Brett Haley’s moving new feature THE HERO debuted this month at the Angelika New York, with opening weekend Q&As from Haley and the film’s leading man Sam Elliott.
After its premiere at the Sundance and South By Southwest Film Festivals, THE HERO was met with resounding critical acclaim, and Rolling Stone raved, “Sam Elliott is perfect. The moment we begin referring to him as a canon-worthy dramatic actor has officially arrived.”
In a recent visit to the Angelika Film Center, Sonia Braga sat down with us to discuss her latest work in Kleber Mendonça Fihlo’s film AQUARIUS . Although her performance in AQUARIUS has critics predicting an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, Braga reveals that she was never formally trained as an actress, but rather draws from real life experiences to bring her characters to life.
In AQUARIUS, Braga plays the very relatable character Clara, a widower who has vowed not to leave her quickly gentrifying home in Recife, Brazil, until her death. In this interview Braga shares what it was like to work with Brazilian director Kleber and calls him a “master” of detail in regards to the film’s storytelling and discusses the significance of many symbolic, inanimate characters in the film. Braga believes that in today’s climate, AQUARIUS is a “universal story” that acts as a voice for people to fight for their rights as citizens and urges audiences to get their “hearts out” and connect with the film’s message.
The directorial debut film from Naji Abu Nowar, THEEB is one of the five films nominated for the 2016 Academy Awards Best Foreign Lanuage Film. Gadi Elkon of seligfilmnews.com spoke with Naji about the film, his connetion to the Bedouin community, the beauty of Jordan and much more.
Seligfilmnews.com: The film has garnered awards for Direction, Cinematography, and the screenplay writing. Can you tell us about building such a talented team around your debut feature and how each member of the team is getting wonderful recognition for y’all’s incredible work on the film? In particular working with your Co-Writer – Bassel Ghandour, DP – Wolfgang Thaler & editor Rupert Lloyd. I also was blown away by the subtle yet moving score by Jerry Lane!
Naji Abu Nowar: Filmmaking is a collaborative art. Despite the usual focus on the Director or Actor/Star to market the film, the process is very much a team sport. Like any successful team you need a breadth and depth to your squad. You need star established players like the amazing Wolfgang Thaler and you need young rookies with something to prove like the incredible Jerry Lane. They all contribute their own unique talents to this seemingly magical process. I take casting every member of the crew as seriously as I take casting the actors. To my mind that is a key factor in making a successful film. The creative process of working with such talented people is the main reason why I love making films, rather than just being a film fan. Click through to read the full interview.