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April 06, 2013, 12:00 AM | posted by in Filmmakers
Joshua Sanchez believes that it is the family unit that should be a safe place for people to “develop and to understand self-love and compassion for others." However, he also realizes that it is “incredibly difficult” for this to happen in our modern society.
“Four,” Joshua Sanchez’s debut feature film, takes a close look at a modern family through the point of view of a father and his daughter.
First, the main character, Joe (Wendell Pierce), has been living a lie. He leaves his wife one evening to go out on a date with a young man (Emory Cohen) he met on the Internet.
“[The lie] affected him and everyone around him to the point of near disruption,” says Sanchez. “He’s an incredibly troubled and sad man who makes questionable choices.”
“Children look to their parents to live honorable lives,” he continues. “That is the great responsibility of being a parent.”
Meanwhile, Joe's daughter Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) is out on a date with another young man, Dexter (E.J. Bonilla).
Four people. Two dates. All on the Fourth of July.
Sanchez’s choice of the quintessential American holiday “points to the celebration of American culture and values,” he says. “So it’s playing with how these characters represent or don’t represent that.”
At the film’s premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year, the four actors in the film received the festival’s acting award as an ensemble, proving Sanchez’s point—that casting is probably “the most important part of the directing process.” It’s when directors get to test what they will eventually put in front of the camera.
“Casting these complex characters was a psychological and emotional process,” he says. He was looking for actors that have “something in them that [resonates with] the character.”
And he’s a director that credits working with actors as his favorite part of the creative process.
“It’s a total rush,” he admits, seeing talented actors making what’s on the page into reality. “[It’s] something that can be quite magical and mysterious.”
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