Trigger Warning: Pedophilia, Sexual Assault
"Mikey" is an incredibly personal film that served as my final for my "Sight & Sound" filmmaking class at NYU taught by professor Alrick Brown (Kinyarwanda, 2011). The class focuses on growing students' visual storytelling skills by limiting our projects to only being black and white and until our second to last film of the semester, all of our projects are completely silent, as well. I can easily say this is the course that taught me the most about filmmaking in my entire life and I am eternally grateful for what I learned in the course.
Leading up to my final film, however, I felt like my projects (although pretty solid) were lacking truth and meaning. My professor also noticed this and pushed me as well as my classmates to create films that were important and deeply personal. At the same time I was taking this class, I was also taking another course at NYU about childhood trauma. In this class, I was learning about the benefits of exposure therapy on some individuals. This got me inspired to create a film that could potentially help me work through some of my own personal traumas. I decided to dig deep and write and direct a film about a traumatic memory that terrified me and see if it would help bring clarity, peace, resolution.
Thus, the idea for "Mikey" came to me. When I was very young, I once got lost at a store with my mom. While lost, I had an encounter with a strange man that forever affected me. "Mikey" was a recreation of this moment in my life, and by creating this work, in some way I found closure for a tear in my heart and psyche that had affected me for years. I am so grateful for the actors and crew that helped me pull of this project and I think it's one of my greatest works.
"Mikey" was selected for the NYU Sight & Sound showcase festival in 2020 and tied for the overall award. You can watch it online now: