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Alejandro Adams: Director, BABNIK, AROUND THE BAY, CANARY

February 18, 2013

1947955_3001Q: Tell us a little about the origins of BABNIK, from writing to financing.

I bite off more than I can chew. It’s pathological. This film was made in a language I don’t speak. It stares down one of the hot-button issues of the day—sex-trafficking. I’m in over my head.  I’m drowning. I can’t look at my work from the outside but I imagine it’s quite a spectacle.   I don’t remember making this film and can’t imagine why I did.

2Q: You have brought two previous films to Cinequest in the last two years and they were about as different from each other as I’m sure BABNIK will be from them.  How do you think you have grown as a filmmaker in the last three years? As you get more practiced in your field and become more known in the industry, do you think things are easier or harder now?

I’m developing in reverse. The process gets harder, the films are increasingly messy and amateurish. I resist “arriving” or realizing any promise that my earlier work may have suggested.  Forget it.  BABNIK was made by a twelve-year-old. With any luck, my next film will look like the work of a seven-year-old.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making BABNIK?

Risking imprisonment by impersonating FBI on the crowded streets of San Francisco.  Losing crew members because I’m abusive. I had to shoot several scenes by myself because people refuse to work with me.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

I once joked that I couldn’t edit my way out of a paper bag, so the audience is stuck in the paper bag with me.  Join me inside my latest paper bag.  You won’t like the experience, but it will give you something to complain about, and there’s nothing more cathartic than that.

5Q: The current market for independent films is fractured, to put it lightly, and existing distribution models grow more ineffective with each passing moment. What are your hopes or plans for distribution?

My first film was a record of an emotional crisis which has now ended in divorce and my second film was a record of an intellectual crisis which has dogged me since I was privately tutored in fourth grade. BABNIK is a record of another kind of crisis—I won’t ruin it by being explicit.  These are incredibly personal films, charting unmanageable anxiety with rambunctious and alienating techniques and a disregard for anything but sincerity and unity of vision. Who would want to distribute such films? They are eroded inscriptions on a reclining tombstone; I gather they mean something to the one who’s buried there.

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