Colombian screenwriter and producer Marco Velez Esquivia explores the delusional and obsessive nature of social media in his new film Sicosexual.
The Spanish-language film was premiered at the 29th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival, which challenges stereotypes by giving Latinx filmmakers a chance to tell their own stories through their lens.
Marcela, a film and TV commercial sound designer, becomes obsessed with a famous YouTuber after she finds her boyfriend with another woman. Her infatuation takes a dangerous turn after a chance to meet the object of her affection presents itself. When things don’t go as planned, she takes matters into her own hands.
“We think we know people because we see them every day on our phones. I just felt like we needed to approach this subject right now and thought that the thriller was the right way to approach it instead of talking about it was that I was showing how deeply we can be involved with someone that we don't know, and the lies we tell ourselves,” Esquivia said.
The film was shot in 2018 and co-produced by Alejandro Zapata Munéva, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the world into isolation. In that time, the actor who played the famous YouTuber Jacques Toukhmanian gained popularity on TikTok and currently has 30.3K followers.
“It was weird because before that he was not internet famous. It’s just very strange because he is living what I wrote,” Esquivia said.
According to Esquvia, the film is a reminder that life isn’t always what it seems.
“The film is about the lies we tell ourselves on social media or the perfect image we show all the time. We all go through rough patches, and we all have something on our shoulders, so I wanted to show that in a film,” Esquivia said.