Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 09:39 pm est

Tribeca: ‘Boulevard’ director values film as learning process

Posted on April 30, 2014 | by Mohamed Hassan

Courtesy of Camellia Entertainment

Once a member of a hardcore punk band and now a bonafide director, Dito Montiel premiered his film “Boulevard” at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

“Boulevard” is a moving drama that tells the story of devoted husband Nolan Mack (Robin Williams), who lives a stable life but is secretly unfulfilled. Nolan’s marriage to his wife Joy (Kathy Baker) is just a distraction from reality. Nolan begins to stray away from his marriage when he becomes close with the  troubled young Leo (Roberto Aguire), with whom he forms a strong but complicated bond.

In an interview with WSN, Montiel spoke about his unique perspectives on directing, and the process of filming his indie project.

“It’s always hectic,” Montiel said. “There is this mechanical madness and a struggle with the idea that you’re trying to create an emotion with a hundred people around. [This film] might not even be about moving on, but I think it is about letting go. It’s an impossible thing to do. Whether you embrace it or not, it’s your choice.”

Montiel discussed Williams’ involvement with the film and his acting skills.

“Douglas Soesbe wrote the script and my agent said Robin Williams was interested, and then I said, ‘If Robin Williams is interested in it, I’ll definitely read it,’” Montiel said. “I thought they wanted me to do a comedy, and so the script really surprised me.”

If the script was unexpected, Robin Williams also brought more to the table than the director anticipated.

“It’s funny, we all have these thoughts about who [Robin Williams] is,” Montiel said. “We all think of this guy who is full of energy and bursting, which is similar to Nolan as a character — except he just has nowhere to put it.”

The characters endure a lot of emotional turmoil throughout the film, which took a toll on Montiel.

“I read this script and I kept thinking, ‘How could [Nolan] do this?’” Montiel said. “I wanted to preserve that in the filming. The emotional factor of film really does get in your head.”

Born and raised in New York City, the director said he was honored to debut his project at Tribeca.

“I thought Tribeca was a perfect fit because I knew that the people here would be OK with a quiet film,” Montiel said.

Making a film can be a very tumultuous process, but Montiel managed to bring a simplified perspective.

“Art shouldn’t be about making money and being unhappy waiting for stardom,” Montiel said. “The memory of making your own film is half the deal. I think of the production of a movie as being three different films. The first film is the writing, the next film is the filming and the final film is editing.”

Montiel ended the conversation by explaining his commitment to his directorial projects.

“I always think about where my characters would be now after the film.”

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 30 print edition. Mohamed Hassan is a staff writer. Email him at film@nyunews.com.

For more WSN coverage of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, visit wsnhighlighter.com.


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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