Building a Career as a Director: Surviving and Thriving in the Film Industry

Hosted by Qasim Basir

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Qasim Basir

Webinar hosted by: Qasim Basir

Director (Sundance: A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.)

Qasim Basir is an award-winning filmmaker whose first feature MOOZ-LUM was nominated for the NAACP Image Award. MOOZ-LUM stars Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover and is a coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the September 11 attacks. The film was released theatrically in 2011 and on additional platforms via Starz, Netflix and Amazon. The film gained international recognition, opening in over 25 countries. Basir wrote and directed DESTINED, starring Cory Hardrict, Jesse Metcalfe, Margot Bingham, Hill Harper, Zulay Henao and La La Anthony. DESTINED premiered at the 2016 LA Film Festival, and has garnered numerous accolades including Best Director and Actor at the 2016 American Black Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at Urbanworld that same year. DESTINED was released theatrically and on VOD platforms. Basir recently directed and co-wrote A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM., starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good. The film will have its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM. follows two people who meet on the night of the Presidential election and share feelings of panic, despair, anger, and hope in the face of a radically changing nation. Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

There are many ways to forge a path toward a directing career in the film industry. But as almost any successful director will tell you, surviving and thriving takes much more than just talent. Packaging, the streaming platforms, and new and intriguing distribution channels have all but upended the independent film world. More and more filmmakers are embracing a DIY (Do It Yourself) mindset and educating themselves on the business - who's making what, what festivals matter, how a producer sees a project, what investors are looking for (and where to find those investors), who's the audience for my film, where can the film live and, most importantly, how can I use this information to build a long, lucrative, and successful career in the film industry.

Director Qasim Basir exploded onto the Sundance scene with his film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.: Love on Election Night. The film received a massive standing ovation at its Sundance premiere which led to a bidding way, a major theatrical release, and enormous critical acclaim. The film not only takes place in once location, but is filmed in single shot. It's a masterclass, and Qasim proved that he is a talent to be reckoned with. The accolades and offers haven't stopped flowing in. Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins.

Prior to his Sundance debut, he was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for his film Mooz-Lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover, and premiered at the LA Film Festival with his film Destined starring Jesse Metcalf, Cory Hardrict and Margot Bingham. Qasim has had choices for all of his films as to how they got out into the world and where they were going to live after their release. He's chosen everything from theatrical to VOD releases, and he's learned much along the way.

Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Qasim is bringing all his knowledge including the wealth of information he learned from the dream Sundance experience to the Stage 32 community. Qasim will dive right into the deep end of the pool to discuss how to navigate this difficult industry and how to keep yourself intact. He will teach you what you'll learn along the way as you become more successful and how to use that knowledge as fuel. He will discuss short filmmaking as a calling card or as proof of concept of something bigger. He will show you how to identify and engage financiers and production companies. Then, Qasim will delve into the filmmaking process including how casting comes down to understanding the 3 P's. He will discuss pre-production, voice, tone, story, performance & camera. He will teach you how to make decisive and confident creative choices. And he will teach you how to deal with failure and disappointment, but also how to deal with success.

"People will tell you many different things in this business, but none is better than when you find what's actually right for you. Let me help get you there."

- Qasim Basir

 

Praise for Qasim

 

"I saw A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. at Sundance. The movie is brilliant and watching Qasim during the Q&A it became clear that he is as well. To be able to learn from him here on Stage 32 is such a gift. Inspiration on a whole other level."

- Monique T.

 

"Genius in every way."

- Tyler K.

 

"Qasim is my hero."

- Mikael F.

 

"Another home run for Stage 32. A teacher above and beyond worthy of the subject matter. More please!"

- Imani L.

 

What You'll Learn

  • How to Navigate the Difficult Industry and Keep Yourself Intact
  • What You'll Learn Along Your Journey to Becoming a Director
  • My Journey - the Path to How I Got to Be a Director of an Official Sundance Selection
  • Why You Don't Have to Begin in NY or LA to Be Successful
  • Should You Make Short Films?
  • How to Connect with a Production Company and What That Can Do To Help You
  • Finding Investors - the Trickiest Part
  • Casting Your Film is About the 3 P's
  • Directing Tips - Pre-Production, Voice, Tone, Story, Performance & Camera
  • How to Make Strong Creative Choices
  • What Happens if you Fall?
  • Q&A with Qasim

 

A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.: Love on Election Night written and directed by Qasim which premiered at Sundance and stars Omari Hardwick and Meagan Goode with cameos by Kenya Barris and Jay Ellis which Samuel Goldwyn just acquired. The story begins on the night of the Presidential election, when An LA club promoter (Omari Hardwick) falls for a woman who challenges him (Meagan Good) to revisit his broken dreams while he pushes her to discover hers. To see the trailer, click here. 

Qasim’s follow-up to his feature film directorial debut Mooz-Lum, Destined tells the parallel stories of Sheed and Rasheed the same actor played by (Cory Hardrict) as they explore the idea of destiny as well as how the smallest incident can manifest itself into a life changing event. Premiering at LA Film Festival in June 2016, the film went on to the American Black Film Festival immediately after where it won Qasim a Best Director award and Best Actor for Cory Hardrict. It has since won 4 more awards, for a total of 6 and continues its festival run.

Reviews:

"Shampoo” meets “Medicine for Melancholy” (or “Before Sunrise”) in Qasim Basir's two-hander “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream.” - Variety

"A visually sensuous, dreamlike film" - Sundance Institute

"Intoxicating" - Hollywood Reporter

"One-shot film of great beauty" - Birth Movies Death

"Anchored by nuanced, natural, absolutely beautiful lead performances" - Paste Magazine

Cast/Director Interview

About Your Instructor

Qasim Basir is an award-winning filmmaker whose first feature MOOZ-LUM was nominated for the NAACP Image Award. MOOZ-LUM stars Nia Long, Evan Ross & Danny Glover and is a coming-of-age tale about a Muslim boy going to college around the September 11 attacks. The film was released theatrically in 2011 and on additional platforms via Starz, Netflix and Amazon. The film gained international recognition, opening in over 25 countries.

Basir wrote and directed DESTINED, starring Cory Hardrict, Jesse Metcalfe, Margot Bingham, Hill Harper, Zulay Henao and La La Anthony. DESTINED premiered at the 2016 LA Film Festival, and has garnered numerous accolades including Best Director and Actor at the 2016 American Black Film Festival and Best Narrative Feature at Urbanworld that same year. DESTINED was released theatrically and on VOD platforms.

Basir recently directed and co-wrote A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM., starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good. The film will have its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM. follows two people who meet on the night of the Presidential election and share feelings of panic, despair, anger, and hope in the face of a radically changing nation.

Up next for Qasim is to direct the NFL Biopic ‘Hawk’ based on life of Andrew Hawkins.

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