Film Courage: When we were setting up for this interview I jokingly noted that something you said should be on a T-shirt and that is “Call me when you make your second feature film.”
Kenneth Castillo, Filmmaker: Call me when you make your second. Yes! When someone makes their first film I’m like Okay, give me a call when you make your second film. Because after your first film if you say Oh man, I’ve got to go through that again!, then you’re a filmmaker.
I say that because in films that I’ve done a lot of my lead actors have gone on (and a lot of my stuff is ensemble) so a few of my leads…almost all of my leads of all my feature films have gone on to write and direct their own films because I had shown them how to pull the rabbit out of the hat for little money.
Because at that time no one thought you could make a movie for $50,000 and I was doing that and I was getting them at Blockbuster video, I was getting them on Redbox and getting them on Netflix.
These actors would go off and use my connections to do their thing. And some of them did it right in the sense of they started their process. Some of them didn’t do it so right and they just copied my process. But none of them went off to make a second film…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
BIO: Kenneth Castillo began his writing/directing career in 1996 producing theatrical productions at the Two Roads Theatre in Studio City. After producing, writing, and directing several full and one act plays, he turned his full attention to film. In 2000, along with his producing partner (and now wife) Karla Ojeda, formed a film production company called Valor Productions. Their first venture out was a series of short films entitled The Misadventures of Cholo Chaplin. A series of silent short films shot in the style of the serial shorts of the 20’s and 30’s and set in the world of The Day of the Dead. Several different episodes went on to screen at film festivals across the country including HBO’s New York International Latino FF and the Los Angeles International Short FF. In 2007, Episode V-A Day at the Theatre was accepted and screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France and the following year won the Imagen Award for BEST THEATRICAL SHORT FILM.
That same year Kenneth was featured on American Latino T.V. as an up and coming Latino filmmaker and caught the attention of Plus Entertainment. Since July of 2008, Kenneth has written and directed six feature films, all of which have been distributed on multiple platforms such as Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster and in retail stores such as Walmart and Target.
In 2011 he directed the boxing drama Counterpunch about a Cuban, Bi-Polar, boxer out of Miami who gets help from his family as well as his crisis counselor that featured Danny (Machete) Trejo in a good guy role. Counterpunch caught the attention of Lionsgate and was distributed across the country and in Canada.
Kenneth is currently in post-production on his 7th feature film entitled Marigold the Matador and is the first feature from his new production company Cienfuegos Productions.
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SAWGRASS on Youtube by Jack Peterson. Jack is an American filmmaker based in Chicago. He’s been featured in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, and ABC News for his work as an activist. His first feature film, Sawgrass, is a psychedelic journey through Florida, featuring an extensive interview with the brother of the Las Vegas shooter. Sawgrass also features a performance by the Rock-afire Explosion, a vintage animatronic band created by famed inventor Aaron Fechter. Jack’s next feature film, My Perfect Everything, tells the story of a magician chasing an imaginary woman he met in 1989. My Perfect Everything is currently in the early stages of pre-production.