LOOK IN MY EYES was the winner of BEST FEATURE FILM at the WILDsound Film Festival 2022.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
It was based on a real relationship I had shortly after 9/11. I stood on a Times Square corner and waived for a taxi. The driver was a young Muslim from the Middle East. A lot of the dialogue and scenes in the movie are based on facts. However I thought the portrayal of a gay Muslim would not be appreciated. So 7 years ago, I went looking for a bad guy. Putin had just invaded Crimea. He became the perfect bad guy. I wasn’t wrong.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took me 8 years. It’s not ripped from the pages, I wrote the script to this movie 8 years ago.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
After all the audience feedback I cried, every commentator touched my heart. As a first time movie producer covering risky topics, in the back of your mind you’re always thinking how will this movie be perceived. It’s not a comfortable thought. The commentators made me want to do more in the world of film.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Don’t laugh, when I saw “Lady Sings the Blues” with Diana Ross. I lost myself completely. When I saw that movie I wondered if I could ever possess the capabilities to make a movie.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Young Frankenstein and Lady Sings the Blues, a close tie.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Alison and Matthew were exceptional in communicating with me how the festival works. I had originally planned on crashing it. If I were to make a suggestion, the process could be broken up in steps rather than a lengthy description.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
10. What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal is nopales (Cactus) with beans and rice and a tortilla.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I’ve written 3 additional scenes that make the movie pale in comparison. My focus is to do more episodic films.