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Joaquin Baldwin

Joaquin Baldwin

access_timeApril 01, 2014 05:45 pm

“You are asking this to a gay, atheist, artist, extreme leftist? I think it would be very obvious where my opinion goes... Both, marriage and adoption, by same sex couples will be perfectly legal"



Joaquin Baldwin is a Paraguayan film director and animator of 30 years old, who currently lives in Los Angeles, California. He was a finalist in the Short Film Corner at Cannes with his short Origami. He was in the Annie Awards, one of the most important animation festivals in the world, for the nomination of his short Sebastian's Voodoo. Today he works with great success in Disney where he participated in the Oscar nominated film "Wreck-It Ralph".

Joaquin tells us about his everyday life in the U.S., homophobia, marriage equality, their dreams, the relationship with his boyfriend and their plans for a future together. 

How did you start on the fascinating world of animation?

When I was in high school, apart from drawing in my notebooks a lot, played a lot with my PC and learning design and 3D animation software. I started with the basics quite well, and slowly started learning more complex software. More than anything I was self-taught using internet tutorials to learn a little of everything. I also worked as a web designer and I learned to make animations in Flash, but very basic.

What are your most important jobs? What messages do you intend to send in your work? Which of them do you feel particularly proud of? 

The most successful was my short Sebastian's Voodoo, but my personal favorite is Origami, since it was my first short film that was shown at festivals, and the first with which I got awards. I do not intend necessarily to have a fixed message in every short, they are mostly comments and ideas. Although there is an environmental side in two of my shorts, they have a point of view or political end, they are simply inspiring images and visual poetry.

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"Discrimination has almost exclusively a religious origin, either with the Christian majority in the U.S., or the Catholic majority in Paraguay."

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What do you think of the homophobia in the US? Do you find any simmilarity or difference with Paraguay?

Since I live in Los Angeles, I personally never had any encounter with sexual orientation discrimination. Of course there is discrimination, but not much where I frequent. As always, discrimination has almost exclusively a religious origin, either with the Christian majority in the U.S., or the Catholic majority in Paraguay. I think at least in the U.S., a big change is coming now because most of the people that discriminate against gays are a past generation and the new generation is growing up with a much more open point of view.

¿Could you describe us your daily life (love life, professional, etc)?

Usually I go to the gym bright and early here in Disney, and when I finish my exercises I go to my office, where I spend most of the day. Much work on the computer, many meetings, and then back to my apartment. My boyfriend is currently studying in the state of Wyoming, which is far away, so usually we chat for hours on Facetime. On the weekends, I do play video games and indoor climbing in a specialized gym for climbers.

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"So, you are asking this to a gay, atheist, artist, extreme leftist? I think that my opinion is quite obvious... Both, marriage and adoption, for same sex couples will be perfectly legal. In the US, I think that the issue will be solved soon and both, marriage and adoption, for same sex couples will be perfectly legal"

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Right now you have a long distance relationshi with your boyfriend, what are the challenges that this type of relationship entail to you?

It is always difficult to be apart for long, and if it were not for having a very strong relationship, it would have been very unlikely to work. He will be there for several years, and at the most every month or two we can see in person. But then, almost without fail every night we chat and see each with Facetime, and make our vacation plans together. We both knew well that our careers were important and that we would support each other in situations like this, instead of being selfish and lose opportunities to go ahead and learn more.

What do you think about equal marriage? Adoption by same-sex couples?

So, you are asking this to a gay, atheist, artist, extreme leftist? I think that my opinion is quite obvious... That it is ridiculous to be discussing this topic in the 21st century, regretfully it's going to be a fight that will last long. In the US, I think that the issue will be solved soon and both, marriage and adoption by same sex couples will be perfectly legal, although discrimination will still be present in many sectors.

You tell us that you ahve plans of living with your boyfriend, once equal marriage is a reality in California, do you have plans of getting married with your boyfriend or you have not talked about it yet?

We have no fixed plans, but it is a possibility. I really do not care about the ceremony or anything like that, more than anything it would be a way to have the rights and benefits that married couples have. The compromise between us is personal and I think that the government or laws have nothing to do with it, but the issue of benefits is important (health, taxes, hospital visits, inheritance, or simple legal recognition).

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"I think that dwelling in the past with regrets is not a very healthy way to face the future. Even bad projects, bad relationships, bad decisions, you end up always learning and growing, and all that has happened made me the person I am today"

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And about children, do you plans on having/adopting children?

No thanks, we prefer cats. I am terrible with kids, I have no experience, nor talent, nor the will.

Do you regret anything? Would you change something in your life today?

I regret having put black olives on my lunch yesterday, but other than that, the truth is that dwelling in the past with regrets is not a very healthy way to face the future. Even in bad projects, bad relationships, bad decisions, you end up always learning and growing, and all that has happened made me the person I am today. And if there's something you want to change, you can change it today.

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"My recommendation for all LGBT: talk to your friends and family if possible, and let's make this generation build momentum and recognition for the end of discrimination. It starts with the people we know personally, and there it starts spreading."

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What are your personal and professional dreams?

My goal is to direct big-budget featured films here in Hollywood, animated for the time, but perhaps in the future of live action. The Oscar is always a good motivator too. And in my personal life, when my boyfriend leaves school I would move in with him in a house, have a few cats, and be able to travel together. We both love to travel and experience new cultures, and our vacation we try to discover new places.

¿What message would you give to the Paraguayan LGBT youth that fight for their dreams?

In many places being LGBT is no longer any impediment, and to be successful in the career that you want just depends on the motivation and commitment that one makes. In Paraguay there is quite a lack of resources for learning, but on the Internet you can find everything today, and learn at least the basics and that is where it begins. And my recommendation for all LGBT: talk to your friends and family if possible, and let's make this generation build momentum and recognition for the end of discrimination. It starts with the people we know personally, and there it starts spreading.