Mike Cuenca is a self-taught award-winning underground writer/director.
Cuenca’s first feature-length film is Scenes from Oblivion, a youth-in-quarrel/semi-comic drama reflecting his Cuban-American upbringing and love of punk rock music. He is also the creator of punks, mods and rockers web Series Oblivion, which he co-wrote, edited, produced, directed and acted in. Oblivion followed the adventures of the same group of characters first glimpsed in Scenes from Oblivion.
As of 2010 Cuenca has taken a break from Oblivion to focus on a set of three loosely connected movies dealing with the passage of time and memory. The first, Jerry Powell & The Delusions of Grandeur premiered December 2011 in Los Angeles. The second film, titled Ghost in the Flare, will begin filming spring 2013, with the third shortly after. The three movies are being shot by Los Angeles and New York based photographer Amberlie Bankoff.
Cuenca has just wrapped his third feature By the Wayside, an improvised/cinema verite-style comedy. The film won the Best Feature award at the New York Riverlight Film Fest with Cuenca earning the Hitchcock Award for Outstanding Direction. Currently he is developing the 1940s screwball homage Some Poor Devils with funny book creator Chynna Clugston and frequent Oblivion writer Ashlee Elfman. His next features will be a By the Wayside spin-off focusing on the life of lounge singer Bill Mosscone and a psychological horror film called As the Crows Fly.
Cuenca's growing body of work addresses such themes as personal identity and freedom, absurdist philosophy, and punk ideology with a dose of slapstick. He cites his major influences as Woody Allen, Federico Fellini, Jim Jarmusch, the French New Wave and, of course, the Marx Bros.
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