A refuge and an immigrant reconstruct the ideas of family and home while discovering what it means to be free.
Interview with Director Heather Mooney
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I made my film because I wanted to highlight the work The Daniel Trust Foundation is doing. I think it's rare to come across people like Daniel and Sachin and I wanted to show the bond they have.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I think the timeliness of this film is very important. Because of negative portrayals it is easy to have preconceived thoughts or opinions about immigrants and refugees. It is important to see Daniel, a man who happens to be a refugee, really making it his life mission to better the world. Both Daniel and Sachin are incredibly selfless people and anyone who gets the chance to connect with them in some way is very lucky.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I think at a universal level “Trust” has themes of home and family. For both Daniel and Sachin the idea of home and family changed for them once they moved to America. Universally, home and family can be fluid and reconstructed. On a much more personal level we have themes of forgiveness and freedom. For Daniel ultimate freedom is tied to forgiveness, while for Sachin, freedom is being able to fly and do something his father wasn't able to do.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
“Trust” changed many times from pre to post production. I always knew I wanted a slow and poetic feel but originally I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve that. At first the plan was to have more of an observational style documentary where events would unfold for us in real time, but that was difficult for me and my crew. This was my senior capstone film at Fairfield University, so trying to shoot everything we needed for an observational documentary while going to classes was tough.
I actually worked for Daniel before and during the production filming a web series called “The Daniel Trust Show,” where Daniel would interview his students. One day Daniel interviewed Sachin, and from that conversation I learned that Sachin wanted to be a pilot. That was the biggest turning point in this film’s production due to the symbolism of flying. I think the themes of forgiveness and freedom tie in really well with flying. From that conversation I decided to go back to the poetic feel and focus the film more on Sachin’s first flight, and what huge symbolic moment that was for both him and Daniel.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I am really fortunate to get very helpful feedback on this film. This was my first film and I definitely welcome any feedback I can get. People generally like the film form and how it challenges the conventions of filmmaking, but there are definitely people who feel different styles of documentary filmmaking are more useful and better to build stronger characters. The entire filmmaking process was so incredible for me and I learned so much from it.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I think the feedback just made me learn about different filmmaking styles more and how you can have a totally different film depending on the approach you take. I still prefer poetic styles but it's useful to look at different perspectives.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I think I am very lucky to have my film featured on We Are Moving Stories. It's incredible to be on the same site as incredible films. I really would love to see more exposure for The Daniel Trust Foundation. I was lucky enough to intern at the foundation and I got to see first-hand the work it is doing in people;s lives. The foundation gives and creates opportunities for kids from undeserved communities and I would like to see it continue to grow.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I think any exposure for this foundation would be amazing! I think the opportunity to be in more film festivals would be incredible so more people can learn about the foundation!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would like the film to have people connect with Daniel and Sachin. I have had the privilege of getting to know them and I would love for people to be able to connect with them through this film. Ultimately I would love for this film to inspire people to support The Daniel Trust Foundation.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Can the concept of home be changed ?
What are you developing or working on now?
I am working on a music video for an up-and-coming artist. I am hoping to direct more documentaries in the near future.
Interview: August 2016
We are moving stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
a refuge and an immigrant reconstruct the ideas of family and home while discovering what it means to be free.
Director: Heather Mooney
Producer: Ally Giannini
Director and editor : Heather Mooney is a recent graduate from Fairfield University who specializes in non conventional filmmaking. Heather hopes to continue to work on short-form film as well as music video production.
release date: August 3rd 2016