- Alex Armando Torres
Writing a Stellar Director or Writers Statement.
When submitting to a festival, grant or fellowship, the key is crafting a statement that has a beginning, middle and end, such like a screen play. People who view your statement want to see an evolution in your writing, that you are not being repetitious in your statement but that you elaborate as you go.
Writing your statement can be challenging. I think it's challenging because its something we are taught in school in theory but never learn how to apply it.
So first, start with why you wrote the screen play you wrote or why as a director the work inspired you. Next, talk about the journey after the inspiration. How did this work shape your vision? And lastly, how this this relate to the world. How does it connect us? And why would someone who is not connected to this project want to see this come to life?
Honestly, even with this being said it can still be daunting. So I suggest googling samples of other writers and see how they express their views and emotions in their own personal statements. I came across a very emotional and personal statement for a film, City of Joy. It is a beautifully written Directors Statement.
Also I am including my own writers statement for a feature length script I wrote, Letting Go.
Writers' Statement (This is a working sample. Feature Length Script: Letting Go):
What inspired me to write Letting Go was at first a subconscious understanding that growing up as an Afro-Latino Gay young male there was a deep and personal pain, a desire to love and be loved even in the face of betrayal. Growing up I have always felt underappreciated and undervalued even within my own family unit. As the dark skinned one (Negrito) I learned early on how interactions with others and the perceptions of others can play a role to shape a person’s character.
In Letting Go, I wanted to explore, how a person who is marginalized could over-come this feeling of being alone, of being betrayed, of feeling less than human and come through the other side feeling whole with the capacity to love and accept love in return. How could I show the world, that this character is no different, no less or better than anyone else. That we all share that common bond of wanting to belong, of wanting to love and be loved, of finding our own tribe.
While Letting Go is about an Afro-Latino Gay male growing up against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis and trying to navigate what it means to be bi-racial, gay, and finding true love at its’ core it’s about love and redemption. It’s about finding forgiveness in spite of the pain and finding the will to thrive.
Letting Go is more than just about one man, one person, one character. It is an experience of a person we could all identify with regardless of race, color, creed or religion and realize first and foremost we are all human. Most of us grow up with societal norms, sometimes to be faced with a lifestyle as we grow older that may come into direct conflict with our past or our perceived values.
And at the end of the day, we are all one tribe, one community and that without love and forgiveness, we fall, we become stilted and die. To forgive is to be divine and in that divinity, we find our humanity. By Letting Go of our pain, we find a reason to live and grow and love.