Nader Yousef wrote a one-sentence pitch, and our judges selected his entry as a winner, granting him the funds to create his short film about a robot facing peer pressure. It’s currently still in pre-production, but we’ll be sure to share his winning entry as soon as we release the film!
If you’re looking to fund your own independent project, check out our funding opportunities.
We asked Funded Filmmaker Nader Yousef some questions about his career and the world of independently funded film.
Why do you write, direct, or produce?
I write and direct because simply imagining my stories, my worlds, and my messages isn’t enough for me. I want to see those stories and worlds played out as a film in order to entertain people in ways that they didn’t expect to be entertained, while also changing or enhancing the way they think about a subject or an idea.
Who are some of your favorite auteurs, and which of them inspire you the most? How?
The auteur filmmaker that inspired me to become a filmmaker is Christopher Nolan. I watched The Prestige at the age of eleven, and it completely changed the way I thought about and looked at movies altogether. From that moment on, I became so much more interested in the ways I could engage an audience with my characters, my worlds, and my complex ideas.
I, however, love all genres and have been inspired by all types of movies, whether they are The Godfather or Avengers. At the end of the day, I would like to work with every type of genre because they all have their specialties and unique ways of communicating an idea.
What’s your toughest challenge when raising funding for a film project?
My toughest challenge when it comes to raising funding for a film is convincing people of the film’s importance. Oftentimes, because they still haven’t seen the film or know much about it, people will be cautious and careful with their money (which obviously makes a lot of sense).
I try to float around the idea of my film as an appealing thing that they too would like to see and hope that that convinces them to help out with the funding.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, other than writing script after script, I am working on developing my short film, Sigrid. It’s about a robot who is pressured by its thirteen year old owner to become part of cellphone and social media culture.
My brother, a co-producer and a VFX artist, and I are continuing to plan the way everything needs to be shot, and we are considering the limitations we will have and the difficulties of working with a CGI Robot.
What do you like about The Film Fund?
What I like about the Film Fund is its openness to anyone. You don’t have to be a well known name, or a person with some amazing past achievement. It’s about supporting anyone that has a good idea for a film. This is especially helpful to people who are still in the beginning of their careers and/or struggling to raise funds for a project.
What’s your advice for filmmakers who are just starting their careers?
My advice for filmmakers starting their careers is to be as ambitious as possible while also considering your limitations. Analyze your financial situation, explore possibilities for funding, and based on that, write the most ambitious thing that you could film. Don’t be afraid to chase the “difficult to do” ideas. This will let people see what makes you unique as a filmmaker.
If you need funding for your own “difficult to do” short film, check out The Film Fund’s straightforward funding opportunities.