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Meet the Finalist: Steven Heil, "Another Yesterday"

Tell us about yourself, and about Another Yesterday.

I believe filmmakers and screenwriters have a responsibility with their work, and audiences should walk away from any story feeling like they’ve grown. Another Yesterday is a film about acceptance and forgiveness; it argues that no relationship is too impaired to mend. Compassion is at our film’s core.

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project.

In the conference center where my cast and crew were sleeping, lead actor Kento Matsunami and I would always play ping pong in the basement. I consider myself a pretty good player, but Kento was so talented, he would allow me to win until I was one point away from beating him and then he would successively score 12 points in a row to whoop me in one fell swoop!

3 tips you’d like to share with aspiring artists in your field:

1. Write screenplays and shoot films as often as possible and seek feedback from people whose opinion you trust. With every project you learn something and grow stronger as a storyteller.

2. Don’t limit your movie and TV watching to a bubble you’re comfortable in (for example, only superhero movies from the 21st century). There are brilliant movies and TV shows from every decade and every country. The same goes for novels.

3. When it comes time for your film’s preproduction, the greatest investment you could make is in your actors (much more so than the camera you use, the equipment, etc.). Casting is perhaps the greatest pitfall plaguing low budget indie films. There are many films with outstanding screenplays, direction, cinematography, production values, etc., but the film fails to connect because of subpar actors. Actors bring your story to life.

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next 5 years?

My only goal is to fully support myself by writing and directing. I’m currently seeking representation and a good agent would certainly help!

Another Yesterday is nominated for Best Narrative Feature and Best First Time Director of the Year at the New York Film Awards.


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