29 November 2016

An Interview With A Film Director!

As an aspiringwriter/director, it is always amazing when I see other women in the industry absolutely bossing it. There are definitely still a lot of issues with equality in the film industry (in fact I have a whole post about that here!) but things are changing and it's exciting. When Catalina Gonzalez got in contact with me about a collaboration between her film and my blog, I jumped at the chance!

Catalina's film is called Ekaj and is about Homeless LGBTQ youth in New York. The Film touches on various topics such as Homelessness, HIV/AIDS Awareness, Bullying, Drug Addiction, Rejection, Love and Perseverance. EKAJ is a love story between two drifters, a naive teenager and a hustler. Ekaj meets Mecca who takes him under his care. Mecca has AIDS and multiple problems of his own. He is high all day but still manages to be the only voice of reason in Ekaj’s hopeless world. They cruise the city together looking for money and places to stay. Although Ekaj makes some money as a prostitute, he finds himself discarded, and lacking what it takes to survive in the city. Their mutual loneliness leads to genuine friendship.

The film is currently doing the film festival run in both Europe and the USA and has won numerous awards including "Best Film" at the NY Downton Urban Arts Festival and the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. It has also just recently been selected to be screened at another festival called “IDYLLWILD Film Festival” which is considered a “Mini Sundance”I was lucky enough to be able to interview Catalina about the film, but if you would like to watch the trailer first then you can click this link here!

What gave you the idea for the film?

I   I wrote the script inspired by “Midnight Cowboy” but with Nuyoricans from the Bronx. I know many from the fashion scene in NYC and I have always liked their style and rawness.

How long did it take to film?

It took us about 3 years to complete the Film. We could have had it done earlier but I took my time to see Jake grow a bit in the film.

I really like the documentary style to the film, what made you want to shoot it in this way?

I had been a Photographer for many years working in the Fashion Industry and Music Industry doing Portraits go B.I.G., Pharrell Williams, Common, Russell Simmons, David Cronnenberg, Jamie King, Chloe Sevigny, etc. My style has always been the same, www.catiandmikegonzalezfilms.com   To be honest, I really don’t think much about it, I just go with my emotions and shoot.

Many of the conversations between the characters seem very realistic, especially when Ekaj and the Mecca are at the table.  How much of the dialogue was scripted and how much was improvised?

Both, I let them interpret the script with their own words and sometimes they got carried away and it worked great but Ekaj is more scripted then people think, eighty percent of the time. I would read and they would repeat, since they didn’t learned their lines.

The actors didn't seem like your average "beautiful" actor but instead very real. How did you cast the film?

Working in Fashion help me find people easier. I have always liked raw beauty. I found Jake Mestre on Facebook through a friend of a friends page and fell in love with his beauty immediately. I rarely look for new faces to discover but his just stood out to me. I wanted to make him into a model and took him to several agencies but he was still immature and wasn’t ready. I had just finished writing the script and was about to give up on him and then I thought, he could be a perfect [fit] for the film being that he was rebellious like the character, so I casted him. I  already had met another young man that was related to my partner Mike. He too was really beautiful but in a rougher way. He ended up dropping out in the middle of the film and I had to re-cast. That’s when I found Badd Idea. He fitted the part perfectly.

Is this your first feature film?

Yes. I also have a new feature script that I’m currently working on that’s in the second draft phase which I also hope to get on the screen.

If you could describe the film in 3 words what would you say?

Real, raw and heartbreaking

And finally, any advice for aspiring film makers reading this who want to make their first feature?

Set your dreams high, you can always bring them down a step but begin with the top. Never give up. No matter how hard the road may be or what people say to discourage you, just keep pushing forward with your vision. Anything is possible if you believe in it.

You can watch the full film here. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


15 November 2016

Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Review*

I was lucky enough to be sent some products from the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty collection a couple of months ago and I am finally ready to tell you all about them!

When I think of Joan Collins I think of sophistication and glamour, so I was very excited to try out her beauty range! The two products I received were the I AM WOMAN Dry Oil Body Polish and the TEN EFFECTS Skin Treat & Makeup Fixer. When I first opened the box my draw dropped, I couldn't believe how luxurious the packaging looks.

So first up lets talk about the body polish as this is what intrigued me the most out of the two products. It is made by blending 3 plant oils (olive, avocado and golden jojoba) with Himalayan salts and kiwi water. Even just typing that makes me want to go and bathe in it! The oils are said to be favourites of Joan and let me tell you, it is heavenly. I use it every day now in the shower after my usual shower gel and I love it. It has a beautiful floral smell and it's one of those things that makes you ask everyone to feel your arm just to show them how soft you are! And as if this product wasn't brilliant enough, it only costs £18! I honestly thought it would be £30 or more so you are getting a real bargain here.

Now onto the TEN EFFECTS Skin Treat & Makeup Fixer. I wish I could love it as much as the body polish but unfortunately I don't. It's basically a setting spray that is also supposed to be good for your skin. This is what it promises on the bottle:

Super Hydrates
Refines Wrinkles
Minimises Pores
Improves Tone
Adds pH Balancing Layer
Calms Redness
Locks Makeup

On the first day I used this I was really impressed with how it kept my makeup on all day, especially my foundation which is usually the first to go. However after wearing it a few more times I found it made my skin look quite oily and shiny. It also had the tendency to feel a bit sticky. My mum also tried this product and was disappointed as she was hoping it would help with her pores but she didn't see much improvement and it also made her eye makeup quite runny. We also were really un keen on the smell. The product contains rose water but the smell of it was very over powering.

So although I was disappointed with this product, I am still in love with the body polish and would really love to try out some more items from the Timeless Beauty range, especially the makeup! I think I should also mention that it is cruelty free which makes it even better! 

Thanks for reading! Have you tried any of the Timeless Beauty range?

*The products mentioned were given to me for review however all opinions are and will always be, 100% my own. 

12 November 2016

My Favourite Autumn Jumpers

Remember a few months ago when I did a post on my favourite spring coats? You guys seemed to really enjoy it so I thought I'd follow it up with a round up of my favourite autumn jumpers!

Autumn is honestly my favourite time of year (I've probably mentioned in that in every post since the end of September) and my favourite part is getting to wrap up warm and seeing all the pretty leaves on the ground! About a month ago I bought a whole load of new jumpers in the Brighton Student Lock In so I probably own about 15 now but somehow I managed to scale it down to my 3 favourites to show you!

The Turtle Neck

My mum actually bought this one for me last year from New Look. I love it because it has a super 90s look to it and it is SO WARM. Sometimes too warm though, you can't really wear much more than a vest top underneath unless you want to melt every time you go inside. I like pairing this with some leggings for a simple but cosy look!

Casual Green

Another one from New Look (they do the best jumpers in my opinion). I love this one because it's thick and baggy but unlike the turtle neck one you don't get too hot whilst wearing it! Also the colour of it means it goes with pretty much anything but looks the best with black ripped skinny jeans and a choker as it gives your outfit a super grungey vibe to it! I am wearing the same jeans in all the pictures though because I didn't want to change my trousers whilst in the park, soz.


Ok I don't think this one even needs an explanation as to why it's my fave. If you're a blogger reading this then you probably need it now too! It's from Bershka, btw, you're welcome.

I hope you enjoyed this post! What's your favourite item of clothing to wear in Autumn?

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