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Interview with Damon Cardasis: Daring To Tell The Untold Stories

Damon Cardasis Filmmaker Master of Style

As part of our Master of Style series presented by Cadillac, we chatted with the unstoppable filmmaker Damon Cardasis.

Prior to your career as a producer and filmmaker, you were a model. Is fashion and style important to you?
Style is definitely important to me. Whether it's fashion or artistic I think it's important to have your own unique sense of self and voice. Something that expresses your individuality and says, "This is me and no one else has it."

What drove you toward becoming a producer and filmmaker?
It's been a journey that has developed over the years. I love the creative process, the arts and the thrill of creating something out of nothing with amazing collaborators. I love storytelling and I am happy to wear whatever hat it takes--whether it be producer, writer, director or film festival director--to tell that story.

How would you describe your style of filmmaking?
I think it's still developing but I would say eclectic. I love many styles and genres but strong writing is first and foremost. My current film is a bit darker and a musical whereas Maggie's Plan was a screwball comedy. My web series Vicky & Lysander was absurdist and campy and I'm also producing a cinema verite based documentary. I love distinct characters that haven't been seen before. I think the world is filled with so much diversity, so many interesting and complex people that it's important to represent them and their stories.


What would you like to accomplish in your career?
I would love to continue to learn and grow as an artist and producer. Rebecca Miller and I started our production company Round Films a few years ago and we are churning out more and more projects while keeping the same level of scrutiny. Also, I have an interest in getting involved in more theater since that is actually my background. This year I produced the Arthur Miller Centennial at the Lyceum Theatre, and it reminded me how much I love and miss theater.

You produced the new film Maggie's Plan which Sony picked up. How did that success impact your life?
It was a wonderful experience that continued well past the sale. I gave myself 5 seconds to toast and drink champagne and then started focusing on what's next and how to continue creating work. The great reception of Maggie's Plan has been a great launch pad for other work.

Tell us about your latest project which you wrote and directed, Saturday Church.
It's a musical that follows one boy's journey of growth and self-discovery. The film was inspired by a weekly program held at a church for LGBTQ youth from the Christopher Street pier. I spent months getting to know the kids and listening to their stories, and was inspired by their talents, creativity and strength. My mother is an Episcopal priest in the Bronx so the relationship between religion and the LGBTQ community has always interested me. My mother is extremely liberal and accepting but that is obviously not always the case with religious figures.

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