Alex Moratto will be joining us with his film Nowhere to be Found. Here are some questions to let you get to know more about him!
What is your connection to the South?
The Kenan Charitable Trust awarded me a full scholarship to attend the UNC School of the Arts, so I moved to North Carolina in 2006.
Where did you get your inspiration for this work?
After my Mother’s death and struggling with grief, I decided to explore how people are affected by loss. Meredy Swafford of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention told me about Matt Smith, who she had heard speak at a college event about a painful loss he experienced. She said he had an amazing story to tell, so I followed her advice and found him. As soon as I heard his story, I knew immediately that it needed to be documented and shared, and within two weeks we were filming.
How did you start making films?
I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker when I was 9-years-old. At the UNC School of the Arts, they let you make one film per year, and my thesis won a DGA Student Film Award and screened at Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School. That film opened doors for me to keep producing work after I graduated.
Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
We brought lights for the shoot but as soon as we arrived in South Carolina, we realized how stunningly beautiful it is, so we decided to film everything using natural light. Not a single film light was used — not even in the interview.
What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?
Seeing films and engaging with audiences. I’m excited to see how people will react to our film.
Why should someone see your film?
Because Matt’s story shows us that not every tragedy that happens to us has to be what defines us.