HollyShorts Film Festival is a long-standing staple on the Hollywood indie film scene. This year, the husband and wife filmmaking team Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennet return with a popular panel, a brand new screening series and their latest film, “I Want You Bad.”
These ‘Dream Team Directors’ are a well-established creative couple in the industry with numerous awards and accolades under their belt. They’ve worked with some of the biggest artists and brands, delivering on their company promise: Let our dream manifest your dream.
In this interview, Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett reveal more about their dream and how they’re making it a reality.
Give us an overview of your new HollyShorts screening series: Films that Inspire the World.
DANIEL LIR: Having worked with celebrities such as Coldplay, Isaac Hayes, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), tennis star-Andy Roddick and many others, we were most moved by those celebrities that used their power to inspire others and create positive change in the world. That is our goal as filmmakers with this screening series. “Films that Inspire the World” represents and celebrates our belief that filmmaking is the most powerful art form in the world and has the power to uplift, empower and raise awareness.
As filmmakers and activists we feel that this world that has so much potential and beauty yet is so crippled by suffering needs more positive stories and images right now. Our production company, Dream Team Directors, has partnered with the amazing staff at HollyShorts to create this new series and we are so excited about it.
What inspired you to create it?
DL: Bayou and I are very involved in working for various non-profits that champion such causes as anti-drug abuse, feeding the hungry, saving and protecting our environment, healthy eating and we feel that film is a perfect way to spread a positive message in this world. People don’t read as much as they used to but you can get their attention with a great story and an inspiring film.
BAYOU BENNETT: Daniel and I were so tired of leaving film festivals and feeling so depressed after watching movies about rape, murder, theft, torture and other subjects that seem to be synonymous with “important filmmaking.” We love drama, conflict and intensity but also do believe in uplifting the audience at the end of the journey.
Tell us about your new film, “I Want You Bad,” premiering as part of the series.
BB: This short film is one of our favorite projects we have created. It is based on our feature film we wrote called “Bazooka Universe” which is an innovative love story with a theme of time travel and parallel universes.
DL: “I Want You Bad” is incredibly romantic and is about a couple who dissolves into particles of energy and spends most of the film running longingly towards each other through different eras: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and finally meet in the future. The film’s atmosphere is inspired by the music of rising star indie rock band, Sad Robot.
What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
DL: We want audiences to feel how special love is and get a sense of timelessness. And to be inspired to fall in love.
You also hosted an educational panel at HollyShorts again this year, what did you take away from that?
DL: We were honored to bring top industry players such as the CEO of Slated who is totally changing the whole game of Independent Film and creating much more access in an industry with unnecessary barriers to talent, money and opportunity. The panel was mind-blowingly filled with amazing information to inspire and educate the indie film community on how they can pitch their projects to investors and how they can get funding. We know how challenging it can be to get movies made and we want to give filmmakers the right tools to achieve their dreams.
If you could waive a magic wand and go back — is there anything you would do differently as filmmakers?
BB: We are very proud of our actions. And just want to move forward doing more of the same; combining imagination, humor, beauty and a desire to positively impact the world.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BB: Yes, as filmmakers you have the opportunity to empower, inspire and help others see something in a different way. The world is so used to shocking and disturbing material. We have the opportunity to turn this around. Sure, blood and sex sells. But why? Because we are accepting it as the norm. We have the chance to uplift society and make a difference. The greatest films that are classics that people love are “Avitar,” “E.T.” etc.
Thanks, Bayou and Daniel – and keep-on making a difference!
Find out more about Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett at: www.DreamTeamDirectors.com