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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Actress/Producer Luciana Faulhaber: Telling Stories on Her Own Terms

by Cyrus Webb

As I have been traveling the country this year one of the greatest experiences has been meeting individuals who are not just passionate about what they do but are examples for us all as to what is possible. A clear example of that is Luciana Faulhaber.  She’s not just a talented actress and producer. She also is someone who loves to create and inspire as well. This year she is celebrated the release of her film DON’T LOOK.

During our conversation we will covered not just the new film but also what it has been like for her to share this story with the world and to see the way people are responding to it.

First of all, Luciana, congratulations to the team and you on DON’T LOOK. How does it feel now for the world to be able to enjoy the film?
I think it's the best part of this process. It's so nice to be able to have it out in the world and finally everybody can see what we have been working on for all of these years. As I mentioned before we have over 500 Kickstarter donors that helped us make this dream come true. And it's nice that they can finally see what we have been up to all of these years.

You are right, and I think that's the cool thing and it's such a great story we are going to talk more about that. I want to talk about this journey for you, Luciana.  Not only were you committed to the story but to know that other people were so committed. Was that one of the things that really kept you motivated along the way?
100%! Making something so hard, especially when you are doing it with no budget. A lot of the times we joked around saying that we were making this film with our rent money, because it really felt like that at the end of the month. Post production is by far one of the most expensive parts of this process, and we really had to put in all of the resources that we could pull together, so yes, it was really great to see it happen. As a team we just had to stay together through the process and see it through.

Let's go back for those who are just now discovering your journey, Luciana. When did you first realize that storytelling through film was something that you wanted to do?
I wanted to be a storyteller as a child, and I think a lot of children are keen to tell stories and play pretend. That was what I grew up with. I didn't have much to play with, so I would live in my imagination, and I would create with the things that I had around me.

When I started as an actress I met my partner in acting school. This was before we became producers, writers and creators. We kept encountering the same issues. We would go out to audition, and we would get the same parts over and over again—as well as parts that we really felt were outdated. So we made a commitment to create work to showcase and reflect what we believe, and put Latin people and other people of different diverse backgrounds in a more accurate light, so that's how we started creating.

Not only are you able to do something you enjoy, but how does it feel to know that people can now come up to you and thank you for being an example yourself as to what other people can do when it comes to pursuing their own goals and dreams?
It's a part of what we set out to do. We wanted to be an example and also be a resource. I always tell people if you have questions, if there is anything I can help you with let me know. That’s why I do interviews like this. If there is anything that I can say that will motivate another person to follow their dreams, then it's been worth my time. 

For those who are just now hearing about DON’T LOOK take us into it a bit.
DON’T LOOK is an homage to the 80s horror. My producing partner and I grew up with 80s horror movies, and we loved it. It was always a fun, exciting time of being a little scared but not too much. You know there is an absurdity part of it that's a bit satirical and the splashing of that slasher blood everywhere so it was an escape growing up.

So when we set up to do a horror we kind of wanted to honor that genre and show our love for it, but at the same time we wanted to reflect a little bit of what we believe. So in this film you'll get all of the benchmark of the horror genre, so for those of you who love the slasher film that's for you At the same time we try to make it a little bit different, so we put the female relationships at the center of the film. The friendship between the two female leads really carry the film throughout. 

We try to give every character a lot of depth and a lot of excitement. We also try to make sure that both the diverse cast and as well as the Caucasian roles were well-represented and as important in the picture. As creators we try to make sure that even though it is an homage film and we love the genre that we put our own point of view in there. 

You talked about challenges that content creators have to deal with. What do you think kept you from giving up and moving forward?
That's a really good question, and I don't think I can pinpoint one exact thing that has kept me going. I mean, I think it takes a village. When people say that I think that's so true. A part of it is the need to do it. I come from a very traditional Latin family and the arts was something that was viewed as it's for the rich.

I grew up with that mindset, and at the same time my mother was always saying ‘If you want to go to acting school I will find a way to pay for it…If you want to do ballet I will find a way to pay for it’… But it was always viewed as a hobby. It was viewed as something that you would do as a reward for all of the hard work that you have had. And it's partially true. I see now as an adult that for you to do the art it's very difficult. At the end of the day when you love something and it's a part of who you are there is just no way that you are not going to pursue it.

Another thing that kept me going is definitely my community. My writing partner is an amazing support. We have been working together for the last 10 years. There are a lot of other people that have helped me out throughout the road. And it goes from trying to help me get a job that will help me pay for my rent, to giving me a phone call when I don't book a part to tell me it’s going to be fine.

I think the people around me have shown support in so many different ways, and that's what's important. Now if you are someone who says you want to do something but you are not really taking action towards whatever your dream is, then you should re-evaluate that. I am a big believer of if you want to do something you should at least try to find a way and at least give it your best shot.

Thank you so much, Luciana, and congrats again on DON’T LOOK. Any last advice for our audience of dreamers?
You have to really be honest with yourself. I think artists are better at that than most people. You have to take a hard look at yourself and your life and say am I willing to work three jobs and then work nights, writing and directing and putting my rent money into this film to see this through? It comes down to action, and I am a big action person.

Get DON’T LOOK on Amazon or your favorite streaming service. Stay connected with Luciana on Instagram at  

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