For the first time in modern history, the entire world had the opportunity to endure the same collective experiences. We all felt the pain the coronavirus imposed in our livelihoods. We’ve been bored. We’ve been angry. We’ve been worried. We all felt these emotions at some point during this uncomfortable year.
But now, many of us are seeing a glimmer of hope, even if it seems minuscule.
The holiday season has come with its own set of surprises. However, this hasn’t stopped people from spreading the much sought after joy that’s been noticeably absent from our lives in the last year.
Puerto Rican singers and actors Ariel Orama López (AG Orloz) and Danny González were well aware of the lack of high spirits, which is why they took matters into their own hands.
Creating the initiative, #BetheJoy, Orama, who recently won his 100th laurel as an independent filmmaker awarded at the Uruguay Latino Film Festival (LATINUY), and Gonzalez came together to organize and participate in an audiovisual cover of the Christmas carol, O Come, All Ye Faithful.
Using the same creativity that was restricted in the face of the pandemic, talents from Puerto Rico, the United States, and Mexico joined to recreate the project.
The video was brought to life by William Russell (music and studio), Gabriel Ángel Díaz Vélez (editing), David Félix (production), and Billy Jean Andino (production assistance), under the direction of Orama. Its premiere took place on December 25th.
This isn’t the first time Orama has produced such an event, though.
“For six years, I have had the opportunity to direct this very special initiative to evoke a positive message during Christmas, through Puerto Rican voices, Orama said. “Arquímides González, Cesar Steven, among other lyrical soloists and popular have participated with me.”
The project, #BetheJoy, is composed of many people, including students.
Though plenty of the singers are based in Puerto Rico, there are a few whose academic commitments are in the United States. This is the case for Charleen and Ariel, who are currently pursuing virtual graduate studies in Boston and Washington, respectively.
The new age of distance learning added to the nostalgia for relatives and friends abroad. Thus, producing the need to ease feelings of longing and experience feel the warmth of loved ones.
“The magic of this year lies in the inclusion of our significant beings and talents from abroad in a simple and emotional video, as well as in creativity through camera recording and multimedia,” said Orama.
There’s no denying that the minimal proximity between loved ones played a substantial role in creating the project that hopes to capture the gaze of the holidays, despite it being from afar.
“In essence, we want everyone to share their greatest wishes for 2021 through the networks and that we evoke joy and hope, even in circumstances of transition and collective evolution in the face of Covid-19.”