Jared Katsiane: “the dynamic story is what convinces the audience”

Jared Katsiane is an award-winning filmmaker born in Boston, U.S. His 16mm films and videos have screened at 550 international festivals, including Clermont-Ferrand, Rotterdam, and FESPACO; in museums and galleries; and broadcast on television. 2013, Big Willow; 2012, Lost In The Stripes; 2011, White House; 2010, Before War; 2009, Houna & Manny; 2008, Smile; 2008, Sketch; 2007, Where Is Estel?; 2006, Everyday Is New; 2006, Fernando’s First Snow; 2006, Superhero; 2006, Girl Climbing Trees; 2005, Solace; 1992, Ambushed; 1991, New Folks On The Block.

What are the most challenging aspects of being a filmmaker?

Time and resources, particularly funds to produce each project.

What is your source of inspiration for this short film?

Public art in Boston, US includes radical and revolutionary figures (Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, more), and I wanted to document and celebrate them via a film.
Jared Katsiane

What is the theme of this film?

The film focuses on history through public art and the voices of revolutionary figures, as seen through the eyes of a young photographer.

How do you decide on possible ways to promote your film when you are on a tight budget?

I believe film festivals and social media are the most effective ways to promote my film. The more screenings at film festivals create more awareness of the film and visits to my social media pages and website.

How important do you think distribution is in today's marketplace?

Distribution (online and in-person screenings) is vital to the life of my films. They typically screen in festivals first before finding distribution, as many distributors want to see a screening history and awards before committing to a film.

For those considering self-distribution, what is your advice?

Film festivals are perhaps the most effective way to self-distribute, along with offering the film via a personal website or Vimeo.

How significant do you think short films are for someone venturing into directing films?

Short filmmaking is key to developing as a film director. Today an artist can shoot their vilm on a phone and edit on their laptop; therefore, short films can be made more quickly and cheaper than in the past, giving more opportunities to develop as a storyteller.

What was the worst challenge of your career so far? How did you take it over?

From several years I worked solely on my first feature film, writing the screenplay and putting together the cast, crew, and financing. Unfortunately the funding fell through. The lesson I learned was not to place all my energies into one project and not to wait for the full funding to start filming

What are the factors to making a good film?

For narrative films, an original and compelling story, told from a different point of view than is typical. Strong cinematography and sound design are important, however if the story is not strong, those elements aren’t enough to interest an audience.

Is there anything you would change if you could go back to the beginning?

Don’t wait! Start writing, shooting, or editing now!
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