Private Project

Always On My Mind

Willful-ignorance or selective vision, blind spots as large as the earth itself, astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, has words for it: Man is the most insane species; he worships an invisible god and destroys a visible nature, unaware that this nature he is destroying, is the God he is worshiping.
This is what motivated me to make this short documentary

  • Maria Cristina Carbonell
    Always On My Mind
  • Maria Cristina Carbonell
    Always On My Mind
  • Maria Cristina Carbonell
    Always On My Mind
  • Karl Allen
    Key Cast
    "As himself"
  • Maria Cristina Carbonell
    Key Cast
    "The Mermaid"
  • Bren Smith
    Key Cast
    "As himself, Director of GreenWave"
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Nature, historical, Animation, Critical Analysis
  • Runtime:
    34 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 21, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Sony XDCAM / GoPro 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Maria Cristina Carbonell

Brief Biography
María Cristina Carbonell — Venezuelan, born in Puerto Rico, 1964 — is a versatile artist who expresses herself freely through drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and video/film.

Carbonell studied drawing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1982–1984) and at The Art Students League of New York (1985–1987). She obtained a BA in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), in New York (1987).

Between 1991 and 1997, she spent long periods in the Venezuelan Amazon rainforest, where she made short films and photographs, and in Italy, where she learned to sculpt in marble.

Since 1989, Carbonell has exhibited in museums and galleries in Caracas, Barcelona, São Paulo, Madrid, México DF, London, New York, Miami, Taipei, and Basel.

She has lived and worked in Miami since 2010.

Video Screening & Film Festivals
2019 - Heaven Can Wait, Documentary, Orig. HD 20'25"
Award winner, Best Short Documentary, May 2019 Indie Short Fest, Los Angeles International Film Festival
Official Selection Georgia Documentary Film Festival, Atlanta
Semi - Finalist BEST SHORT FEST, Ontario,Canada
2011 – Close Up, International Video Festival 1a Edición, Puerto Vallarta, México
2009 – Visionarios: Video y Cine Experimental Latinoamericano, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
2008 – Visionarios: Audiovisual Na America Latina, Instituto Itau Cultural, Sao Paulo
2010 – Hip & Cool, II Picnic Festival, Marcelino Botín Foundation, Santander, Spain
2010 –International Film Festival Cine a Contracorriente: Latinoamérica y España, Xcèntric, Barcelona, Spain
2006 – Close Up, 2a Edición, Centro de Arte Casa Vecina, México D.F.
2006 – Selected Artist for Diva Container, with the video The Art of Dealing, Diva Video and Art Festival, New York

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

One of my life’s greatest concerns is remembering that reality is not an absolute truth. Art helps me do this. In my artwork, I explore contradictions — spirituality vs facts, weight vs lightness, reality vs fiction — and in them, I find revelation, humor, and a path toward truth.

I am originally from Venezuela. From 1990 to 1997, I spent long periods of time in the Venezuelan rainforest, photographing and filming sublime and astonishing nature. That was when I realized that nature, in all its chaos and order, was absolute.

And now, as we witness accelerated human-induced environmental disaster, reality feels like a dystopian sci-fi film.

At the beginning of 2019, I viewed, with horror, some aerial footage of how the Venezuelan rainforest has been stripped to extract gold. I decided to search for the intrepid helicopter pilot who had shot the footage.

In early June 2019, I finally received some of the anonymous pilot’s unpublished footage of illegal mining operations in the Venezuelan rain forest, along with breathtaking aerial views of the surrounding areas, near Angel Falls in Canaima National Park, Venezuela, filmed by another pilot, photographer Rodolfo Gerstl. All this footage — both the destruction and the unfettered majesty — became the underpinnings for Always On My Mind.

We all know that climate change is lately heavily discussed. The news is overwhelming, and as a result, the issues are often delivered in ways that are meant to either batter or salve people. In this film, I take neither of those approaches. Instead, Always On My Mind (2020, orig. 4K, 36' 51") combines facts and metaphors to convey the importance of unifying with nature; it mixes animation with real-world footage and emphasizes the absurdity of human behavior. It also offers solutions. Ultimately, the film forms a comprehensive narrative that tells modern and historical tales — and a much larger story.

We are in desperate need of commonality, which we will find through varied paths and constant education. Much of my work digs into shared truths by means of fantasy and play. The truths sneak up on you in unexpected, sometimes mischievous ways, no matter how grave or disturbing the topic. In this manner, I find I’m able to capture viewers’ critical minds and imaginations at once. I hope that this short, can help show a path through current sci-fiction reality and toward the real, the most absolute, the truest nature.