"Akoma," defined as "The Heart," is a post-Civil War Era drama surrounding two courageous young women in a fight for love and freedom that could cost them their lives.
AKOMA screened at NFFTY 2017 in the Cinematic Journey Screening. AKOMA is also in the Official Selection of Cinetopia Film Festival 2017 and won the Grand Prize at Film Challenge Detroit in 2016.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR & DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT:
Co-founder of Lunar Flame Pictures, Alex Gasparetto has a certificate in Film Production from the Motion Picture Institute and a six year background in Digital Media. His directorial debut in 2014, a short film titled, “Asphyxia,” has showcased in a variety of local festivals including Trinity International Film Festival in Detroit where he was presented with the Best Artist Award in 2015. More recently, his film “Akoma” took home the grand prize at the Click on Detroit WDIV Film Challenge. His films exemplify true visual story-telling and most often center around strong female leads making him a filmmaker to keep an eye on.
"When ‘AKOMA’ presented itself as my next project, I immediately felt very scared to take it on. Upon further analysis I thought to myself, “Who was I going to grow to be if I let my fear dictate what I do?” It became one of those "take-the-leap" moments."
“WHEN IT FEELS SCARY TO JUMP, THAT’S EXACTLY WHEN YOU JUMP. OTHERWISE YOU END UP STAYING THE SAME PLACE YOUR WHOLE LIFE.”
— Abel Morales, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
"AKOMA quickly became the most ambitious film we’ve set out to make. It has been the best example of what I set out to do: tell challenging stories. During Sundance 2017, I was opened up to the idea that the filmmaking process might be a great way to expand our own capacity for empathy towards one another. I hope this film can reach a broad audience, and establish the idea that a strong heart, full of love, can absolutely drive out hate within our society."
A Brief Interview with Alex:
Why did you decide to make this film?
I wish I could say that it was my idea to make this film. It was initially pitched to me by Lucie as a conversation between two women, but that’s not even close to what I got. The reason the screenplay got written in the first place was because Lucie and her best friend actress Leah Ruff had not acted opposite each other in over 12 years; and never before on screen. She had developed the actor’s itch and we had the power to cure it ourselves by developing a new project.
What was your favorite part about making it?
My favorite part about making AKOMA had to be the feeling I got hiring a cast/crew of nearly 50 members composed of students currently in film school up to union professionals. It was also the first time I had wrestled with the screenplay enough to break it down into it’s smallest components, which gave me a thorough understanding of the importance of each moment as well as the big picture.
What are you working on now?
This summer I am serving as a director of photography on some projects, including one that will hopefully break some silence around rape culture, called ‘Carpenter'. Additionally, Lucie and I are developing a horror short, and a drama in both short and feature formats about a woman who overcomes the deepest depression of her life with the help of her 10 year old daughter. Our projects are likely to be developed further after our wedding in August!
Find Alex & AKOMA online:
Website Lunar Flame Pictures: www.lunarflame.pictures/
Website AKOMA: www.lunarflame.pictures/akoma
Instagram: @lunarflamepictures -- instagram.com/lunarflamepictures
IMDb AKOMA: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5831110/