New Horizons

Film student Luiz Cavalcanti is known for his sketches and comedic short films. Now, however, he is working on a totally different project: a drama called “I wanna get shot.

“I did my first version in my first semester here in SFUAD in 2011. I wanted to revisit this project now that I have more experience and improve it. It’s inspired by a poem written by Joe Ray Sandoval, a recognized poet from Santa Fe. I got the chance to meet him here in my first semester as well, and he really inspired me.”

The story of this drama is about choices. “Between using a last dose of heroin or doing something good with his life, the decisions get confused inside the head of a drug addict,” says Cavalcanti when asked about the argument of “I wanna get shot.”

This new project is helping Cavalcanti try new things and explore new horizons in the film: In this new version of his old project, he also plays the main character. This means that, for the first time, he wrote, directed and starred in a movie. “It’s definitely an experience that I liked but really hard at the same time,” says Cavalcanti. “As a director, I can see what the actors are doing and how the shots look from outside of the scene. Being the actor, I have to watch the scene when it’s already done, and I can’t pay attention to other details since I have to focus on acting.” He decided to try this new experience inspired by one of his favorite directors, Woody Allen. “He does that all the time, so I thought it would be a good experience to try.”

While he enjoyed acting, he prefers staying behind the camera. “It’s like being an orchestra conductor: you have all these amazing people working and you just have to guide them in the right direction. Directing I have more control of everything. I just have to put all these pieces together and create a great film.”

Last Oct. 24, The Screen played a short film directed by Cavalcanti called “Jerk-ed.” When asked how it felt watching the audience react with laughter to his film, Cavalcanti had a clear response: “It’s totally different than when you upload a film on the Internet and read the comments of the people. It feels amazing when I can sit together with the people watching my movie and see their reactions, either laughing…or disliking.”

The simplicity of his stories and the themes he chooses to write about are some of the reasons perhaps that audiences connect to his stories. “My comedy sketches are inspired in daily things that happened to me and other people in our lives.  I try to pay attention to people’s behaviors and things that happen to them, and then I try to give them that comic air.”

You can check out Cavalcanti’s projects and future project on his Vimeo channel 

Here is Cavalcanti’s lastest work, Pineapple Walk: