20 Shorts with Roy Zafrani

The following interview was originally posted at www.topshorts.net

1. My all-time favorite movie: A Walk to Remember (dir. Adam Shankman). I watched it about 10 times, and it's still heartbreaking. I also loved 50 First Dates (writer: George Wing; director: Peter Segal). I think it's one of the best romantic comedies ever made.

2. A film that inspired me to become a filmmaker: There were so many. One of the films that made me passionate about writing comedy was The Heartbreak Kid (dir. Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly). I remember myself laughing like crazy at the cinema.

3. Best movie I've seen in 2019: Wonder (dir. Stephen Chbosky). Wow, I couldn't stop the tears for over an hour.

4. One actor and one actress I would love to work with: Ben Stiller and Julia Roberts.

5. A director I would love to work with: Quentin Tarantino.

6. My happy place is: Home. Spending time with my family is the best part of every day.

7. My favorite hobby is: Playing tennis with my son.

8. Most people don't know that I: Wake up every morning at 4:30 am.

9. The most challenging film I worked on: The Other Dreamers. It took me four years to complete the project, but it was definitely worth it.

10. The project(s) I'm most proud of: Screenplay - Mondays with Amy; Film - Over the Wall.

11. Five collaborators I'd take with me to any project:

- Nami Melumad - My longtime friend and the composer of all of my films in the past seven years. She's super talented, and probably the hardest working human being on earth.

- Jarek Marszewski - A screenwriter & director who won the LAFA Best of Fest award in 2017, with his feature film Bikini Blue. With a beautiful story and tons of passion, Jarek created a terrific periodic drama that you could never tell was produced entirely independently. Jarek has the soul of an artist, and I would definitely let him direct any of my screenplays with full confidence.

- Mor Cohen - We've made several films together, including Over the Wall, where Mor was the lead producer and actress. She's an animal, in the best sense of the word.

- Lisa Roumain - In 2016, Lisa won Best Actress at LAFA for her role in Hurricane. Since then, she's been a part of the Top Shorts and LAFA judging teams, and has always been very supportive. Lisa is one of the only actors I know who could play just about any character, from the good, loving mother, to the manipulative wife. Love her dedication.

- Shaw Jones - One of the best actors I've met. He was the lead actor of The Letter, which won Best of Fest at Top Shorts 2016. Since then, he has been a part of the Top Shorts judging team, and I can't wait for our next collaboration, hopefully as an actor in one of my films. A great, great guy.

12. Five filmmakers who inspire me:

- Jeff Melman - Six-time Emmy nominated director, who has worked on over 500 projects, including the some best TV series we've seen. This amazing man is always ready to support the next generation, and has been Top Shorts' Premier Judge several times already. I'm forever grateful for his support.

- Julia Parker - A super talented actress and a wonderful human being. I always love working with her, and get inspired by her positive attitude.

- Ido Weiss - Ido is a director & actor who doesn't stop creating for a moment. He played Nathan's father in my film Over the Wall, and was very helpful and supportive throughout. It's been a year since we finished filming, and since then, I think he's created about 10 plays. More importantly, he deals with important subject matters, such as disability, diversity and peace- what a man!

- Nigel Barber - Nigel is a great actor who has played in multiple blockbusters such as Mission Impossible and Spectre. Although he's very busy with new projects, Nigel is always ready to support independent filmmaking as a juror.

- John Sweet - John was my first professor at UCLA. With his sensitivity and experience, he taught us scree