Wild Filmmaker will attend the upcoming Berlin Festival with the film ‘The Family Whistle,’ produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope (EXCLUSIVE)

By Michele Diomà

“Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather,” “Rumble Fish,” and the highly anticipated film of 2024, “Megalopolis,” are just a few of the titles that have made Francis Ford Coppola one of the most beloved directors of all time.

While his cinema is admired worldwide, few know the origins of the Oscar-winning founder of American Zoetrope, the company that produced “The Family Whistle.”

With this documentary/confession of exceptional historical value, everyone can now discover the cultural references that inspired Francis Ford Coppola and allowed him to create his masterpieces.

“The Family Whistle” takes viewers on a journey into memory with unpublished testimonies from Francis Ford Coppola himself, his daughter, the director Sofia, the highly successful actress Talia Shire, sister of the director of “The Godfather,” his nephew Christopher Coppola, and other personalities who have played central roles in the life and formation of the great director.

Why is “The Family Whistle” a necessary project to see for anyone who loves great cinema?

Throughout history, from the times of Georges Méliès, the artists who have written fundamental pages in cinema history were those who dared to experiment and had the ambition to create an original style.

This innate trait has always belonged to Francis Ford Coppola, who, multiple times in his career, risked bankruptcy to create films without betraying his inspiration.

Ideas that have generated myths of pop culture, such as the characters portrayed by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in “The Godfather,” actors whom Coppola found difficult to cast in 1972, given the production’s reluctance to have them in those roles.

Thanks to the rare nature of the director as a fighter, today, at 84, Francis Ford Coppola, personally investing around $120 million, is ready to return to the forefront of contemporary cinema with “Megalopolis.”

Only by watching “The Family Whistle” can we understand which man Francis Ford Coppola was inspired by to always risk everything to achieve his cinematic ventures.

Without the example of Agostino Coppola, an immigrant from southern Italy in the early 1900s, we would not have the masterpieces signed by Francis.

Who was Agostino Coppola?

Agostino’s story begins like many others, a man searching for a better life who emigrates to the United States, the land of opportunities.Creative, courageous, and with a strong desire for redemption, Agostino Coppola, despite coming from a disadvantaged economic condition and speaking English poorly, managed to integrate into American society and give rise to a true dynasty of artists. This dynasty includes the Oscar-winning composer Carmine Coppola, Francis’ father, the Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, the professor August Coppola, the radio speaker Marc Coppola, the producer Roman Coppola, the director Gia Coppola, as well as the already mentioned Talia Shire, Sofia Coppola, Christopher Coppola, all protagonists of the international cinematic scene.

The story of Agostino Coppola bears many similarities to the fable of The Little Prince, the literary masterpiece by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The dream of flying higher and higher is common to both stories, teaching us how important it is to always have the courage to be honest with oneself before being honest with others.

You cannot lie to yourself if you want to create a great work of art. As the Little Prince says, “The essential is invisible to the eyes.

Every true artist tries to tell “that essential,” their soul, which the camera has the magical power to capture.

How did “The Family Whistle” come to life?

“The Family Whistle” is directed by Michele Salfi Russo, an Italian filmmaker and actor who discovered at a very young age that he was related to Francis Ford Coppola.Michele spent several years trying to get in touch with the great American director, a feat he achieved after various difficulties.

A great friendship was born first, followed by an artistic collaboration, which allowed Michele Salfi Russo to become part of the prestigious cast of “The Godfather Part III.” A partnership that years later gave birth to “The Family Whistle,” a documentary that begins in the small town of Bernalda, from which Agostino Coppola left in the early 1900s and culminates in Hollywood.

Selected at the Cannes Film Festival, in the history of cinema documentaries section, “The Family Whistle” continues to win awards worldwide, like the very recent 8 & Halfilm Award, awarded in January 2024, a prize dedicated to the Indie scene whose name is inspired by the masterpiece directed by Federico Fellini.

“If you love great cinema, watching “The Family Whistle” will make you feel like part of that Family.”

The first series produced by WILD FILMMAKER is born and you can be part of it! (EXCLUSIVE)

First it was a dream, then a project, and now it is ‘eleveN fiftY’.

Click here to watch the trailer: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CtGHJBmqqxB/?igshid=MTc4MmM1YmI2Ng==

That is the title of the first series produced by WILD FILMMAKER, which in less than a year became the biggest independent filmmaker and screenwriter community worldwide. You gave us so much and our way of thanking you is to make you even more protagonists!

eleveN fiftY’ will be a series open to your collaborations and suggestions. We will not tell you: “Here’s the series, watch it! Stop!” as many platforms usually do. You will not only be spectators, but our mission will be to make the series by listening to your suggestions and accepting your candidacies for the various roles.

eleveN fiftY’ will be set in New York.

We chose the Big Apple because we love its dimension, which still is the greatest cultural cocktail between archaic and modern. Chapter zero of the series is in the making.

Produced by Michele Diomà

and directed by Darius Rubin

selected thanks to “The Fool” among thousands of nominees, directed with Yoshima Yamamoto and winner at several festivals, including the 8 & Halfilm Awards.

More news soon.

For now, we can only tell you that this series will be a breakthrough project in cinema history, as its strength will be the ‘we’ instead of the ‘I’.

Our motto is “WILD FILMMAKER – Cinema not Propaganda. Poetry not Marketing“.

Long live the free cinema.

The WILD FILMMAKER ACADEMY is born. Christopher Coppola will hold the first Master Class on “Rumble Fish” directed by his uncle, the legendary Francis Ford Coppola (EXCLUSIVE)

After the great success of the co-production meetings held during the Cannes Film Festival by WILD FILMMAKER in collaboration with the 8 & Halfilm Awards, we are honored to announce a project that will surely make all those who love the art of cinema happy.

The Wild Filmmaker Academy is the first international institution dedicated to those who wrote cinema history by breaking the production and aesthetic rules.

Our workshops will be dedicated to the artists that fought against everything and everyone, listening to their own Wild souls and not to the rules imposed by the market.

Each workshop will consist of 3 intensive lessons.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri, in the 3 lessons, we will delve into the ‘Hell, Purgatory and Paradise‘ that those artists faced and let cinema advance as an art form.

Our first workshop will be dedicated to an experimental and poetic masterpiece. The main character is a boy with a sensitive, wild-looking soul named Rusty James.

Based on the novel by Susan Eloise Hinton, “Rumble Fish” by Francis Ford Coppola is one of the movies to see if you want to understand what a truly independent film is, a Wild film compared to the rules of marketing often imposed on those who make cinema.

Director and Professor Christopher Coppola will lead the lessons.


He is very close to “Rumble Fish” also because the movie is dedicated  to his father, Professor August Coppola, brother of the director Francis Ford Coppola and father of Nicolas Cage, who was part of the movie cast.

At the end of the workshop, you will receive a certificate signed by the course teacher Christopher Coppola and the founder of the WILD FILMMAKER ACADEMY Michele Diomà.

If you’d like to get on board our Noah’s Ark because you feel like a wild animal among so many animals, contact us at [email protected]

“The Wild Filmmaker production meeting in collaboration with the 8 & Halfilm Awards in Cannes.” (EXCLUSIVE)

The Wild Filmmaker production meeting in collaboration with the 8 & Halfilm Awards will occur in Cannes from the 16th of May till the 20th. With over 3000 registered projects from more than 40 countries, it promises to be one of the most significant events of the year dedicated to the independent cinema on a global scale

Among the projects selected by the 8 & Halfilm Awards: “Forty Winks” directed by William Atticus Parker with actress Academy Award-Winner Susan Sarandon and John Turturro;

Among other made-in-USA projects also: “Old Time Radio: Your Move” directed by the Academy Award-Winner Joel Harlow, make-up Artist for “Star Trek” and “Alice in Wonderland”;

“The Walk” directed by Daniel Adams, in the cast: Malcolm McDowell, the legendary protagonist of “A Clockwork Orange” directed by Stanley Kubrick;

 “She Dreamt Alone” directed by Nina McNeely, also choreographer (projects with Björk, Gaspar Noé, The Weeknd, Rihanna, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys…);

“Numb” directed by Ivan Mbakop, who starred in Netflix’s “Red Notice” and played Detective Caudle in Marvel’s “Hawkeye” mini-series;

Among the projects Made in the UK: “I wish for you’ with Academy Award-Winner Jeremy Irons, directed by Stuart Rideout;

and “Connie Lynn” directed by Lee Westwick, an experimental movie written by Elon Musk’s Artificial Intelligence. 

Among the Europeans, we remember “King Max” directed by French director Adèle Vincenti-Carson.

For the East, we remember: “Vertigo” directed by the Japanese Haruo Inoue with special guest Jonas Mekas.

Wild Filmmaker is a Community detached from all the others existing film realities, and the film product’s free dissemination on the web is its own strength. In addition, the Wild Filmmaker series is currently in the works. “eleveN fiftY” is set in New York, directed by Darius Rubin

and produced by Michele Diomà.

The Wild Filmmaker project was born from the need to make cinema a free art form and aims to allow the Filmmakers to be the actual Deus ex Machina of a project.

8 & Halfilm Awards – Great success in Berlin and a new extraordinary Event at the Cannes Film Festival in May (EXCLUSIVE)

by Michele Diomà

Over the past two years, more than 20,000 artists have chosen to participate in the 8 & Halfilm Awards. Two thousand eight hundred sixty projects registered from all over the world.

Four hundred forty-three positive reviews on the official Filmfreeway website in the last two years. It is the only Festival to organize events in several cities: Rome, Dubai, Berlin, and next: the 8 & Halfilm Awards will have an extraordinary event in France during the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Yes, the 8 & Halfilm Awards will bring their Community to the Croisette in May!

A legendary place where Federico Fellini has been the protagonist several times over the years, to whom we dedicate the 8 & Halfilm Awards! “https://filmfreeway.com/8andhalfilmawards”

These are record-breaking results for a festival dedicated to those who consider cinema a free art!

Thanks to all of you! Your creativity is a gift from nature, like the tree from which beautiful apples are born. We are all against wars and social injustices, but unfortunately, the world still makes the same mistakes today in 2023.

Only Poetry and Art will save us.

“The body can say much more than word.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Urszula Nawrot

-Who is Urszula Nawrot?

I am a director, photographer and cinematographer. For 15 years I was engaged in dancing, I achieved an international master class in ballroom dancing. To this day, dance is present in my films and even in photography. I am looking for rhythm, harmony and movement in a cinema. Film editing must flow like a dance too. Movement is extremely important to me. In film scenes, I pay a lot of attention to the body language and choreography. The body can say much more than words.

I always wanted to paint, but life turned out differently. I graduated with a Master’s degree in International Relations. Back then, I wanted to get so-called normal job. However, art won. After graduating from film school, I became an actress first, while developing my sensitivity as a photographer and director. I do not regret that my path to filmmaking was not easy, because I once heard that a director should first know something about life, get to know it from different perspectives. The technical skills can be learned later, and the best way to do it is to learn from a film master. So I did.

I was taught directing by Jack Gold, a British film director, and Andrzej Bartkowiak ( cinematographer Speed, The Devil’s Advocate) gave me cinematography advice. I couldn’t get better masters. Although I often do the work of a cinematographer, I do not consider myself a real cinematographer. I’m a director who can do cinematography. However, in the very act of creation, I value freedom. That is why I wanted to pursue film education in all departments. So it doesn’t matter to me if I have a big budget or not. If I want to shoot something, I just go and do it. As it was with Wing Tsun Flashback, where I had an idea, but no money. I found the right location, observe the light on the location to see what I can get from the natural lightening, made some tests, than filmed it with an iPhone ProRes 4k, edited and did the post production of the film by myself. Honestly, I just wanted to see, where can I go with that? It turned out great.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I was born in Poland, where film has a long tradition. I grew up on films such as “The Saragossa Manuscript” by Wojciech Jerzy Has (one of Martin Scorsese’s favorite films), films by Kieślowski, Majewski… I have always been fascinated by the image and what it can convey in emotions expressed beyond words. A word can create an image, an image will not create a word, but it will build a symbol, unsaid, constantly alive, constantly bringing new meanings. Precisely because in Poland, filmmakers often moved on the plane of dreams, symbols and unconsciousness, which inspired me to create my own films. For me, cinema is art, created by people like Bergman, Pasolini. I have always been interested in the inner world, Jungian psychology.

In high school, I became familiar with Jerzy Grotowski’s theatre and Grotowski Institute. For me, what was inside was more important than what was visible on the outside. In this spirit, “Umbra” was created, telling the story of the inner world of trauma and a woman who was sexually abused in childhood.

Wing Tsun Flashback is about touching the past by practicing old forms of martial arts. This image is not realistic. It is definitely some kind of movie dream. It is a teaser of something that I may create in a more complete form in the future. I think what’s inside us, our dreams says a lot more about us than what we see on the outside. Like this we can touch somebody’s soul.

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

I strongly believe that cinema can bring a change in the society. However, it is not the cinema that is based on scandal, fuels fears or gives people cheap entertainment or propaganda, tells the audience what to think, how to judge others. I am interested in cinema that asks questions, encourages the viewer to search internally, does not show easy solutions, but different perspectives, looking for the truth. Cinema has an extraordinary impact, it shapes our sensitivity and imagination. What we see when we are young builds us up as adults. I am very happy that I grew up on Kieślowski and Has. As a member of the Polish Filmmakers Association, I feel obliged to continue their ambitious vision of cinema in this commercialized world.

-What would you change in the world?

I believe that the biggest problem is the effects of traumatic experiences that we carry inside. Trauma is not what happens to you, is what happens inside of you as a result of what happened to you in the past . And even we can carry fears of our parents and grandparents as well. As a result of trauma, people lose contact with themselves, lose their self-esteem, which they then look for outside, they lose the natural, internal compass that allows them to distinguish good from evil. If someone experienced harm, evil in childhood and it was ignored by the environment, then as an adult often repeats these pathological behaviors without even knowing that is hurting someone. If I could change anything, it would be to free people from the devastating consequences of trauma. And that’s what I try to do in my photographic and film work. Umbra is the first such film and has been recognized by outstanding specialists in the field of psychiatry and psychotherapy both in Poland and abroad. I am currently working on a new feature-length film with a similar theme. I would like people to stop looking outside for confirmation of their own worth, stop comparing and chasing each other. I wish the media wouldn’t promote a culture of achievement and a celebrity lifestyle. Well, that’s a pretty utopian dream.

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

It is difficult to assess today, because we are usually convinced that the world is moving forward, while it can take a step back even in issues that would seem as obvious today as personal freedom and democracy, which we are convinced by subsequent events on the world’s political scene. Cinema is a means of expression that can tell trivial things or even lie, but it can also be used to create art and show the truth. I hope that the cinema will look for the truth, which is difficult in the case of high-budget projects, because there is some business at stake, a question of risk, sales, earnings, etc… I have the impression that the art of film has been raped by commercialism. The origins of the film were in art circles. Then the value of cinema was recognized and the film slowly moved towards entertainment. Making the film was too expensive and too complicated, making it inaccessible to many artists. However, today technologies have developed a lot and a pretty good picture can be created even with a mobile phone, and the so-called non budget projects can get quite decent quality. For this, it is enough to have a YouTube channel and you can promote your work. I think these tools will continue to be refined, and filmmaking will become much more affordable, which will give artists more creative freedom, because no one behind the desk will decide whether something will be made or not. This should result in a variety of film forms, genres, which is already happening. We will no longer stick rigidly to the so-called movie formats. This should resemble the revolution in painting at the turn of the 20th century. Young people today are increasingly watching short videos on YouTube. Recently, I became interested in the work of AI myself. Today I can generate a photo based on entering the appropriate parameters. I think that in a future, I will be able to make a film like this as well. So this freedom of expression should be the future of film, but if we find ourselves in a system where this freedom is limited, even a technological revolution will not help here.

“Cinema has the power to transform lives.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Guilherme Bonini

-Who is Guilherme Bonini?

Guilherme Bonini was born in 1981, São Paulo, Brazil. He lives inland, in the city of Araraquara. He obtains academic training as a doctoral student in cinematographic script by Unesp – FCLAr and master in image and sound in cinematographic narrative by UFSCar. Director, screenwriter and independent editor and active in areas such as producer and director of photography. He created the independent production company Bonini Filmes in 2013. Awarded for works exhibited in Brazil, USA and Europe, he has been seeking to create an innovative cinematographic language in short films, promoting the local community, economy and following a cultural policy of equal rights, diversity of gender and social inclusion across the entire production team.

 -What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

The real life. When I was little, I was able to experience my transformation when I saw and heard for the first time the materialization of dreams through image and sound in cinema. Since then I’ve been trying to get to know myself, experience and impress my extraordinary universe through the window of my soul of what I hear and see in my ordinary life.

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

Cinema has the power to transform lives. It is the art of composing and making films intended for cinematographic projections. Films are capable of generating a great impact on people beyond emotions and feelings. Being possible to represent, demonstrate and experience the most diverse situations and problems of what exists of relevance in the universe and still discover what can exist, by imagination, beyond it. Through the films, people can experience, reflect and evaluate, in a critical way, their representation of rights, promoting thinking about their own choices in their paths through life.

-What would you change in the world?

Nothing for now. I’m still learning from the world by knowing myself.

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

I see the film industry beyond itself, capable of proposing a transcendental journey, through an immersive projection that is capable of taking dreamers to live stories beyond the physical, taking them to a level that reaches a spiritual film form.

Flash news – “STAR TREK” Academy Award-winner Joel Harlow wins “8 & Halfilm Awards” and joins WILD FILMMAKER Community.

Academy Award-winner Joel Harlow is one of the most innovative makeup and special makeup artists and designers in American motion pictures. He has proven himself to be one of a very few number of artists who is able to span the world of makeup effects design and creation to the world of on set makeup application. With his company Morphology Inc., Harlow has worked on some of the industries most popular tent-pole films to date.

  • Director Statement
    The world of “Old Time Radio” is meant to pay homage to the classic themes of the horror serial radio dramas from the 30s-40s-50s. There is an innocent quality that those programs offered that has been lost today. A chance to, collectively, adventure into a horror experience with a fun, almost comic, exuberance. I found that using old school movie tricks, such as rod puppets and miniature sets helps to convey the “feeling” I wanted to achieve. Hope you like it.

“Andy Warhol and Me”. (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Rolando Peña

– How and when did you meet Andy Warhol?

I met Andy in New York in 1963. This year I was invited by the Martha Graham Dance Academy to take an intensive course in contemporary dance. Once in New York, I met Harold Stevenson, a well-known American painter at the time, at an opening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He invited me to a cocktail dinner given by Adelaide de Menil, a photographer and the daughter of John de Menil, a famous art collector during that time in New York. The youngest of her daughters founded the Dia Art Foundation, a renowned organization whose mission was to promote artists. At that dinner was Andy Warhol, and Stevenson introduced him to me, we greeted each other, and that was it. When the dance course at the Graham Academy concluded, I returned to Venezuela for the next two years, and it was in 1965 that I finally settled in New York. Manhattan seemed to be a melting-pot city where crucial things in relation to art were about to happen. When I arrived, I stayed at the YMCA on 23rd street, just across the Chelsea hotel. One day, I invited a dancer friend of mine to have dinner at a Spanish restaurant called “El Quijote” at the Chelsea Hotel. When we sat at a table, Warhol and some of the Factory members were next to us. I was intrigued when I saw Gerard Malanga approaching me to tell me that Warhol liked my style and presence. Back then, I used to dress in black with a cape. Malanga and I barely were able to communicate partially in English and partially in Italian; Warhol wanted to know if I would like to be part of his next film. I responded that certainly yes, but it wasn’t until another day I saw my friend Waldo Díaz-Balart that I heard from them again. Waldo told me that Warhol was going to shoot a movie at his house in the East Hamptons, he knew that we were friends and wanted to know if I was still interested in playing a role in the movie, so once again I said yes. Waldo and I became friends one day I was walking through the East Village when I first went to New York in ’63 . And that is how my group “Foundation for the Totality” and I participated in the filming of “Four Stars,” a 24-hour movie in which I performed a happening called “THE PAELLA- BICYCLE-TOTAL- CRUCIFIXION”.

-You’ve made several experimental movies with Andy Warhol… Tell us about it…

After “Four Starts,” I made some other films with the Factory, among them “The Nude Restaurant” and “The Loves of Ondine.” Besides the movies, I also collaborated with the Factory on many exhibition projects like for example, the idea of Mao Zedong was one of mine that I shared with Andy, and like that, many others that he thought were very good.

-What are your memories of the Factory?

I have unforgettable memories of the Factory and its members. It would be worth doing a full interview since only about it since there is a lot to tell: Gerard Malanga, Joe Dallesandro, Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Ultra Violet, the photographer Billy Name, and Paul Morrisey, who was the one who actually shot the movies, and so many others. My collaborations spanned various disciplines, in particular, I participated in the initial conversations about the “Interview” magazine project and in the first issue that was made, which was a silver box filled with various objects. Being part of the Factory was an extraordinary experience that marked my life as a before and after.

-How was Andy Warhol’s New York City?

Andy was an outstanding character and unquestionably a great genius. Andy perfectly understood and knew how to project the spirit of that magnificent city.

I have always said that Andy Warhol is a great documentarian, one of the most brilliant I have ever met. He knew how to capture the energy, the characters, the odors, the creativity, and the underground poetry that emanated from the asphalt of the streets of New York. Undoubtedly, the rarefied, polluted air that we breathed in the midst of that immense mass of concrete of its skyscrapers transmitted a powerful energy that urged us all not to stop, to keep going and cross the tightropes without a protective mesh. The sensation of the risk of the unknown, of the encounters, was a source of immense inspiration we transformed into urban poetry. No doubt that Warhol understood all this and wrote his memorable story.

He was an extraordinary and brilliant artist with whom I have great memories, very close memories, and great solidarity. I hope he is well, and that he is having a great time, and I would not be surprised if he is also recording and photographing this interview that he will surely publish; so get ahead of him and post it before he does.

-Who is Rolando Today?

Rolando Peña today is an avant-garde artist as he has always been, a tireless researcher with extreme curiosity accompanied by infinite energy. Rolando Peña has survived all the prejudices, denials, and infamy of the ignorant. The figure of the “Black Prince” is gone. It served as a shield for me in the sixties, but now it has turned against me. Several times I have tried to make him disappear, to bury him, but he is extremely stubborn, and it reborn again. However, I am Rolando Peña, his creator, and I am much more significant and thought-provoking than him. I currently live in Miami, but I work for the world. I live with a wonderful woman, Karla, my angel, whom I love enormously; we are blissful.

I can tell you that I still have many years to live to continue creating art accompanied by science and technology. So get ready, all the good is just starting.

“Artists work in the language of souls”. (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Rachel Dolan

-Who is Rachel Dolan?

Rachel Dolan is a Latina theatre artist, actor, writer, and filmmaker. Her love of theatre
and film was sparked at an early age, a passion she knew she could not live without. As a
theatre artist in her local community, she focuses on social justice themes, contributing
to shows which focus heavily on the voices of those that are unheard or historically
ignored. Rachel gained her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Temple University in
Philadelphia and most recently acquired her Master of Fine Arts in Performing Arts from
the Savannah College of Art & Design. As an actor and theatre artist, Rachel has an
additional curiosity in all roles in theatre and film, spending time as a theatre apprentice,
and eventually creating her own short film during her graduate program at SCAD.
Creating her short film, El Canto de los Coquis quickly became an opportunity for further
exploration of creativity, craft, and a love letter for Puerto Rico as seen through the eyes
of a Puerto Rican-American woman. Rachel’s love for creating live beings through acting,
reflecting the reality individuals must endure as well as welcoming space for new
perspectives and voices was expounded upon through the creation of her film. She has a
passion for art, empathy, creativity, collaboration, education, and the drive to contribute
to the world in a positive way.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I absolutely love to write. Writing gives me a sense of peace, an opportunity to process
life into a world of creativity, one in which there is freedom to be our whole selves.
Because of my love of writing, I would often create my own plays, as an actor, my own
monologues and scenes, and my own scripts. The process is exhilarating, in a similar way
acting is. One is bearing their soul, feelings, and emotions for others in hopes that they,
too, feel truly seen in a world where we feel we must hide who we are for safety, from
the pressure of others, or sometimes out of our own fear. The stories that come alive
through writing then have the opportunity to be shared with others, to be felt by an
audience, and exist to promote discussion or education, empathy or understanding. One
of the most important reasons why I became an artist and filmmaker is for others to feel
seen, heard, and to feel less alone. Witnessing a character living through a struggle in
their life or something they cannot see their way out of and eventually overcoming it,
becomes transformative for an audience because we can all identify with the human
condition and a journey in which we are constantly discovering what we need and who
we are. We all have a place in this world, and not only should we share our own unique
perspectives and who we are, but we should also encourage others to do the same. I
created my short film partly because I felt like there was no space for me, struggling with
the complexity and experience of being a Latina and American, but also to communicate
that those who might feel the same way are not alone and that it should be encouraged
to accept all that we are. The other importance for me was that I know what it is to
struggle and to come from a community that does not have the support that they should,
but in that place still lives joy and love and opportunity. If I can dream and create and
continue to rise above obstacles, then I would love to inspire those who also experience
barriers to overcome them.

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

I absolutely believe that any form of art, film, theatre, and more can become a catalyst
for change. We have the unique opportunity as artists to impact individuals in ways that
others may not. Artists work in the language of souls, being and living, in that which
cannot be seen but that is felt. Cinema has the opportunity to welcome conversations,
change viewpoints and bring people closer. Cinema is often categorized as
entertainment, but it also has the capacity to educate. We find ourselves more open to
storytelling or experiencing another journey through art, whereas we may not be so
inclined in other facets of life. Many may argue that film is based in fiction, although art
mimics life, even art that may not be so overtly grounded in what we view is normal
reality. Cinema compels us to consider what is beyond our everyday, even when we are
presented with what may be viewed as daily life. Stories are slowed down and viewed on
a larger scale, moment to moment is witnessed which is often glazed over in daily life. In
cinema, moments are not passed, they are savored, and display life being lived,
considered, and felt. I often argue that fact and statistics, although useful, are cold and
unapproachable to many people. Numbers are distant, they can be brushed aside.
However, when one is faced with an individual who may be included in the statistics
discussed, they are humanized. They become someone who reminds us of our mother or
friend, or even ourselves. Change is brought about through feeling and responding,
something cinema will not allow audiences to turn away from. Throughout history,
cinema based in documentaries, narratives, and any type of work has inspired change
whether unearthing truth which has been kept in the dark or asking us to face that which
has remained hidden within ourselves, and it will continue to do so as time moves on.
Cinema inspires, challenges, illuminates, and welcomes individuals to be transformed and
in my opinion, that is the best kind of art there is.

What would you change in the world?

Incredibly, there is an innumerable amount that people have discovered or achieved, but
there also is so much more we are unaware of or have gotten very wrong. So many lives
are being uprooted by countless issues in our world and of course everyone should be
working to better these occurrences. As individuals, we can only help to better things
where we can, making differences in the ways we are able to. Together, we have the
capacity to better living situations on a larger scale and work to ensure that people’s
basic rights and needs are met. Of course, I would love to see a world where people do
not suffer, although it is not the one we live in. However, we can still try to alleviate that
suffering when we are met with it, on whatever scale that may be. People wish to be
seen, heard, understood, loved, included, and valued. In my own life and work I attempt
to meet those needs and feel that if we can individually meet people with kindness, we
can make steps towards positive change. I would also love to see the arts valued for how
they impact people and the world. Funding, education, and excitement about the arts
should be promoted, not stripped away. Not only because art can promote joy or assist in
processing issues in our own lives, but because it fosters empathy which the world needs
more of. If we can better learn to understand, listen, and close the divide between
peoples, we may have a better chance of creating change that is rooted in action.

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

I think the film industry has its problems like any, but it continues to move in the
direction people are calling for. It pushes society forward, even when society may not
want to follow it, but it is what is needed. Artists and filmmakers can often be the most
open minded, and inclusive group of people because we are asked to analyze life, to
listen to what is around us and to invite conversation and collaboration. We are a group
that considers the disciplines of history, technology, anthropology, psychology and more
into an art form that asks us to face what we must and look towards where we wish to
go. I hope, and I believe the industry will continue to become more inclusive to all
individuals, especially those that fall outside of the normative societal view. Technology
and equipment may become even more detailed in extracting true essences of life and I
also believe performances will move in the same vein. Art movements follow life and
world events, and cinema will continue to experience groundbreaking changes as will
people and the world. I do have hope that all things will move towards a better future
and that cinema will remain thriving and celebrated and will not only capture these
changes but drive them forward.