow her to work with other Latinos. That’s what she got with Phobias, a horror anthology separated into five different stories centered on the theme of fear.
In Garcia’s segment of the movie, Hoplophobia, she teams up with Brazilian actress Camilla Belle (When a Stranger Calls) for her directorial debut. Also on the set was Mexican director of photography Nico Aguilar.
“It was like we were this Latino team–Colombia, Brazil and Mexico–together all the time,” Garcia told Remezcla during a recent interview. “We were really close to each other and supported each other every second.”
Hoplophobia tells the story of a former SWAT team member who is sidelined when she accidentally kills a child during a raid. Hoplophobia is the fear of firearms.
When Alma (Garcia) begins to have visions after the accidental killing, it seems like she is experiencing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, there’s something more sinister happening that Alma can’t control. Although this was Belle’s first film as a director, Garcia said they “connected so well” the moment they met.
“It was a real privilege to be directed by another woman and another actress and someone that just happens to be Latina as well,” she said. “It was the best opportunity I could’ve had.”
Garcia was also happy to land a role that was not a stereotype. Alma, she said, was written like “any other character” and not as a stock Latina. “She is this strong woman who is going through all this trauma,” she said. “She is Latina but there were no assumptions about her. I was very comfortable with that.”