One of the three components to NYPL's mission statement is to "strengthen our communities." At Jefferson Market Library we decided that one way to strengthen our community is to highlight the talents of those that live here. So, we created the Non-Print Indie Film Series. Every Monday in January and February a different local filmmaker will showcase their work. There will be screenings, panels, and interviews with a diverse group of New York City's own indie filmmakers. In addition, we will be posting short interviews with the filmmakers each week on our blog.
This week's interview is with Aaron Lehmann who will present his film House of Women (79 min.) on January 3 at 6pm. The film is about a young man who returns home to try and redeem himself with his family. Starring in the film is Gina Bonati, a frequent patron of Jefferson Market Library and an avid reader. Read her fascinating My Library post here.
Mr. Lehmann is a graduate of The School of Visual Arts in New York City, earning a BFA in film production and screenwriting. He has been a member of the Playwrights and Directors Unit of The Actors Studio since 2004.
What film/directors inspire you?
I get inspiration from films and directors who manage to make the films they want to make without falling into a creatively compromising situation during the process, whether it's the likes of David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Pedro Almodovar or Federico Fellini. The list goes on and on...
What is it like being a filmmaker in New York?
To be a filmmaker in New York City is, as I would imagine, fairly similar to being a filmmaker anywhere else in the world, only with the obvious benefits of a plethora of resources and talent, juxtaposed with the equally notable high cost of living.
Any advice/tips for aspiring film makers—especially with regard to funding?
It's such a cliche to advise young filmmakers to get a camera and start shooting, to capture your vision by any means necessary, and it is more of a pep talk rather than concrete advice, but unfortunately it is mostly all there is to offer. There are grants and screenwriting competitions and all sorts of methods of attempting to get funding for a film, so really it is a matter of trying everything simultaneously, never surrendering and having the cosmos on your side. Perhaps the best advice is to study theater plays as opposed to films, and to think in terms of one location, two or three actors, and then get to work—or to start with a small, more personal documentary film. To think small in the arena of production does not, by any means, limit you in thinking small in the arena of content. It can be quite the opposite!