H.O.M.E. is a feature film about the human condition, comprised of two different but related stories involving characters who have intimate and meaningful encounters through the lens of a disconnected and alienating city.
Interview with Writer/Director Daniel Maldonado
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you. As a filmmaker of many shorts over the years, I wanted to take the bigger leap into feature length stories. I felt that whichever of the stories I wanted to develop into a film, I wanted it to have social resonance. The New York Times story of a young man with Asperger's Syndrome who disappeared in the NYC subways was where it started. Through extensive research I uncovered many other examples of urban alienation which included the decline in communication.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This is a film with relevance and universal themes told through underrepresented characters. I recommend the film for audiences who have an interest in lives & cultures outside of their own familiarity. For those who feel we can find harmony & peace through a place of universal & humanistic understanding that breaks down barriers and encourages the value of social & interpersonal communication.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
From a humanistic perspective, we are all one. The various characters depicted all share some form of struggle with communication whether its self imposed or other. The situations depicted in the film point to our abilities to transcend the divisions and allow for connections to be made no matter of race, gender or class including the developmentally impaired.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Originally, the script was combined of 3 stories. We had to cut the middle story which was a stop motion animated piece also dealing with urban communication. We moved forward and had 2 stories which were told as separate stand alone stories until late in the post production process where the stories were ultimately intertwined. It's almost as if the two stories had intended to connect with each other much like the characters within them. Both stories in the film were loosely based on actual events, which occurred in NYC. Unfortunately, the film did not receive much industry support during its early stages so we decided to move forward anyway into production with what we had. Utilizing the resources available to us from the many years of making short films, we were able to work quickly to finish production but spent as much time in post. In the end, this film was wholly independent.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We’ve received incredible feedback once we released the film on the festival circuit. Starting with our premiere at the Museum Of Moving Image in NYC, where we won the award for Best Narrative Film at the Queens World Film Festival shortly followed by the audience award for Best Narrative Film at the Cine Las Americas Int. Film Festival. The film has since been on tour earning recognition, nominations & praise both in the U.S. & abroad.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
It’s been surprising. I feel the film though works on an emotional level that touches audiences, especially ones that are keen to its themes. It’s universality has also allowed it to find a wider audience. The themes of communication & immigration have also resurfaced in current events which have= brought added attention. It’s also been a slow but gaining process in getting the film around since much of the approach has been grassroots since we did not have much of a budget for publicity. I think it has now caught on and gained more exposure which we are all happy about.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I’m looking to share the film’s stories because I hope the audience has an opportunity to see the film. The tenderness & fragility of the characters are engaging and ultimately resonate a subtle message in viewing our world without walls or barriers. Most importantly to remember that despite technology, we are growing further apart from one another and losing the beauty in making those interpersonal connections.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
As a small indie, an Executive Producer who can bring more attention through their network would be helpful. Since we are still on the festival tour we are looking to festival directors as well as sales agents & distributors to look at the film. Journalists are also welcome and invited to review the film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
For one, I would love for the film to reach U.S. Latino audiences who are willing to support not only a U.S. Latino filmmaker but independent films. On a larger scale, I hope that the film will continue its cross over to general audiences around the country to generate an awareness & discussion on the themes & characters portrayed. As an even bigger impact, I would hope that as a filmmaker of diversity, that this film opens the door even further for more voices to be heard & showcased.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Where is technology’s place is in the world of urban communication?
Would you like to add anything else?
Only that it's vital to the independent filmmaker and in my case, of color, that these films get seen, heard & shared. So please support diversity and independent voices.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
We are currently working on the next script which is based on a community dealing with a tragedy that results in ambiguous loss. In particular 3 characters who come to terms with their faith. Essentially it’s a story on healing.
Interview: April 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
H.O.M.E. is a feature film about the human condition, comprised of two different but related stories involving characters who have intimate and meaningful encounters through the lens of a disconnected and alienating city
Director: Daniel Maldonado
Producer: Daniel Maldonado, Ingrid Matias, Vanessa Verduga, Darren Dean
Writer: Daniel Maldonado and Hector Carosso
About the writer, director and producer:
Daniel Maldonado (Co Writer/Diretor) Daniel is a multi award winning filmmaker whose found success in the many genre shorts he’s made over the last 20 years. His films have been exhibited in festivals around the world as well as museums, galleries and television. His first feature film H.O.M.E. was nominated for Best U.S. Latino Film at the Cinema Tropical Awards.
Darren Dean (Producer) Darren Dean is an award-winning producer who was nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award in 2009 for PRINCE OF BROADWAY. His follow-up KINYARWANDA yielded the World Audience Award at Sundance while the groundbreaking, TANGERINE was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and landed 4 Independent Spirit Awards nominations in 2016, including Best Picture.
Jesús Ochoa, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Angela Lin, Lauren Augarten, Carlo Alban
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Buyers, Distributors, Sales Agents, Festival Directors, Journalists
Other: Website www.homeacronymfilm.com
Funders: Crowdfunding via Indiegogo plus events as well as private equity
Made in association with:
IndieGoGo; NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting; SAG-AFTRA ONE UNION; DCTV; NICE DRIVING FILMS; PHANTOM STUDIOS
Where can I see it in the next month?
Phoenix Film Festival (April 9 & 11); Chicago Latino Film Festival (April 29 & May 1) ; Bentonville Film Festival (May 5) ; American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood, CA- Apertura Series (May 17) ; Festival International de Cine Cuenca, Ecuador (June 2017)