-Who is Roger Paradiso?
I am an independent filmmaker. And journalist.
I had a great learning experience working as an AD, UPM and Producer in the Studio system. That started in my mid-twenties after I had done short films, theater productions and home video as a Director, Writer, Designer. I made a good living for which I am forever grateful to my mentors in the Hollywood system.
I got to meet directors like John Huston, Woody Allen, Norman Jewison, John McTiernan, Adrian Lyne, Irwin Winkler, Robert De Niro and many others.
But then it was time, when my family was settled, to return to my roots as an independent filmmaker on films like Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, I Want My Name Back ( about the Sugarhill Gang), The Lost Village (about the gentrification and displacement of artists from Greenwich Village), Searching for Camelot (which is about John, Jackie and Robert Kennedy and the search for peace and civil rights.)
-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Early on it was filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, John Huston, Frederico Fellini and other iconic filmmakers. It was, at the time, about freedom in expression and a unique vision. You can see and taste an independent film.
We need our audience to get out there and find them and support them. But right now you can only get truly independent films in the festivals and occasional art house cinema’s. You can stream them at some companies like Globalcinema.online
It feels like independent films are being sent to the gulags.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
No, I think it can change individuals. It is up to these individuals to support freedom and equality by voting and by peaceful protest. You gotta get in the streets. To live in the Wild. Then and only them will you see changes in society. We need leaders and benefactors with money. We need to monetize independent films like we do fine art.
-What would you change in the world?
I would like to change the Stock Market so that no person is indebted to pay monopolies that provide, food, shelter and healthcare at outrageous prices. All the necessities of life should not be a commodity to be speculated on. In a democratic world we are all custodians of our lives. We need fair wages to pay for fair rents and grocery bills. We need free colleges and universities. And healthcare.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
I see the continued erosion of commercial filmmaking to the point where it is all propaganda streamed to your home or by chip to your brain. I want to see independent filmmakers being supported by a rebellious and educated society that includes billions of young and old people raging against the machine. I want to see films being shown in retro theaters either brick and mortar or online all over the world. Film will have a rebirth. I hope that festivals will start paying artists and becoming centers of distribution and celebrations. Festivals are the new true art houses remaining. They are either connected to physical theaters or festival will join a free internet streaming service for indie films.
Churches and bookstores will be many of the brick-and-mortar parts of a distribution system. More and more streamers will become art houses online streaming indie films to sophisticated and rebellious audiences worldwide. I see cultural centers like festivals promoting global and nonviolent films which support a system where independent artists can make a living.
I also see the continuation of the battle of fascism over democracy. Fascists control the messaging and they do not want indie films. But I see hope for the future as we continue our evolution to a peaceful planet. But it will not be easy. We will need leaders who cannot be bought and sold.