• Elsie Hernandez

Interview with Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker Carlos Freire

When you watch Carlos Freire’s films you can feel the connection with the people that are featured. The stories are real and the filming is face to face with our society. Originally from Ecuador and in New York City for the past 20 years, Carlos is following his dreams. An educated award winning filmmaker whose latest documentary “ Terraza 7“ won the best "Short Latino Documentary Award" at the Latino Film Festival, "Audience Choice Award" at the Boulevard Film Festival, "Cinematography" at the Queens World Film Festival and the "Excellence in Short Documentary" at the International Filmmaker Festival in NY. Just recently, he walked down the red carpet of the International Film Festival, where he was honored and presented his prized documentary. His latest effort is working on a documentary on homelessness, which is sure to come out next year. With his creative force he is gaining a reputation and plans to win even more awards, until his documentaries hit Hollywood. Carlos' talent and drive is an inspiration to us all.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

When I came to this country, I was looking for new opportunities for me as a professional. Since then, I have been trying very hard to accomplish what I want to do. I decided to go to college for a degree, because all I needed was a piece of paper that says that I am a professional in my field. After 6 long years, I have earned an Associates Degree in Media Studies, Bachelors Degree in Film production, and an MFA in Media Communications Arts focused on Documentary Production. On my free time I work on my private projects to communicate my point of view about certain topics. What inspires you to create films? My inspiration to make films is the need to communicate. As a communicator, I feel obliged to show the dynamics of our society when it faces certain struggles due to different issues such as demographics, equal rights, immigration, gentrification and more.

When did you know that you wanted to become a film maker? I wanted to become a filmmaker from the first time I had a camera in my hands. When I was 11 I used to play with an old camera that worked with Beta tapes. I was always filming and following people around to interview them. I was annoying!

Where do you get your inspiration from? My inspiration comes from the need to create an impact at a short or long term. Also, what inspires me is the chance to communicate and to have an activist voice in every film that I make. Which awards have you won? I have won numerous awards with my documentaries. Some of them are the "Best Latino Documentary Award", "Audience Choice Award", "Excellence in Documentary Editing". Along with first place in several other contests for editing trailers, Public Service Announcements and many more.

Are there other talents that you have and enjoy doing? I think I have a set of skills that are involved with film making. Some of my other talents are working with color, sound design, set design, folly recording, etc.

What projects are you working on, that we should look out for?

At this moment I’m working on a documentary about homelessness in NYC. It will be finished by spring 2019 and it will be ready to be screened in festivals in the summer of 2019. Where would you love to have your films viewed? I’d like to have my films shown in the Cannes and Tribeca film festivals. Not to say that other festivals are not good, because every festival that screens my films have been a good experience for me. I always get to meet and learn from new people.

Link to the "Terraza 7 trailer":

What is a dream project for you?

My dream project is my life. I’m looking for that feeling of self-satisfaction that makes me grow as a professional. I think that is priceless.

What advice can you give upcoming artists?

For upcoming artists my advice is “Make films, No Excuses!” Keep on doing it and never give up. Who would you like to work with? It’s not about whom I’d like to work with. I would say who would like to work with me. I’m open to work in different projects and I’m always willing to give a hand or advice to the people that ask me for my input.

What is life to you? Life is full of surprises. I have had many struggles in life, but I have always overcome them. If you are able to deal with that, you are going to conquer the world. What are the challenges that you face as a documentary film artist? The challenges that I face as a documentary artist are access and budget. Other than that everything else is a piece of cake. Thank you so much Carlos. We loved this interview, very inspirational. Please don't forget to subscribe before logging out. Thanks for passing by.

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Festivals and press mentioned:

Queens World Film Festival

IFFNY 2018 Film Festival

ny elite

Cannes Film Festival 

Tribeca Film Festivals