“We Love Everywhere” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Valerio Cecconi

-Who is Valerio Cecconi?

I am my parents’ child, a child of their ideals, for sure. I’m the result of the environment I grew up in, of the important people I’ve met in my life, the ones who shaped me, like my teacher, Marco Tiburtini. I’m the result of every good or bad deed I’ve done in my life. I’m the outcome of my thoughts. But I am also every one of my ambitions and dreams, the steps I’d like to take. Ultimately, I’m everything I have lived through and everything I’d like to live through too.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Filmmakers, but specifically those who managed to destroy my mental barriers. Starting with Sergio Leone; I was 15 when I first saw “A Fistful of Dollars” and I couldn’t believe that an Italian had made such a film. And his extreme close-ups: one of Leone’s extreme close-ups is worth more than quite a few filmmakers’ entire cinematography. Certainly, one of his extreme close-ups is worth more than my entire film. The silences, the sound, the music: they’re masterpieces. In the editing phase, I always think about this phrase: “Remember that a score is never made up of only music, but also ugly noises and deafening silences.”

Another filmmaker who managed to destroy my mental barriers is Scorsese. When I first saw “Raging Bull”, I couldn’t believe that a film could star a fat, cynical, paranoid man. I hardly knew cinema then, and I thought that only a hero could be the protagonist. One of the first film analysis I did was about “Raging Bull”. By analyzing just a few minutes of the editing I was impressed by the sheer amount of work involved. And I discovered a film’s potential, and I understood the huge bulk of skills and tools that a filmmaker can and should use.

When I saw “The Godfather”, I fell in love with the actors. And to this day, the actors are probably the aspect I love the most about films. “The Godfather” is the highest peak in the history of acting. Coppola is a master at directing his actors: by watching his films and his interviews, I try to learn everything I possibly can from him. And his philosophy as a filmmaker and a producer is truly fascinating: risky, without compromise and quite crazy. This mindset of his drove me to always go beyond and made me realise that to be brave is to be wise.

Another filmmaker who made my art emerge was the great Godard. He definitely broke down all my mental barriers. Shortly before I discovered this French genius, cinema was boring me because I thought I had seen everything. But when I discovered him, I said to myself “You don’t know anything yet, friend.”

The sheer arrogance of him, changing the history of cinema through ridiculous budgets: just the thought is staggering. Actually doing it, that’s elegant terrorism. So yes, definitely Jean-Luc Godard.

Then there are other great filmmakers, like QuentinTarantino, Seijun Suzuky, Wong Kar-wai, John Cassavetes, Louis Malle, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Wells, Carol Reed, Billy Wilder, Sergio Corbucci, Enzo G Castellari, Jim Jarmusch, Michail Kalatozov, David Lynch and many others.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I think that cinema can make society better: it can make people think, it can help people overcome dark moments and create sensory experiences that will last their whole lives through their memories of watching films. This most likely won’t change society in any radical way. In my opinion, in order to actually change society, actions have a bigger influence on real life. And this isn’t only about cinema, but all arts in general: Bob Dylan has improved society, but Mandela is the one who altered it.

-What would you change in the world?

If in a hypothetical universe, for some stupid reason, I was the president of a nation, I’d tell everyone to be more human. I know it’s trite, but it’s the best thing I could say, in my opinion. By being human, not only you can do good, but you can also get something out of it. If I was inhuman, my film would have ended after the first take.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I can’t say, but I hope it will be in a movie theatre. I have nothing against online platforms, because they gave lots of great artists the opportunity to emerge, and great films were made. The important thing is that movie theatres stay alive, and to do that you’d have to draw the audience there more. These days, there’s quite the excitement for the movie theatre, so I believe that with the right deal the audience has no issue watching a film in a dark room, with no pause-press option.

“La Mision Encantada” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Marta Torres

-Who is Marta Torres?

A passionate Actress and writer who produces and directs in her own films and loves participating as well of that of others.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker? 

On the one hand my inspiration comes from my mother and her poetical view of the the world. On the other, my Father and his passion for Italian cinema (particularly that of the sixties) is a big inspiration. My thoughts about life, death and the immortality of art are always present in my work. Charles Chaplin, is perhaps the artist, who most inspired me to do what I do. The intelligence with which he is able to touch the heart of his audience. The depth,  passion and commitment displayed in his movies is something I find very compelling.

-Do you think cinema can bring a change in society?

Cinema is a political art form even when, on the surface, it may appear to be simply entertainment. It is impossible to “un-watch” something. The time spent viewing a film can sometimes influence the subconscious and therefore change any given perception. 

-What would you change in the world?

I would invite people in general to be more respectful of our shared communal history (ancestors civilizations such as Indigenous, African, Hellenistic). To appreciate the millenniums it took to build up such a wealth of knowledge. To demonstrate an utmost consideration of the interconnection of all living beings. Such that that the prevailing set of patriarchic values will organically become unsustainable. We will therefore come to truly value nature, and naturally care about our environment and relationships. I would invite people to stay more present in real life also, instead of virtual interactions. 

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

The film industry is as robust and as beautifully crafted as all of the arts. For many years now there are those who have stated (with absolute conviction) that the theatre is a “dying” art. However, it remains (and forever will remain) one of humanity’s greatest pleasures. The same is so abundantly true of the film industry. The art of story telling (through moving images and sound) will always remain relevant  as long as it is able to surprise the spectator. Technology is just a tool. Life is richer than any artificial intelligence may imagine it to be. AI is good at chess but it could have never (and did not) invent the game. I will live the next 100 years playing my role in the artistic positivity.

“If we want to see the future we are obliged to look at the past.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with John Johnson

-Who is John Johnson?

John Johnson is an American born Filmmaker, Producer, Director, Writer, Animator, Cinematographer, Miniature Scale Building Artist, Musician, Voice-Over Artist, Internationally Published Photographer, Plasterer, Carpenter and ALL AROUND NEW AGE RENAISSANCE MAN. Oh, and I can repair screen doors as well.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

As a child, I religiously watched three television shows. The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Lost in Space. These shows were my mainstay growing up and my infatuation with Science Fiction continued to grow with the theatrical releases of ‘Forbidden Planet’, ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’, ‘The War of theWorlds’ and ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’…to list a few. I shot my first film when I was twelve with a super 8 film camera. It was titled ‘On Any Friday’. It was basically a short documentary about the crazy antics of the kids in my neighborhood.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I think film DOES bring change to society. I also think that because of the ridiculous amount of scrutiny placed on each and every human on this planet, many ideas (films) are never seen or even considered for screening. There has been a strange caveat forced upon our FREEDOM OF SPEECH. We have the right to say what we think until someone decides that they don’t like the message and WHAM! “SHUT IT DOWN! SHUT IT DOWN NOW!

-What would you change in the world?

My list of things to change in the world is too long to print in this interview. It is easier FOR ME to express the things I find unchangeable in this world. OVER-POPULATION, HUNGER, SELF-VICTIMIZATION, POLICE BRUTALITY, PRICE GOUGING, GOVERNMENTAL DECEIT, CRIME.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

If we want to see the future we are obliged to look at the past. History repeats itself and we are in the midst of that cycle-change once again. In the late 1990s’ the entertainment industry evolved from boutique BIG STUDIO production to INDEPENDENT production. That fling lasted nearly a decade and touched not only film but commercial and industrial productions as well. BIG STUDIO slowly gained their momentum and took back the crown. Today, we see INDEPENDENT productions taking the lead once again to the point where BIG STUDIOS are shopping film festivals for the rights to INDEPENDENTLY produced films that they will try to develop into feature films. BIG STUDIOS are also developing think-tanks for the integration of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE into their productions. So, the long answer to your short question? If we are all here in 100 years, we will most likely be evolving into a struggle between INDEPENDENT productions and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE productions. Stay Tuned!

“My screenplays imitate life with cinematic value added.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Janet Walker

-Who is Janet Walker?

Janet is a writer, a creative, screenwriter, journalist, publisher, scholar, historian, pursuer of justice, someone who is hopeful; hopeful that through her experiences she can become a voice for change and strength, just as women throughout history who were victimized became brave, embolden, and determined to seek justice and force the system to change.

-What inspired you to become a screenwriter?

My journey to becoming a screenwriter began with my desire to be a great American novelist. For about two years I explained to my sister, Debbie Walker, that I was a writer. And finally, she explained, gently, “writer’s write.” So, my journey from pen to paper began then. For many years that followed my writing was abbreviated creative shorts, ideas that just didn’t become fully fleshed out. I decided to take a college creative writing course, which led to a journalism pursuit and where I began pursuing other writing genres, from creative writing to journalistic pursuits to poetry and journals, movie reviews, and now screenplays.

For me, the pandemic provided the missing element needed to concentrate fully on screenwriting. The lockdown allowed me to devote 100% of my time to developing an idea that had been simmering for about for a decade. I took an online class and it helped clarify the specifics of what I felt were areas of weakness.

I often joke that my first screenplay, “The Six Sides of Truth,” took 10 years and three months to complete. After that, as I felt like anyone can write one screenplay, I felt personally challenged to write a second screenplay, which is “The Wednesday Killer,” and then felt more secure in my writing, so I wrote “The Manhattan Project.”

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I am hopeful that my screenplays and others like it will expose those who believe they can commit violent crimes without concern over the consequence and more than simply expose, can change the system. I hope screenplays, documentaries, and true crime can all cause and create change, become the catalyst for change in the judicial system, become what investigative reporting was in the 1970s and without fear follow the story and expose individuals even to the highest levels.

My screenplays imitate life with cinematic value added. Obviously, there is not an exactness to what I write, however, I did live and work in Manhattan, and experienced victimization and severe repercussions for seeking justice which became a source of inspiration. The screenplays are my way of exposing the individuals for the heinous criminal actions and the system for its coverup.

I developed a television series “Justice Watch Investigates,” which focuses on true crimes and reexamining cold case crimes through a different lens, without bias, using advanced science, and field savvy experts may possibly bring closure to families and expose weakness in an overwhelmed system which I hope can change society.

-What would you change in the world?

That’s a big question with many answers. I would change the double standard which even for women who are educated, talented, and successful, confront. These women will tell stories of times, or seasons,

when they confronted challenges to career advancement or faced obvious discrimination. I would ensure women had a level playing field, not simply in the entertainment business but across society uniformly. So many ideas and input are lost because women are shutout and silenced. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feminist, I just believe in equality, equality in work, equality in justice, equality without favouritism or nepotism or other generational or learned behaviours.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

That’s a great question. I suppose looking to the future means looking to the past first. 100 years ago, the film industry was in its infancy and introducing innovation that would transform silent films. With the introduction of high-tech advancement in filmmaking, CGI, animation, and IMAX-3D, in 100 years, I’m sure the developments in science, technology, and sound will create clearer, crisper, images and greater opportunities for more realistic presentation, even now, film technology companies are creating 3-D clothing software for filmmaking and digital reimaging software for archival purposes.

For the filmmaker the idea to go where no filmmaker has gone before . . . and as much as the film industry has projected the advancement of society, the truth is that I see the film industry serving audiences much in the same ways as our current cinematic opportunities.

Filmmaking may become easier, and there are young budding filmmakers all over the world sitting in darkened theatres, or watching on any device, dreaming of recreating something they’ve seen and immediately using a cell phone to record some event and creating mini-home movies.

So, where will the film industry be in 100 years? When one thinks about 100 years from now and matches that with young filmmakers who are in their 20s, 30s or 40s that’s at least half a century of filmmaking from filmmakers who have learned from those who have created culturally defining films and genres.

And one day, our most advanced and culturally significant films will be studied, which they are now, and film studies professors or experts will remark on the dated tools, which of course will be readily available and common in 100 years, that were used to create the iconic, genre defining, pictures or how these standard bearers in the industry changed the world of cinema and challenged their colleagues who challenged their pupils who felt compelled to move the bar forward. I guess the idea is everyone helps one, whether they are aware or not, each director influences someone, every screenwriter the same, and the industry evolves and advances.

“Only Eden” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Andrea Plamondon

Who is Andrea Plamondon?

I was not always at peace with my aptitudes. Starting out, I received
early acceptance and a full scholarship to Massachusetts College of Art
and Design, but was also told I had a voice that would land me leading
roles in the Metropolitan Opera. Since childhood, I had been involved
in the theater; a highlight of which was playing the ‘Toad’ in A.A.
Milnes’ ‘The Toad of Toad Hall’.
Finding it difficult to choose a collegiate path, I had decided to take a
year off; when an unexpected family tragedy compelled me to set off
“thumbing”, across the US, Canada, and as far north as Inuvik above
the Arctic Circle. Montreal (The Paris of the North) became a favorite
haunt, where I hung out with musicians and jugglers who frequented the
fair grounds of the nascent ‘Cirque Du Soleil’. After many adventures, I
settled in San Francisco, began training operatically, and earned a
Bachelors of Poetics from New College of California. I also fronted a
series of bands ranging from rock to Middle Eastern, and starred in a
local opera.
More recently, one of my collaborations with rapper Terblelos of Ghana
(Dreams) was awarded BWH Music Group’s ‘Best Songs of the Year
2019’, and I was selected for ‘BWH’s 2020 Women to Watch’. In 2022,
’Songs for Forever’ was released, proceeded in Dec. 2021 by the music
video, (and my first foray into film) ’Only Eden’, which has been winning
awards in IMDb qualifying film festivals internationally.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Since childhood, I have been an avid movie buff, reveling especially in
the glamour and depth of early 35 mm cinema. In 2018, I bought my
first camera, the Black Magic (16 mm) Pocket Cinema camera, a
beautiful little beast. In film, I am able to bring together all my loves;
art, music, writing, directing and acting. You really can’t ask for more
than that.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in society?

I think film is deeply personal for both the viewer and the creator, and
touches people on many levels. Like magic it transports to visionary
realms, yet also has the power to plumb the depths of human darkness
and despair. Indeed it is a mechanism for change, but as to what kind of
change, that may well depend upon who is behind the camera.

-What would you change in the world?

Today, we have all but lost the ability to debate controversial ideas
openly without fear of condemnation and ridicule. Perhaps film,
especially independent film, can help bridge that gap, and restore
integrity to our national and global conversation.

Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I doubt anyone can divine the future direction of film, or of humanity,
but it does seem self evident that AI will play an important role. As to
how much of a role, that will probably depend on who controls the purse
strings. It will be a great loss if technology supplants the primary role of
‘live actors’, just as digital special effects have frequently replaced ‘good
story telling’ in many movies of recent history.

“The White Rose” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Christodoulos Kigmalis

-Who is Christodoulos Kigmalis?

I am a screenwriter and director from Greece with a passion for creating new worlds through writing.

I was born and raised in Athens. I come from Mytilini but for the last 10 years I have been living with my family in Corfu. I studied marketing but worked in music as a DJ and producer for 27 years. I loved music from the bottom of my soul but as a music producer I felt trapped within 7 notes. In writing I found the absolute freedom to create without limits. I’m also the father of Konstantinos.

-What inspired you to become a screenwriter?

What inspired me to become a screenwriter was more my concern for the future and the sadness from the loss of my parents. That’s how I felt the need to talk to them through writing. I would wake up at night, go out on the balcony and write down on paper what I wanted to say to them. So all this led me to write a theatrical monologue entitled “Wrong Era”. After the presentation of the monologue in a theater and the applause it received, the idea was born to turn it into a short film in which the same man who performed the monologue, Manos Bartis, stars and performs exceptionally well. I had the good fortune to work with a unique cinematographer, Nikos Psaros and an experienced sound designer, Yannis Androulakakis who gave a lot to the final result. The puzzle is completed with the multi-experienced Vasilis Kamitsis, who was a great honor to me that he agreed to participate and he is riveting with his words at the end of the film! So THE WHITE ROSE began to blossom and at this moment it has won 14 awards in the first month of its premiere at festivals in Greece, Italy, India, France, South Korea, America, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Singapore & Belgium! And this is only the beginning, since in the space of 3 years I have written 5 scripts for feature films and a children’s fairy tale dedicated to my son!

-Do you think cinema can bring a change in society?

Of course it can. We, cinema workers ihave a duty to bring about change and to become the change we would like to see in the world through our stories.

-What would you change in the world?

If I could, I would change the bad way of thinking that leads to wrong decisions, which can prove to be disastrous for each of us and for society as a whole. Even our jealousy for something, if we work it properly in our mind, it can lead us to progress.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

If the film industry in 2123 will have been affected by even 10% of the previous 100 years in the inspiration, creation and passion with which the older filmmakers worked, with the help of technology, I believe that it will be able to reach the highest level quality at all levels! This.-

“Flores Ciegas – Blind Flowers” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Rosa Delgado Leyva

-Who is Rosa Delgado Leyva?

Multidisciplinary artist, teacher, writer and director of cinema. She was born in Barcelona and lives in the city of El Prat de Llobregat. She grew up in her mother’s hairdresser and learned the job helping her mother on Saturdays. From the age of 18 she combines too her studies with other jobs, as stewardess. Her passion for arts, painting and photography led her to a degree in Fine Arts, specializing in photography, cinema and video at the University of Barcelona. She doctored in Audiovisual Image and is author of the cinema book “The Futuristic Screen (Méliès-Chomón)” ed. Cátedra. Madrid 2012, focusing her thesis on the futurist imaginary represented in primitive and classic cinema. She is a high school teacher of draw, audiovisuals… since 2000 and film director of two main short films, the second Blind Flowers (2022) is now circulating around festivals, and the previous one, Oh the Chacho well he knows (2017) won numerous awards and recognitions in Latin America, Cannes, Berlin, Austria…, and especially in Italy. She hopes one day can get a feature script out of the drawer.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

When I was studying the second year of technical architecture in Barcelona, there was in the same building a dark room for developing black and white photography. The director of architecture asked us if we wanted to learn it. A group of students enrolled in the course. But we needed a reflex camera. It coincided that I received my first salary and I spent it entirely to buy one. I enjoyed that experience so much that I decided to change studies to Fine Arts to specialize in photography, cinema, and video. So, the origin of to become a filmmaker comes from my passion of the analogy photography in black and white.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

The relationship between art and society has always gone in both directions throughout history. Cinema offers the possibility of uniting, in a certain way, all the arts in a global and choral format, which makes it to have a power of communication and excite more directly and expanded to the public. The themes in cinema drink from society constantly, welcoming arguments from it and turning them again from subjective perspectives that are then interpreted freely by audience. I believe that cinema contributes to changes through these multiple individual interpretations that when they interfere together can be reflected, besides to the posterior cinema, in many other areas of humanity, such as education, the environment, immigration, the economy …, cinema can influence even music, fashion, other arts and stiles of life… They are small individual changes that, as if by contagion, are going defining the general changes in the society. And the independent cinema, here, has their own words to express, own visions since the free individual’s perspective out the frame, without the contamination of the interests of the markets that focus their investments, forcing a corseted way of creating, thought only on generating box office sales. In my opinion, the independent cinema is the most capable of changing the course of things.

-What would you change in the world?

I would change too many things. In this sense it is easy to give up out of helplessness. I value all those who strive to express themselves in this medium without help. If we don’t enter festivals everything stays at home, but we must not get frustrated, we must keep trying. There is a premise superior to everything, respect for the other, it doesn’t main wherever the person is born, whatever their family, our society must be able to give the same opportunities to everyone.

When I was a child, my teachers told me that in the past civilizations fought for territories and wealth of others, they entered wars to reach them, but all that was already part of the past, at less in occident world, because we had evolved. Apparently, they never thought, and I less that in the twenty-first century we had to revive the barbarism. I recommend you to watch the movie “Things to come” by William Cameron Menzies (London, 1936), written by H. G. Wells, if they woke up now…!!! Or pay attention to the final scene of 2001, where the protagonist character is in a bed in his last moments of live contemplating classic art in a cosmic room; perhaps our wise people of the past have something to announce to the future, seems that we have done something wrong, and for this the main character turn to born again, to bring a better world, to give another opportunity to the civilization. But we haven’t learned. So difficult is live in peace? So, I would create a world government that would be responsible for preventing any war and maintaining peace in all the planet. Surely, they were going to have a lot of work!!

Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

Cinema can unite all the diversity and multiplicity of civilizations from end to end of the world, today, thanks to new globalizing technologies. There is a barrier to break, the south cannot continue to look at the northern hemisphere as paradise, because it is not. And the North cannot continue to look at the southern hemisphere as poor submissives to an uncertain future that leads them to emigrate through seas of death following the false dreams that the northern screens sell them. I see a future where the cinema independent and territorial cinema can show their visions and individual perspectives to the world. After covid the festivals have survive thanks to online platforms, and now they try to return to alive screenings where the physical experience allows meet people again. The contact, to meet people of all parts of the planet and live this experience can’t bellow only to the elite festivals… We have a mission, to be possible people around world who make independent cinema can the option to express, meet togethers, learn one’s to the others. When the industry of music arrives to the houses by internet, alive concerts had a success explosion. With the cinema, the future will be, by one hand, the technology immersive, including touch and smell in movie theatres, this is what the industry of Hollywood I think will follow to persist. But by other hand, the future will be in the meeting festivals alive, the same has successes with the concerts. Physical events where the culture of cinema offers knowledge that foster rich relationships between people. While the commercial industry will invest to offer an increasingly immersive cinema, trying to practically copy real life, perhaps public administrations, even, will join in offering a live cinema culture with more creativity. I think the organizing members of all kinds of festivals, independent filmmakers, producers, technicians, actors, actresses…, it will play an important role in the future society. Because the path of television platforms is already conquered, it has become a video store and does not have much more to go, it will continue to live with other roads that will still walk. The humanity of the future, in my opinion, can get tired of so much individual screens and virtual world, and there will come a time when sharing real encounters will be greatly appreciated. And the opportunity to live these experiences should not belong only to the famous elite of cinema.

“Raok” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Anaya Kunst

Who is Anaya Kunst?

 Anaya Kunst is a timeless composer, ethereal vocalist and filmmaker passionate about elevating the human spirit through the power of music, image and the universal vibration of love and peace.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Since childhood I used to tell people that I would be a Hollywood Artist and filmmaker. My father used to make pictures and films with a Canon camera.And I was delighted to watch and to perform as an actress. In fact I did Drama School besides my education in music, lyric singing, computers, ballet dancing and Olympic gymnastics.My other field of interest is cosmo history, philosophy and galactic subjects.And one day I was filming my colleagues at Midem festival in Cannes, and they asked me why I was doing that and I simply answered: “ I am training to be a movie Director “. And it happened!

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Cinema is an integrated art and can change people for better or not.

Universe moves, perception of this movement and vibration in the impermanence is desirable to connect and the heart chakra shows that connection. When people watch a movie they almost live all what is  there. When people watch a movie they almost live all what is there. And Cinema for me is a powerful art to support people in change.

-What would you change in the world?

 I would love if people would develop the ability of perception of the universe and their surroundings and other people around them, so they would not be blind anymore and they would be an enlightened being living in love and sharing love. That’s what we are: Love.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

With the advance of artificial intelligence and other sofisticated techs, I think it will be much easier to direct and to produce a film with lots of resources that we still not have for the moment. As the universe is infinite, so is our imagination and ability to create too. I believe that wonderful things and opportunities of creation will happen in the  next few years. What is 100 years in front of Eternity!!!

“I see the film industry becoming more independent-focused” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Colin Denhart

-Who is Colin Denhart?

Colin Denhart is an award-winning independent filmmaker and television producer based in
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. His debut feature film Sister has been in film festivals worldwide
including countries such as the United States, Spain, India, Italy, and France, receiving accolades for Best Independent Film, Best Director, and Best Actress (Vasudha Krishnamoorthy)
among others. Sister is a black-and-white spiritual horror film about a nun haunted by evil
spirits and incorporates real-life haunted locations in the production. Outside of Sister (and its
sequels in post-production), Denhart has produced several short films and music videos. He
recently has delved into songwriting, collaborating with the R&B artist Shakeeda on the song
“Black Widow,” which just won the Gold Awards for Music Video and Original Song at the International Gold Awards in New York.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I have been fascinated with film and filmmaking’s creative aspects from a young age. Growing
up, my family and I watched many great movies, and I saw them as the ultimate audio-visual
medium for experiencing a narrative story. I would play with my action figures as a kid like I
was the director and the toys were my actors. When DVDs were the popular medium for
watching films, I would study the behind-the-scenes features to learn how movies are made
and listen to audio commentaries to learn the advice filmmakers and actors would give on the
audio tracks. On “future career” day in middle school, I dressed up as Steven Spielberg and
explained his film work and my desire to be a successful filmmaker just like him when I grew
up. I studied filmmaking and photography in high school and college where I developed my
artistic skills and made some of my earliest film projects, some of which won awards at student film festivals.
After graduation, I got my first job at a TV station in Indianapolis, and when I wasn’t working, I
made music videos with my close friends Jordan and Adrian for their rock band Borracho
Caddies in their garage (kind of like how Steve Jobs started out with computers). I went on to
make indie short films including a counterculture drama called “Double Cloud Nine” (2016), a
sci-fi mystery “Caïssa” (2017), a sci-fi thriller “The Girl in the White Room” (2017), and an animated short “Halloween Cat” (2018). These shorts were featured in various film festivals to
great success. Around this time, I became friends with the folk-rock band Ross Hollow and
produced several music videos for their songs. I also became reacquainted with my film
school classmate Anza, who has become an internationally successful pop singer-songwriter,
and the two of us have collaborated together on projects, and she has become one of my
closest friends.
Once I had several short films and music videos under my belt, I felt it was time to expand my
filmography to feature-length films which led to the development of my first full-length spiritual
horror film Sister, which has had more success than I could ever imagine. I was going through
a theological program at the time of writing the script for Sister in the summer of 2019, so I
incorporated some of the biblical ideas and concepts I was studying at the time into the story.
I also was undergoing the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi program at this time as well, so
the creative ideas that came about through meditation also were key in the development.
Every night in the middle of the night (I worked a late shift), I would go jogging and listen to
scary songs to put me into the appropriate mindset for writing a horror film. I also was re-
searching the haunted history of Indianapolis, such as murderous cult leader Jim Jones, serial
killer H. H. Holmes, and murder victim Sylvia Likens, and I incorporated some of the real-life
locations related to these people into the film, which proved to be quite haunting during filming, especially a ghostly experience outside Jim Jones’ former church as window curtains
were moving when no one was present in the building.
I met actress Vasudha Krishnamoorthy when casting the film and wrote the main character
Sister Jowi to better fit her Indian background. Vasudha is an incredible actress, and I enjoyed
her warm, positive presence on the set. She always would come up with creative suggestions
while filming and showed me how I can be a better director to get the best performance out of
her and the other actors. Other actors include my Freemasons Lodge brothers Matthew Davis
and Jody Fedor, local Indianapolis talent Katie Harbridge, Joshua Scantland, Jada Bueller,
and Mauricia Cortez, and most prominently, pop star Anza in the role of the deity Sophia.
We started filming at the beginning of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on production for some months. We initially thought we would have to cancel production or edit what
we had already shot as just a short film or demo film, but luckily we were able to continue filming that fall once health conditions were safer. We completed principal photography in November 2020, and then I spent most of 2021 editing the film and adding special effects, with
the demon creature designed by my former high school classmate Derrick Childers who
makes props professionally in Hollywood. We shot and edited the demon sequences in a similar way to how George Lucas did the spaceship and alien effects in the original Star Wars. I
also recruited music composer Kunda Yu to score the film, and his spectacular soundtrack
definitely adds to the eeriness of the film. The film first screened in November 2021 at the
Madrid International Film Festival where it won best independent feature film and has since
performed well at film festivals around the world. Sister has been my greatest film accomplishment thus far!
Since completing Sister, I have collaborated closely with Vasudha on multiple short films and
an indie-comedy feature film currently in production called Frieda from Attica. We also have
shot a sequel to Sister and a third film, both in various stages of post-production, with talented
up-and-coming stars Andi E. and Gabrielle Bousum joining the main cast as new nun characters. They all have been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with, and I am beyond excited for
the prospects of these films and our future projects to come!

Do you think cinema can bring a change in the society?

Cinema absolutely can bring about change in society, especially in the medium’s ability to
move and reach viewers on a deeper level. A film can make audiences feel one way or another about a subject matter and influence how they perceive that subject in real life or get
them interested in exploring it further. One of my hopes with the Sister films is that they will
inspire viewers to explore the deeper spiritual themes of the series much like how The Exorcist got audiences interested in the esoteric aspects of Catholicism or Jurassic Park got audiences interested in dinosaurs. A good movie also can uplift an individual making him or her a
better person. One of the overall themes of Sister is how inner light can overcome outer darkness, and I really hope audiences take that message with them when they see the film.

What would you change in the world?

What I would change in the world is the overall state of happiness and the creative abilities of
individuals. Society is filled with too much divisiveness and hate for one another, making it difficult to solve problems or build up creative endeavors. It is necessary that we as a people
strive to uplift humanity by creating as much love and happiness as possible. In terms of the
film world, mainstream movies seem to conform too much to the trends of the time instead of
being original works. The film industry needs to focus on the independent works of creative
individuals or small groups rather than the output of big corporations/film studios (i.e. factory

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

The film industry is constantly changing and evolving. Look back 100 years ago, and see how
far the film industry has advanced! Audiences and filmmakers in 1923 likely would never
dream movies would get to the state they are in today. Advances in filmmaking technologies
definitely have allowed low-budget independent creators the ability to make high-quality films
that used to be made only by big Hollywood studios just a few years ago. I see the film industry becoming more independent-focused with it being easier than ever for indie artists to get
their work created and shared with the world. Regardless of what happens to the film industry
over the next 100 years, I hope my close collaborators and myself are positive contributors to
the medium. I see us as part of a greater movement in the film industry to put quality feature
films in the hands of independent creatives instead of the Hollywood system. I am excited to
see where our filmography goes and what other creative indie filmmakers make as we revolutionize the concept of what filmmaking can be. The possibility are endless!

“Where Do We Go From Here” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Darion Trotman

-Who is Darion Trotman?

This is both a daunting and exciting question. Darion Trotman is a work in progress. He is an artist, a husband, a son, an uncle, a friend, and a brother. He is a person full of flaws, but also of great beauty. He is quiet but learning the power of his voice. He is driven by curiosity and the desire to understand himself and those who live on this earth with him. He is appalled and utterly in love with the world he lives in. Every day, I discover or rediscover something new or old about myself and the world around me. That’s what I hope to do as a filmmaker – share these findings through my films, like puzzle pieces forming and putting myself together piece by piece, film by film.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I’ve always watched films since I was a kid. I have fond memories of spending hours with my mum watching countless films of all varieties, being ensnared by the escapism of the moving frame. I followed the characters and their choices religiously. Films were my books, my great teachers about the world. I always wanted to be a storyteller in some facet, and films have been the main window through which I see that possibility.

-Do you think cinema can bring a change in society?

I believe humans and the choices we make will bring the only change in society. Films do an incredible job of highlighting a path or possibility that we could take while showing us our past mistakes and triumphs. So while I don’t believe they will specifically change society, I do believe they have great power in showing us a way to make that change we seek a reality.

-What would you change in the world?

I would change our individual comfort. I would make it so that we feel and understand the discomfort of others. Maybe then we would want to be a part of the necessary global changes to truly see peace in our time. Our desire to remain comfortable in our own lives only protects “us” and blocks us from truths right in front of our view. We need to get uncomfortable so that we can find communal well-being that we can all share and experience equally.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

Film is art, and art is the archiving of the entire human experience. This is an essential element for us as a species. So, in 100 years, I still see it being an integral part of our lives, but perhaps the way in which we consume it will be different. I just hope that in 100 years, we can get away from being so worried about how much capital films will bring us over a weekend and get back to expressing ourselves, starting conversations with one another about this life through the form of cinema, and adding our individual experiences to the collective pot.