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Meet the 2012 AFI FEST Filmmakers #9: 'APE' Director Joel Potrykus

By Indiewire | Indiewire November 1, 2012 at 9:58AM

Before turning to film, director Joel Potrykus spent time working as a frustrated small-time comic in New York, an experience on which "APE" is based. " The lousy jokes, the annoying co-workers, the anger, it's all real," Potrykus says. "I like making movies that tell the truth." In an apparent departure of the director's biography, however, "APE"'s Trevor eventually has a meeting with the Devil, with whom he strikes a deal.
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Joel Potrykus

Before turning to film, director Joel Potrykus spent time working as a frustrated small-time comic in New York, an experience on which "APE" is based. " The lousy jokes, the annoying co-workers, the anger, it's all real," Potrykus says. "I like making movies that tell the truth." In an apparent departure of the director's biography, however, "APE"'s Trevor eventually has a meeting with the Devil, with whom he strikes a deal.

What is at the heart of "APE"? "A realization that art can kick you in the balls. A sense that American independent film is vital and unpredictable and loud."

On who's the best: "Watch Joshua [Burge] as Trevor. He's the best."

On the freedom of a shoestring budget: "There are very few challenges when you raise the money by returning empty beer bottles and pop cans. You don't have to answer to anyone. Especially if you don't ask permission to film."

What can we expect next? "I'm finishing up my next feature script. It will also star Joshua, this time as a scam artist with a really bad temper. I'm also writing a spec script for a minimalism entry into the 'Friday the 13th; series." 

Indiewire invited AFI FEST competition directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival. Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: Meet the 2012 AFI Filmmakers, AFI Fest