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2015 Sundance Trading Card Series: #21. Ryan Zacarias (Entertainment)

2015 Sundance Trading Card Series: #21. Ryan Zacarias (Entertainment)Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Ryan Zacarias: 1. Thomas Dinger‘s Fur Mich (album), Manabu Yamanaka (photographer), Ricardo Silva’s Navajazo (film).

Lavallee: I Used to Be Darker, Ping Pong Summer, and now Entertainment — you’ve had a trio of films featured in the NEXT section. Using this cross-section of films, could you describe what kind of DNA is needed for you to throw your weight behind a given film as a producer.
Zacarias: I think I gravitate towards projects (and filmmakers) that have a bit of a skewed sensibility. I tend to find stuff that focuses heavily on image, whether its observing a character, the atmosphere of the location, or photographic movements (or stillness). I’d rather you tell me your story through imagery and tone, than force your way through with a bunch of nonsensical dialogue to make me understand. I kinda of lose interest at that point. If you like Alan Clarke’s “Christine,” we’re gonna be close pals.

Lavallee: What is it about the screenplay, or Rick’s vision or working methods that managed to lasso a revolving door of recognizable actors/actresses?
Zacarias: I think actors/actresses appreciate the honesty in the world’s that Rick creates and the collaborative freedom that goes along with his approach to directing. The characters in Rick’s films have an odd originality and depth to ’em that i feel attract recognizable, “named” cast.

Lavallee: Logistically speaking, what was the most difficult scene to shoot?
Zacarias: I’m not sure if there is specifically one scene that comes to mind, logistically speaking. As a road film, hopping from town to town, factoring in drive time, keeping a caravan of crew close, and being generally as tight as you can with directions was pretty fuckin’ challenging. There were also a couple instances when we couldn’t scout and had to discover a location when we got to that specific town. I personally like that organic approach though.

2015 Sundance Trading Card Series: #21. Ryan Zacarias (Entertainment)


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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