Danial ‘17 is much more than a filmmaker. He is a storyteller and a story is what he telling in his trilogy about creating your own identity. He began with two short films, ‘Voices’ and ‘Identity’. Concluding the series, Danial creates a new film entitled ‘Mirage’, starring Marisa ‘17, Cheyenne ‘17 and Maya ‘18. He plans to release ‘Mirage’ on the 25th of May.
Although all three of these films are not related by plot line, they are centered around similar themes: the theme of escapism. According to Danial it is about “these characters who want to escape from reality and want to live in a beautiful lie rather than the ugly truth.”
Danial did not reveal much about the latest release, hoping to keep his audience in suspense. “It is about this character who talks to the audience about his mental issues and as it slowly progresses, he finds out more about himself.”
He calls these movies a reflection of himself as it is about his own psyche and desires. “I want to live in my own world and my own reality where I can control everything.” Instead of talking or writing about it, he chose to make a movie as he is “not really great with communicating with people and I used film as another language device.” He is also inspired by up and coming directors such as Denis Villeneuve – who directed Arrival – especially by, as he called it, “his discontinued editing.”
The high quality appreciation of film in Danial’s work did not come until later as he slowly became the thoughtful individual he is now. He started with just some fun work as a hobby. “When I started this whole thing, it was just for fun. I thought it was cool to make a film but as you progress and age, you start to question your own morals and your own life. You kind of put that into your own film.”
Through this, the filmmaker has learned about many things and has gotten to know many people, one of them being the IASAS Dancers. “It was one of the turning points in my life, it showed me a new form of art which blends in well with the film which is why I decided to make ‘Mirage’ a dance film.”
In his future endeavours, Danial is surely excited for his next projects as he keeps wanting to learn more and meet more people. “These projects; they help me learn about filmmaking. I have to keep making more of these smaller projects and work with other people to get more opportunities to advance myself as an independent filmmaker.”