NEW YORK NO LIMITS, QUICK CUTS: 3 Questions for filmmaker Sophia Banks, director of UNREGISTERED
1. In the current events of this world, this idea of people being “unregistered” or “immigrants” is very prevalent. Did current events help inspire the hardships that the characters face in your film?
SOPHIA: Absolutely. The idea that we are currently under a microscope today, being judged based on where we are from, what we believe. It is the whole premise for Unregistered. It terrifies me that anyone can be taken for any reason at any time. The recent immigration raids is a sober reminder of that. There needs to be a better way. A better solution for it all. I believe in the message that America was founded on which is the idealism of “Freedom”. What does that word mean, truly, if we are in a state of fear all of the time? Going further into that concept, one has to be mindful of that word “Freedom” in its entirety. It means allowing another to hold true to their own personal integrity and beliefs while allowing me to hold true to mine. It is a balance of those allowances which give us a healthy and happy society. We need to learn change today to prevent an “Unregistered” tomorrow.
2. There is intense scrutiny and no sense of privacy in this world, with everyone constantly being “scanned” very often. Is there some sort of commentary you hoped to achieve on how our digital world has intruded into our lives and is constantly watching as well?
SOPHIA: Again, such a poignant issue that I touch upon in “Unregistered”. I am a firm believer in the Constitution. One of the most important right, I feel that is especially applicable today, is the right to privacy. I like to sometimes go back and reread some of the writers that have inspired me and have shaped my way of thinking. One writer I always return to is George Orwell. I admire that he takes such deep and important issues and hides them, almost like an Easter Egg, within a cautionary sci-fi or fictional tale. I wanted to create that same effect: it’s taking an issue, like the right to privacy, and incorporating that into my work in such a way that (yes) entertains but more importantly, teaches or reminds you of something important.
3. Which filmmakers are you personally inspired by, particularly for this film and also in general?
SOPHIA: Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Alfred Hitchcock. There are countless film makers that have inspired me and my work. One thing that I love to do, is spend time making my way back through films by directors I love in chronological order. I have learned so much about film-making just by watching the classic films (and maybe some unknowns) over and over again. I am always looking to learn and practice more every day.
Special Thank You to Iris Chan who created the questions for Sophia.