We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Kahuam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think taking risks is a huge part of any business, however I would say filmmaking is one of the few professions out there that you have to risk it all in order to make things happen. I’ve seen many directors or producers in this town who think their golden opportunity will come and that one big production company or studio will hire them to make a film and that will never happen. You have to prove to them that you’re capable of pulling it off and in order to achieve this you’ll have to make many difficult choices. Without these risks you won’t have a career in the film world as simple as that. People in this town respect artists who take risks and that make unique films because they know how difficult it is to make one. It doesn’t have to be a massive box office success, but if they see that you had the tenacity to make an independent solid film they will give you your shot.
I’ll give you an example: I’ve been working on my last film FORGIVENESS for the last 3 years now and I’ve bet everything on it. The way the script was written and the way the film was made was a huge risk but we went all in. It’s been 3 difficult years however I wouldn’t be here and having the experience I have without this film. We will have our world premiere at the prestigious London FrightFest on August 29th, 2021 and I can’t wait! We are almost there! Finally it’s coming out this week! Being able to present your film at one of the top genre film festivals in the world is such an honor. None of this would have happened if I didn’t risk it all. Like they say “nothing ventured nothing gained”. I agree 100%.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think as a director/writer/producer I love telling stories that will stay with the audience for a long time. Most of my stories are dark, but they do have this human condition study that analyzes the choices that we and other individuals do in life and how those choices affect the people around them. To make this happen I always approach the stories with a unique storytelling style that will make my audience feel and reflect at the end of it.
Yes, it’s been a difficult road, nothing was granted to me. I know many artist who had their way up with the help of their fathers or uncles who were in the film industry and that’s awesome, but with me that wasn’t the case. Nobody in my family or circle of friends knew anything about the film industry. I had to start out from scratch. Also this coming July it’s going to be 9 years since I moved to LA. I didn’t know anybody in the city and I had to build my network throughout these years. I’m super happy to have met the most talented artist you can find and I’ll still meet many others in the future.
Throughout all these years I’ve learned many things and one of them would be patience. I think by far is one of the most important things any artist needs to realize, great things take time and they don’t happen right away. It takes many years to improve as an artist and for people to discover your work, it’s just the truth of the nature. We all want to make things happen really fast and get things made, but the reality is that it will take a bit more time than you think.
Making films is very enjoyable, it’s the best thing in the world and I love it, but at the same time is also very painful. Maybe what I’m about to say will sound weird but these constant obstacles that we all face in our careers will make your art better and better. You’ll become a brilliant problem solver so when you get to the top, you’ll know exactly what to do. Every artist becomes better and better with time.
I want the audiences around the world to be able to think after watching my films and to make them realize something about life or something that they felt related to or having this thought of “what if this happened to me?”. If I did that I’ve done my job.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I really like going out in downtown LA, but that was back in 2019 when we could go out. Luckily things are slowly getting back to normal and hopefully we’ll be able to hangout again at a nice rooftop were we can gather together and have a great time during the evening.
The LACMA museum is incredible, I would totally take them there. They have amazing art and sometimes they do different galleries/expos like the one they did with Stanley Kubrick and Guillermo del Toro couple years back.
I also like Santa Monica or Venice beach as well. Those are really chill places to go to, food and drinks are great there too.
And of course now that theaters are open I would definitely take them to the movies for sure. It’s SO NICE that theaters are back. I MISSED THEM SO MUCH.
Last but not least, the great thing about LA is that it has such great food places to go to from Japanese (Takami -rooftop), Mexican (Guelaguetza), Lebanese Food (Hayat’s Kitchen), Korean Bbq (Moodaepo), you name it. I have many spots that I’ve previously taken many friends and they loved it.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to every single family, colleagues, crew members, actors, friends who have been there since I started this crazy journey. Without them I wouldn’t be here. I’m lucky enough to continue working with the most talented and creative artists in this town and I hope I continue to do so. Thank you everyone! I can’t wait to continue creating with you all next month in a new project that we are working on. I’m super excited!
Pic 1 Adrian Bodegas Pic 2 Joan Vidal Ayats Pic 3 Joan Vidal Ayats Pic 4 Joan Vidal Ayats Pic 5 Carlos Gilberto Torres Pic 6 Fan in the crowd Pic 7 NA Pic 8 Jose D. Rodríguez Pic 9 Jose D. Rodríguez Pic 10 Jose D. Rodríguez