Michael Díaz, a.k.a. Juan Bago, brought laughter to many with "Pan con queso", his unique, Washington Heights-based remake of Wiz Khalifa’s "Black and Yellow" tune.
Today, Díaz triggers laughs again with his latest short film, "Act of Love," which stars in this year's HBO/New York International Latino Film Festival.
"I got with the director and the writer of the project, [and] we decided to shoot a short film,” Díaz told Fox News Latino at the pre-premiere screening party in Washington Heights Columbia Social lounge.
“I wanted to do a feature, but features are a lot of money,” he added. “Before the festival, I was under the impression that it was only movies, theaters or independent films. [The Festival], it allowed me to say I can do a short film in five or six minutes.”
Finding the right co-star was challenging for Díaz -- until he found actress Rachel Strauss
“With Rachel, the chemistry was amazing and we decided to shoot it,” Díaz said. “When it comes to acting, it is almost like dancing. You want to be in cohesive chemistry. Being that Rachel and I work in the [same] radio show, and we’ve know each other for a long time, we have the same style of comedy.”
“It really allowed us to be very natural,” he added. “For the role, we are going against each other, like a Mr. and Mrs. Smith sort of thing. We needed somebody that could have that back and forth.”
The Dominican actor/ writer says the HBO/New York International Latino Film Festival is vital because it is a “boost,” a source of “energy” and “enthusiasm” for emerging Latino filmmakers.
“It’s just this energy of enthusiasm, [and] hunger,” Díaz said. “When you surround yourself with that it’s just so contagious. It’s that common goal that you want to do art and you want to be successful.”