Meet YoungFilmmaker - Thomas Rivera Montes

Thomas Rivera Montes

Act Zero

Writer, Director and Co-Producer

Brooklyn College '15

Thomas Rivera Montes is a New York City-based filmmaker, producer, and freelance editor. Born and raised in Lausanne (Switzerland), he graduated in May 2015 from Brooklyn College (New York), with a bachelor’s degree in Film Production. The same year, he directs Iria, a documentary about an abstract painter living in New York, and the short film Act Zero, a coming-of-age story about a boy, who tries to share his feelings with his classmate Rachel, which won the award for Best Directing at the 33rd Brooklyn College Film Festival. Thomas Rivera Montes is developing his new short film, which tells the story of a group of teenagers living in New York, while working as an editor on narrative short films and documentaries.

I think I learnt especially from my actors thanks to their generosity on and off set. I think I learnt a lot about directing through them and just working with such talented people. I trusted me all the way and I learnt how to give them a certain freedom to come with aspects of the characters that I had never thought of.

I think the most difficult challenge was telling a story that had an emotional impact in such a short amount of time. I was trying to find the right balance between the slice of life movie and the more dramatic aspect of the film. There was a lot of rewriting and the story evolved even through the editing process to make it more concise and still impactful.

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Last modified onSunday, 27 December 2015 17:03
Brandon Ruckdashel

Brandon Ruckdashel is the Festival Director for YoungFilmmakers. He has been the Program Director for NewFilmmakers for the last three years and Marketing Director for six. Brandon is a filmmaker who is most well known for his acting work in the HBO series Co-Ed Confidential and numerous B-Movies. Brandon has worked with Roger Corman alumni Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski along with a number of other very talented directors. Brandon's Directorial debut GRINDER will be out in theaters in 2016.

YoungFilmmakers screens quarterly in New York at Anthology Film Archives. Opened in 1970 by Jonas Mekas, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, and Stan Brakhage, Anthology in its original conception was a showcase for the Essential Cinema Repertory collection. An ambitious attempt to define the art of cinema by means of a selection of films which would screen continuously, the Essential Cinema collection was intended to encourage the study of the medium’s masterworks as works of art rather than disposable entertainment, making Anthology the first museum devoted to film as an art form. The project was never completed, but even in its unfinished state it represented an uncompromising critical overview of cinema’s history, and remains a crucial part of Anthology’s exhibition program.