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Meet the 2012 LAFF Filmmakers #9: 'Breakfast With Curtis' Director Laura Colella

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire June 14, 2012 at 11:00AM

Laura Colella fell in love with filmmaking while studying at Harvard under Raúl Ruiz. Since then she has directed two other narrative features, "Stay Until Tomorrow" and "Tax Day", as well as many short films. Colella is currently a professor of 16mm Film Production and Directing at the Rhode Island School of Design.
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Laura Colella fell in love with filmmaking while studying at Harvard under Raúl Ruiz. Since then she has directed two other narrative features, "Stay Until Tomorrow" and "Tax Day", as well as many short films. Colella is currently a professor of 16mm Film Production and Directing at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Her latest film, "Breakfast With Curtis", is currently screening in the narrative competition at this year's LAFF.

What it's about: A troubled teen embarks on a creative venture with his neighbor, an eccentric bookseller who has delusions of gradeur fueled by red wine.

On working with neighbors and friends: "The most unusual aspect of the film is that the main actors are the five residents of the 3-family house I live in, and the family of four who live next door. All but one had never acted before, and they’re amazing and fun to watch. Early viewers who didn’t know how I cast the movie have been shocked to learn that this collection of great characters was literally right in my back yard. Found there especially in the warm months… often enjoying cocktails…"

Working with a limited budget: "This was truly a no-budget feature, so the usual financial headaches were mercifully absent. One big challenge was convincing my cast that I really did need the number of takes I was asking for. They liked to imitate me saying: 'One more perfect one!'”

On the film's inspiration: "For this particular project, as a writer/director/producer/cinematographer/editor, I was inspired not so much by particular movies, but by my students, friends, and other filmmakers past and present who have worked in a similar hands-on, DIY vein."

What would you like LAFF audiences to come away with after seeing your film: "I’d like them to feel as though they’ve had a completely unique, fun and thought-provoking experience. A lot of early viewers have said that the film makes them want to come hang out at our house, so we’re preparing for a lot of visitors."

Future Projects: "'Liquorland' - a wild and hyperreal comedy about exquisite liquors, damaged movie heroes, and the decline of western civilization."

One last thing: "Anyone who comes to our world premiere on 6/17 is invited to the afterparty!"

Indiewire invited LAFF 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 LAFF Filmmakers, Los Angeles Film Festival