Ruben Latre of Hostage Films took The Quarantine Film Festival’s call to action as a welcome storytelling challenge. The festival asked artists to make short films utilizing only their living space and the people with whom they were quarantined. With the support of his family, Ruben went all-in for the adventure -- the resulting short, Monster, earned Best Film, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.

In keeping with the festival rules, Monster was made using only the equipment Ruben had on-hand at home, and his kids and wife as both cast and crew. The home-based team shared eleven long nights of filming, in true dedication to the creative process with a unique take on quality family time.  

In the 2-minute short, siblings embark on a mysterious journey that crackles with spontaneous energy as their mystery plays out against the backdrop of sinister forces at work.

Tightly edited and beautifully shot, with a playful level of camera movement that heightens the suspense and surprise, this short film showcases Ruben’s camera mastery and his ability to pull strong performances out of actors who had no previous acting background.

The film was also hailed as a top finalist in Cinema5D’s Bored@Home festival. According to judge Nino Leitner, “It’s almost too good. The production value is on a level which could be in the cinema, or prime time, or Netflix.”  

Ruben Latre’s Monsters is a milestone achievement, simultaneously telling the story behind the scenes of a director’s passion to create under any circumstance. It also is a welcome reminder that cinema-quality footage can be shot even under the most restrictive limitations of our time.  

John Gomez, who produces commercials for Ruben across the globe, said of the film, “After the world returns to normal, this film will serve as a document that illustrates the lengths we will go to to ensure the survival of our creative spirit, both on and off the screen.” 

In that same call for resilience, Latre’s poetic multi-award winning short film, Silence, created before the shut-down, was recently released online with the hope that the content would resonate with audiences at home. “It feels somehow right for these days,” says Hostage EP Melissa Beth. “A woman in isolation -- her struggle and ultimate peace, in silence.” 

“Silence” started out as a camera test with the Atlas Orion anamorphic lenses, but the exercise quickly transformed into making the short film.

Silence has earned Best Cinematography at the Edmonton International Film Festival, Best Short Film and Best Cinematography at the New York Cinematography Awards and Best Director, Best Experimental Film and Best Cinematography at the European Cinematography Awards.  

“What began as a camera and lens test has taken on a life of its own,” says Ruben. “It’s an honor to have received recognition for the film’s aesthetic, something that the Atlas Orion lenses made possible, and I hope that the narrative positively resonates with audiences. I never could have imagined how our world has changed and how that could add a new dimension to the project.” 

View more of Ruben’s work at