Antoine Allen, Filmmaker: I just wrapped up my second feature film called LOLA. It’s a female boxing film and it came out beautiful. I’m so happy about it…but it wasn’t easy. The first thing we’re going to talk about is self-care. You’ve got to take care yourself. You can’t make all those beautiful projects if you don’t take care of yourself. Learn from me, health is wealth.
I set production for my film was supposed to be in January but what happened was I didn’t always take care of myself so I got really sick, wound up getting diabetes and almost died. Take care of your health first because if you’re not healthy, you’re not going nowhere. So that’s one of the most important things I want to really get into you filmmakers, take care of your health. We can make all these beautiful projects, but if we’re not here to watch it, what’s the purpose? So I got myself healthy. I pushed production back to this summer and now I’m ready to talk about it.
When it comes to funding my feature film it was very very hard. I went the regular route, I packaged it up, I went to certain people and they didn’t see the vision. Sometimes that’s majority a lot of filmmakers and we get mad and upset, we go to our friends and family and we still get no…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Award-winning filmmaker Antoine Allen had dreams like any other kid growing up, and it was those same dreams that allowed him to break through every obstacle in his path. Despite growing up poor in Jamaica, Queens, Allen was already rich with potential. Refusing to let this define his future, he moved forward with a passion, drive, and tireless dedication that has now become synonymous with the Antoine Allen brand.
Allen began his career in the music industry, successfully managing hip-hop artists for many years. During that time, he had several experiences that opened his eyes to the fact that he had more to offer. It was at this time that the phrase “dream big or don’t dream at all” really hit hard.
Forgoing the traditional film school route, he began educating himself on all creative, technical, and business aspects of the process and never looked back. Allen transformed himself into a successful writer, director, filmmaker and producer. He sold his first screenplay,
No Where Land an animated feature film in 2008. As an award-winning director, Allen has gone on to be involved in a variety of film and music video projects.
In the summer of 2010, Allen made his directorial debut with Split Decision a narrative short film exploring love, rejection and motivation, which he also wrote and produced. He took promotions into his own hands, launching a highly successful social media campaign. The trailer alone received over twenty-one thousand views on YouTube and countless ‘Likes’ on Facebook, all culminating in the Split Decision world premiere. The opening screening in New York City sold out. This should have come as no surprise since Allen sold out a premiere to a 3-minute music video that he had previously directed. On a personal level, the film allowed him to draw from his own experiences of beating the odds when life got tough, and was an experience that brought Allen full circle.
His most recent project, a full-length feature film Life Is Too Short (2015) premiered to another crop of sold out audiences and has been honored with multiple awards and film festivals selections.
Aside from pursuing his creative projects, Allen has devoted a great deal of his time inspiring, mentoring and giving back to his community by helping young entrepreneurs and artists achieve the bigger dreams that they have for themselves. This is a reflection of the extent and impact that one person can have within their surroundings.
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