How do you remember someone you never met?
Interview with Writer/Director Fred Zara
Lead actors, Andrew Romano and Kelly Diegnan, rehearse a scene from The Suicide of James Rider
Congratulations! Why are you making your film?
This film is based on a true story and is inspired by a friend of mine that took his life in 2001. I want to tell a story that will honor the life of a suicide victim and give some meaning to their life, while offering hope and inspiration to the people that are left behind.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
With my films I intend to take challenging subjects, in this case suicide, and look at them from a different view point. There's no doubt that suicide is a sad and tragic event, however my hope is to bring a sense of closure and meaning to it.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The story revolves around a group of friends in their 20s that are coming of age and at a point to where they are trying to determine who they will be for the rest of their lives. After losing someone very close to them to suicide, it gives this search for meaning even more gravity.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The film has always been based on a true story that took place over 16 years ago, however I fictionalize much of it for storytelling purposes. As development continues, I've been in contact with more and more people from that time period and it has been reminding me to stay true to the spirit of these people and that time as best as I can.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Most of the feedback has been very positive. People who know me and know my work understand that it is my intention to handle this subject delicately and honestly, while remaining positive and uplifting. There are some that are afraid of the subject of suicide and would rather not deal with it at all. To those people I would urge them to give this story a chance. It just may help them approach the subject with a little grace.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It hasn't surprised me, however I am always open to someone challenging my view point and that has happened with this story. Some people with a personal connection to suicide have very strong views on the subject which may differ from my approach to this story.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Visibility, visibility, visibility. We are still crowdfunding on Kickstarter until December 12th. Right now we need to stay focused on that, so that we can ensure we can move into production early next year.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Journalists, festival directors and distributors.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
My hope is that this story connects and resonates with audiences.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What is the best way to remember someone that takes their own life? Can they still be celebrated?
Would you like to add anything else?
Please support this project on Kickstart or go to www.JamesRiderFilm.com
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
My short film "Talk" (talkshortfilm.com) is playing festivals now. It is a film I wrote, directed and star in. It's a story about 8 people, in four separate stories, all searching for deep connection.
Interview: November 2017
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
The Suicide of James Rider
How do you remember someone you never met?
Director: Fred Zara
Producer: Aviva Christie, Fred Zara
Writer: Fred Zara
About the writer, director and producer:
Writer/Director, Fred Zara's 2009 feature length documentary, Average Community, won awards at film festivals in Philadelphia, Orlando, and NYC. In March of 2016, Fred's narrative feature film, Read Me, premiered in New York City at the Queens World Film
Andrew Romano, Kelly Diegnan, Zach Lane, Daniel Wachs
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists)
Social media handles:
Estimated completion date: Fall 2018