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Ancient Explorers: The Lost City of Peru

Omar's Biography

Born and raised in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Omar Mora first turned to a career in medicine, studying to become a doctor in his homeland as well as in Mexico. He then moved to New York City for his medical residency. It was after witnessing the tragedy of September 11th that he decided life was too short not to do everything he wanted, so he decided to pursue his dream of acting. While a resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Saint Vincent's Hospital in New York, Mora enrolled as a student in the two-year acting program at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. After finishing both, he moved to Los Angeles to continue both careers. Since relocating, Mora has been building a solid résumé in the independent film world.

In 2012, Mora added writing to his career ambitions. His desire and passion to have audiences know his stories fueled him to write several feature film scripts and, in 2013, he wrote his first literary novel, Ancient Explorers: The Lost City of Peru, which is based on one of his film scripts.

Mora’s current goal is to develop his scripts into feature films through his production company, Moras Productions, Inc. The company’s first short film, A Busy Mind, was distributed by PBS in 2014, and its first feature film, 30 Days with My Brother had a theatrical release (limited) through AMC Theaters. The movie got release as well on cable VOD (Time Warner Cable) and online VOD release in 2016.  

Omar's Statement and Thoughts

I love films. Ever since I was a child I loved to immerse myself into a movie’s cinematic way of storytelling, especially when I visited the movie theater. The screening room created an atmosphere where I was able to forget everything. It was just myself, and the visual story in front of me, and it was simply magical.

After growing up and becoming a doctor, I realized that I wanted more from life. Once again I wanted to feel that magic that I felt when I was a kid. I loved being active, always trying the different things that life had to offer. I loved exploring and having the opportunity of experiencing things that would allow me to expand my horizons and mold me as a better person. I came to the realization that it was time for me to do what I had always wanted to do. I would become a storyteller through film.

My first love was and still is acting. It was through acting that I discovered how to become a part of the story, and how to become part of a big ensemble of creators who managed to vividly bring the words in the script to life… and it was beautiful.

To discover acting and learning that part of the storytelling process stirred up in me a desire to tell my own stories. Not having the opportunity as an actor to play the roles that I always wanted to play, or to be involved in a story that I was proud of pushed me to begin my own career as a writer. It was a little scary at first because English is not my dominant language, But hey! It’s the truth and I did not let that hold me back. Funny enough, that limitation actually made me study more and push myself harder to make this goal to become a writer happen.

I was hooked as soon as I discovered the magic of writing. That was a big surprise for me. Never in my life did I ever think that I had it in me to write stories like the ones that I was creating. And because it was just myself, alone with my imagination when I wrote … Oh boy! A Pandora’s box was opened! It was amazing to let my imagination roam free and for me to be able to capture it all on paper. This process was just like therapy. All those times that I spent as a kid, as a teenager and as an adult watching movies and other people’s stories be told… I came to understand that now I could do all of this myself, and it felt GREAT! Liberating even.

I became part of this creative process of writing and development despite still being far off from making my first feature length movie. Right away I wrote one web series, one short film, four feature scripts, and one novel; all in less than two years time and it continued to amaze me. Then my new predicament became achieving a way to turn these scripts into actual films. It was, to say the least, a very difficult and challenging course of action.  Still, I managed to start 2016 with the release of my first feature film 30 Days with My Brother. The movie was produced by Moras Productions Inc, and achieved a limited theatrical release through AMC Theaters in the United States and in Puerto Rico.

Thanks to 30 Days with My Brother, I became the first Puerto Rican producer to have a movie featured in AMC Theaters through AMC Independent. Our movie was shown in seven cities and I am very proud of that. What was most important and humbling for me was that someone believed in my story enough to give us the chance to showcase it. That validation cannot be bought with any amount of money.  Not only had I written the script for 30 Days with My Brother, but I also acted in it as well as produced it. To experience seeing it in the big screen evoked a feeling in me that was just beyond words. I felt proud and relieved, but this experience also fueled the need in me to do another movie. It was then that it became clear to me: This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I am constantly growing and improving as a writer. When I was young, I fell in love with movies like “The Neverending Story”, “The Dark Crystal”, “E.T.”, “The Goonies”, “Indiana Jones”, and “Superman” to name a few. Now I am in love with the creative process of writing a script. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my own craft, even if I feel very confident about the ideas that I had already written. I love sci-fi movies, but I also enjoy drama, action, thrillers, and comedies as well. My all time favorite movie is “Forrest Gump”, as its story combines drama with comedy and magic. As a writer, I wish to achieve creating a story as well crafted as this one was. I will continue my process; I want keep getting better as a storyteller. I also want to be part of these stories by performing in them as an actor, because acting in my own films allows me to enjoy the duality of the joy of bringing to life characters that were born from the ideas I had once created on paper.

Acting out the characters I create fuels my desire to write even more, for I write with the intention of bringing them to life through film, and that is pretty awesome! In the process, I hope to inspire others with my work as  “Forrest Gump” inspired me.  And I believe that if I manage to achieve that, I know that I will depart from this earth very happy…  but not now! When I get older!