Interview by Francesca Lilleystone
THIS week The Enquirer interviewed the owner of the Romford Film Foundation, producer and writer Joe Sultana about the up and coming possibilities he is bringing to Havering and his work.
Q) What is your film history as a producer? What films have you been involved with?
A) If I say very limited that would give you an indication that I am relatively new to the film industry. However ,that not really the truth either. My history is short but I have been involved in writing and producing a few short films that I have been lucky enough to be involved with. I am very proud of a film I wrote and produced that didn’t turn out not very well as it was my first. I have moved on to some brilliant shorts such as ‘Jack Fell Down’. A story that twists fairytale land with drug culture. Then ‘Leonard’, this was filmed entirely in Romford and tells the story of an elderly man who is looking after his wife who suffers from dementia and his estranged son. I was also able to help out a film company in South London with their short called ‘Merk’ and the list goes on.
Finally I am very proud of the film ‘Reapers Shadow’. It’s my feature film that I’ve been working on for several years now and I am in discussions with Luke Goss and Martin Kemp to play the leads. We have a great international cast and crew and all post production will be carried out in our forthcoming Romford Film Studio next year.
Q) What is your next project?
A) Well as a filmmaker I have my film ‘Reapers Shadow’, it is based on a novel I wrote and had published. This whole project is a labour of love and has met with such great response from most people. In fact I am so honoured that the iconic filmmaker Tony Klinger has come on board with the project as co-writer and producer along with ShirleyLewis and Winston Ellis, plus I am working on a film title called ‘Stolen Car.’ It’s set in Malta and is based on ESP and mythology. I also have the sequel to Reapers, the Romford Film Studio, The Essex walk of Fame and loads more so watch this space!
Q) What opportunities are you going to bring to this area?
A) As a Havering resident myself I have chosen Romford as the centre of what I do. I believe in the area and the people. We have a lot of talent in the area that we simple do not have a local hub to congregate in. This is one of the reasons I set up the Romford Film Festival, now in its third season and is a global platform on which I am taking Romford to the world. From that we have the Film Foundation which already encourages filmmakers as we are working with Premier Cinema Romford to create red carpet screenings of films made by independent filmmakers.
With the Studio I am working very closely with the incredible Tony Klinger to bring his GGG eduction system here. This will help so many people realise their dream of becoming a filmmaker, and it’s open to all. Also as the studio becomes established in the industry we will be taking on staff and apprentice’s to make it work. There will also be editing, post production, audio recording, rehearsals spaced a full recording studio. We want to encourage mainstream filmmakers in to the borough. This will help the local economy and encourage employment when they are here.
Q) What qualities do you have that have helped you be so successful?
A) Courage, tenacity, humility, persistence. I have a complete and utterly unbreakable belief in everything I do. I also know I can never do what I do without some wonderful people opening doors and advising. Don’t get me wrong you do need a modicum of talent and an open mind to listen and take or ignore what you hear.
Q) What advice would you give anyone reading this that is looking to work in the film industry?
A) Go for it. No matter what age, no matter what negativity people offer, but it’s not going to come to you. It’s hard work. Really long hours and at first for no money what-so-ever. I work form 5am – 11pm 7 days a week and that includes having a day job for most of the past few years. But its all paying off now and I have every faith in my team, my partners and friends. Sacrifices have to be made but its only you that will make it work or fail.