A woman visiting a town to look at a house that is up for sale learns a lot more about the place and its people than she thought she would. Free Range is a short film directed by Lindsei Barros.
What draws you to the language of cinema?
The possibility of telling stories and with that, changing the way people think and feel about certain issues. In the first movie I made, called "Home" we see a woman trying to escape her own house only to see her trapped inside of it, in an endless loop. It's quite amusing to me the number of different interpretations that I got from people watching it - from she's been socially abused to winning one of the best pandemic movies in the festival circuit. It's always a surprise to see how the mind works and how we can attribute meaning to things.
How and when did you start studying films?
I always made films since I was a kid - as cliche as it sounds. I never went to a filming school, but working in advertising and making commercials, along with the process of helping to define the vision for a 30 seconds ad taught me a lot.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created? I realized it a long time ago, but never had the proper time or focus to pursue it due to my demanding career in advertising. The first project that I created resonated with a lot of people and was an ad for a martial arts gym, where the idea was to encourage men to grow balls. So we see literally a man growing balls in the ad. Pretty quirky and funny.
Which directors have been influential in your work and why? I love the work of Dennis Villeneuve and the sensibility of his storytelling. Also, the irreverence of Ti West propels me to mix genres and not think inside a box. Ultimately people want to feel like the story is engaging and entertaining, and I think these two do the work really well. How difficult is it to find the right audience for an indie film and what is your distribution strategy? It's difficult in the sense of my movies being very niched - horror/thriller. So that in itself attracts a certain type of audience. I don't have a distribution strategy as yet, but needless to say that sending movies to festivals and getting recognition - then having them featured on streaming websites is the ideal and seamless process.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your latest project? I wanted to create a story about xenophobism and how it's hidden in our society in such sneaky ways... The last movie, called Free Range, the story was written by Dhanush Paramesh who is also an immigrant and has experienced it the same way as me. The main actress is Venezuelan and the rest weren't actors. (Budget constraints I know). I really love having a diverse crew - from the cinematographer to the grip - everyone was from a different background. And that adds to the project in immense ways. They come with their own unique point of view on things and that always adds a level of embellishment that is irreplaceable. How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society? Cinema is one of the beautiful ways that instill ideas and help people to open their minds to new perspectives and new ways of thinking. We can't overlook it. It's a machine of cultural enrichment, much like reading books. In today's day and age where we see few people reading actual books, we need to take the time, as filmmakers to help our young generations to understand the world through movies - that's the least we can do. Please tell us about your next project. I am prepping for a new short movie about a woman who's a neuroscientist and has a mother with schizophrenia. All that to say, the flick is about human trafficking. Can't give too much away but hopefully, people will enjoy it.