5Q's w/Ryan Casselman "Our Barrio" Director

Our Barrio (29 min) dir: Ryan Casselman

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#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters?

Our Barrio tells the story of Gabriela, a young Latina on the verge of adulthood, who lives with her family in a diverse neighborhood. This film will immerse you into a world that resembles many living in the United Sates, but yet is hardly ever portrayed on the big screen.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

Often the question is asked, “Does art reflect culture? Or does culture reflect art?” When we set out to make Our Barrio, we wanted to make a film that reflected the current political and social climate. Inspired by the diverse communities we live in, we also wanted to make a film that was a call to action. Something that could inspire audiences, alter one’s viewpoint, and potentially bring people of all walks of life a little closer together.

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#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

Though my professional movie making career has just started, my non-professional movie making marks back to when I was thirteen years old. Riding my bike to the movie theater a few miles from my house to sneak into films like About Schmidt and Before Sunset and messing around with my dad’s VHS camera. Early on, I had a strong interest in acting, but I soon realized that my true passion was in filmmaking. It has been so empowering being able to express myself through the films that I’ve made. After making several micro-budget short films, Our Barrio is the first SAG film that I have directed.

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

It’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone and make something beyond what you feel your capable of. You often will surprise yourself and there is no better way to learn.


#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?
We hope to continue screening Our Barrio at more festivals and hope to reach a bigger audience through online distribution. As a filmmaker, I hope to continue making films that will challenge myself and eventually start the daunting task of writing a feature film. 

Matthew NothelferComment