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Meet the Finalist: Sadie Duarte, "The Lights of Dawn"

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I started writing my own stories and became a published writer 22 years ago. Back then, I thought it'd be a good idea to see any of my short stories on the big screen. Yet, everyone around me told me it'd be a waste of time and that I should concentrate on being a teacher of English and lead just a normal life far from the showbusiness. It took me a decade to follow the path that I've always wanted. In 2013, I had already written the script for a musical movie (DMUS) and found a way to shoot it. Then, I said to myself: "From now on, this is what I really want to do. No matter what people tell me, this is what makes me happy." I went to a film school, improved my skills and I've been shooting movies since then.

What's is your all time favorite film? Why is it special to you?

I have many favourite movies, especially musicals. If I could choose only one, it'd be Rebel Without a Cause. I believe all characters and situations are so realistic. No doubt it's a classic and no matter how many years go by, you can watch the film, read between the lines and identify or sympathize with Jim Stark (James Dean). My movie The Lights of Dawn is a tribute to Dean. I wanted to highlight a different side of the story and let spectators come to their own conclusions. For this purpose, all the tracks written by Daniel Angelus are as important as the cast. They all create such a perfect atmosphere.

What tips would you give aspiring filmmakers who are just starting their careers?

I'd tell them to work hard every single day. Being an indie filmmaker is not easy, but it's worth it. We're here to entertain people, make them laugh, cry or just feel something. We're millers of dreams and that's the most important thing.

Follow the artist on social media:

Instagram: @duartesadie. X: @sadieduarte. Facebook:

Tags: 6th Annual New York Film Awards 2022


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