Sunday, December 18, 2011

Take 5 with "Man At the Door"

Alan Arrivee, director

As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2012 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 9-12, 2012 and also at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Feb. 11 as part of the Oxford Music Festival line-up where we will show music films, videos and a panel on music + film, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Alan Arrivée, director of "Man At the Door," playing in the Missisippi narrative shorts block. 

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

A: Man at the Door is an urban drama and allegory of the complex issues surrounding illegal immigration between Mexico and the United States. Who doesn't have an opinion on this?

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

A: A filmmaker can get a film shot, even when there are barely enough crew members available to shoot, slate and hold the boom. I've also learned yet again that shooting on actual film is very expensive. Best part in getting the film made? Even if I worry at every turn, I live to make films. I love every step in the process.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

Alan Arrivée is a filmmaker and writer and is Assistant Professor of Cinema and Cinema
Director at The University of Mississippi. His short film Silent Radio, which he both
wrote and directed, was awarded Best Foreign Film and Best Cinematography at The
European Independent Film Festival 2007. It also received the 2007 Long Island
International Film Expo's Best Actor award (Eric Winzenried) and its Triple Play Award
for Best Technical Integration (Cinematography, Original Score and Art Direction), and
won the Best Short Subject Award at the Ellensburg Film Festival. It has been the
Official Selection of over twenty international film festivals, including Staten Island and
Breckenridge. Alan received story credit on the feature film The Road to Empire, directed
by Michael Sibay, which received the Platinum ‘Remi’ Award for Best Work-In-Progress
at the 2007 Houston WorldFest. His plays have been performed in Chicago, Los Angeles
and at various universities, and his short play The Original I.Q. Tester was a finalist for
the 2007 Heideman Award. Alan is also a professional actor and is a member of the
Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity as well as the University Film & Video
Association and the Austin Film Society. He received both his B.S. in
Communication/Theatre and his M.F.A. in Writing for the Screen and Stage at
Northwestern University. Alan serves yearly on the Jury of The European Independent
Film Festival in Paris. He also served for the first time last year on the Jury of The
Oxford Film Festival in Oxford, Mississippi where he lives with his wife and daughter.
He has just completed post-production for his new short film Man at the Door.

Informally, I studied acting at Northwester, acted in Chicago for about a year, then took off for L.A. I stayed there for 10 years—acted in plays, commercials, and independent film, started a theatre company which lasted a few years, served on many film crews, then made a shift toward directing film. Ironically, from that point on, I knew I'd leave Los Angeles to be my own filmmaker outside the industry. A little after that, I also decided to pursue the teaching of filmmaking and screenwriting and got my MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage at Northwestern University where I'd studied years ago as a undergrad in theatre. This summer, it's back to writing in preparation for my first feature film.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?

A: I plan to make one more short film before making my first feature, and I would like to find distribution for three of my shorts—SILENT RADIO, MAN AT THE DOOR, and THE ORIGINAL I.Q. TESTER—as a little collection. Of course, I'd like MAN AT THE DOOR and my other films to get various distribution in different regions, channels, be a part of collections, etc., but I also really want the three shorts on Netflix.

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

A: I've just begun submitting MAN AT THE DOOR to film festivals, so the future of the film is uncertain. As for me, I'll determined to continue helping to build the new Cinema Minor here at UM, and I'm on to planning my next short film, THE ORIGINAL I.Q. TESTER.

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