By Ermira Babamusta/
The talented writer and director Oreges Bakalli is currently working on his latest project “Made in Amerika”. The short film written and directed by Orges Bakalli promises to convey touching stories reflective of immigrant experiences in New York. For director Bakalli bringing in a unique perspective never seen before was important for this project. Topped with a powerful narrative and an amazing crew “Made in Amerika” brings in a closer and personal experience to diversity and the New York life. For release dates and updates fans can visit https://www.facebook.com/MadeInAmerika.
Exclusive interview for Dielli with film director and writer Orges Bakalli
When did you first start getting into films?
Director Orges Bakalli: I first began noticing films as an art form in high school. My school did not offer any film classes so it wasn’t till I got involved with Reel Works Teen Filmmaking that I began making films.
What are some qualities in yourself and others that make one suitable for film directing?
Director Orges Bakalli: A quality I possess that is suitable for directing is being able to visualize a story. A good director must be able to convey meaning and emotion through images.
What other films and videos have you completed?
Director Orges Bakalli: I have worked on mostly documentaries with Reel Works. Made in Amerika is my first attempt at directing a short narrative film.
Do you plan on acting in the movies that you make?
Director Orges Bakalli: I highly respect acting and have taken theater courses in the past but right now I would only like to focus on directing. Maybe later on down the line I would consider acting in my own films.
How did you get the idea to write the script for “Made in America”?
Director Orges Bakalli: I got the idea to write Made in Amerika simply by living in Ridgewood, NY. The neighborhood is a predominantly immigrant community with many Albanians, Poles and other Eastern Europeans. I decided to tell a story about the characters that inhabit this community.
How long did it take you to develop the characters?
Director Orges Bakalli: It took quite a bit of time actually. I knew the direction in which I wanted to take the story but getting there was the tricky part. Joseph Di Mattia was an amazing mentor/producer who taught me the work ethic I needed to tell this story.
What is “Made in America” about?
Director Orges Bakalli: Made in Amerika is about a recently emigrated Albanian couple and the problems they face in America.
What is the message you are trying to get across with this short film?
Director Orges Bakalli: The message of the film is to never take actions to an extreme. It’s a cautionary tale about a guy who is trying to solve a problem but in doing so almost creates an even bigger problem.
How do the lead characters played by Artan Telqiu and Emira Berisha fit in with your vision of the movie?
Director Orges Bakalli: Artan Telqiu and Emira Berisha are phenomenal actors. They each brought a uniqueness to their roles that added an entire new layer to their characters. I cannot imagine anyone else in those roles.
Which character was the most difficult to cast in Made in America?
Director Orges Bakalli: The most difficult role to cast was John, the security worker. I need someone who could be antagonistic, assertive and even sympathetic. That is tough for any actor but Alex Richard nailed the role. He brought John to life in a way that I couldn’t have imagined. He is a very talented guy.
How did you finance this short film?
Director Orges Bakalli: The film was made on a highly restricted budget. I did not have much funding for the short film . It wasn’t till Roland Uruci got involved that things really began coming together. He introduced me to Artan, Emira, his friend Albert Elmazovski who is an amazing cinematographer and on top of that, even acted in the film. He is a terrific guy. I couldn’t have done it without him.
Why the decision to make it a short film? Are you considering making it a feature in the future?
Director Orges Bakalli: Making it a short was more of a budgetary reason but I wouldn’t definitely like to revisit some of the same themes in the future weather as a feature length film or a series.
Do you intent to submit your project in festivals? What are your next plans regarding Made in Amerika?
Director Orges Bakalli: Yes, I will be submitting it to film festivals as soon as it is finished.
Director Orges Bakalli: Go out and shoot! Make what you want and don’t compromise your vision. We are lucky to live in an age where almost anyone can pick up a camera and make something. We should all take advantage of this and tell our stories.