In Cuenca press conference, Coppola knocks U.S. immigration policy and worries that big tech companies will soon dominate the film industry

Oct 20, 2018

U.S. filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola says that President Donald Trump would do well to remember that he is the grandson of an immigrant. “I too come from a family that emigrated from Italy and understand very well how immigrants have made America what it is today.”

Francis Ford Coppola talks to the press Friday in Cuenca. (El Comercio)

He added that under the current U.S. policy, human rights are also “a casualty.”

Coppola made his remarks at a press conference before last night’s opening of Cuenca’s La Orquídea Film Festival, of which he is one of the guests of honor.

The Oscar-winning director and producer also voiced concerns about the future of the film industry. “I worry that in a few years online and TV movie platforms will be bought by the big technology companies,” he said. “Already, platforms like Netlfix use algorithms to distinguish what people want to see and the film industry pays attention to this to please the investors.” He added that movies like his classic Godfather series would probably not be funded today. “I don’t think a movie about honor among thieves could be produced today. Based on the computer models, it would be too risky.”

Coppola, who is 79, says he probably won’t direct or produce another film although he continues to write scripts. The last film he produced was in 2008. Most of his attention these days is on his winery and food businesses in California.

“I haven’t given up and still have my dreams,” he said, “I still write and have even started work on an opera. Much of my time, however, is devoted to my businesses.”

Coppola said he is saddened by the sex scandals that have rocked Hollywood in the past two years. “I am very sorry that some men have used their power to take advantage of other people,” he said. “As a father and grandfather of women and girls, I agree that there must be  appropriate punishment for the men who are found guilty. I think these scandals are dividing men and women and are a problem that we must face together.”

Showings of festival films begin today and continue through next Friday. For schedules and locations, see the festival website.

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