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JOE RAFFA

Writer / Director / Actor

 

 

Writer / Director: Dark Harbor

Why do you make movies?

Storytelling is such a powerful element of the human experience and making a movie is the most collaborative form of storytelling. I find great satisfaction in telling stories with others while overcoming the limitations and restrictions involved when making a film. 

What story do you want to tell?

I want to tell stories that force us to ask the toughest questions, the questions we avoid asking ourselves because we’re afraid of what we might discover. When faced with brutal honestly we become better individuals. 

What’s your story?

I was lucky enough to be raised with the expectation that I can do anything I set my sights on. I decided to focus on love. I want to love what I do everyday. I want to love the people I spend time with everyday. And I want the people I spend time with to feel loved. 

What do you want to achieve in your craft?

If someone can watch a film I wrote or directed and learn something about themselves, or someone else, all the time and energy we spent on the project is worth it. 

What message were you trying to relay with your movie(s)?

“Dark Harbor” is about discovering what we think is best, even when our intentions become selfish and harmful. How far are we willing to go to forgive ourselves once we made a mistake? How far are we willing to go to forgive others after they betrayed us? 

What was your vision for your movie(s) when you were making it?

I want to be fearless in exploring dark elements of human nature and I want to be honest about how we deal with those dark, disgusting feelings. 

What would you tell a young person with aspirations to be a filmmaker?

Filmmaking isn’t about creating great work. It’s about creating specific work. If your film is focused and honest, it will speak to others and ultimately change the world, even if that change is small. 


What has been your biggest struggle as a filmmaker?

Self-doubt. When you make a film and feel like you’ve failed it’s easy to doubt yourself and turn to self-sabotage. It’s hard to try again. I had to learn that the first film I make probably won’t live up to the expectations I’ve set for myself. Neither will the second, probably not the third either. But the more films I make, the better the execution will be and the closer they’ll come to meeting my expectations. 

What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?

I see myself trying to do too much. I want to focus on one project at a time and remind myself filmmaking is a marathon. There will be time to tell the stories I want to tell.