Flyover Film Festival: An Interview with Actor/Board Member William Mapother [Geek Life]

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June 10-12 brings the 3rd annual Flyover Film Festival to Louisville! The FFF is the signature event of the Louisville Film Society, with the goal to "exhibit high-quality programs and prompt intelligent discussion of meaningful films." Each year, FFF showcases documentaries, short films, and features that otherwise might not be seen by the public. Imagine Louisville's very own Sundance Film Festival.

I had the pleasure to interview William Mapother about himself, the Flyover Film Festival, and his latest movie "Another Earth." William is a well known actor, a founder and board member of The Louisville Film Society, and a Louisville native.

Another Earth is William's latest movie that's getting rave reviews at such festivals as Sundance and SXSW and you'll have a chance to catch it at FFF. Since it will be in a limited theater release, this might be your ONLY chance to catch this film. So be sure to hit the festival in June to see it!


Actor's Clinic: photo courtesy of Simply PR


CC: Most people these days probably know you best for playing Ethan Rom on the greatest show ever, LOST, but you’ve also built up quite an impressive resume of movie and television roles over the years.  When you were growing up here in Louisville, did you know early on you wanted to be an actor?
 
WM:  Not at all.  As a kid I loved reading and writing.  My favorite class was English.  I was almost never without a book in my hand, and I chose English as my major in college.  I was also crazy about movies, but I expected to be behind the camera in writing and directing.
 
CC: How exactly does someone growing up so far removed from Hollywood, as Louisville is in distance and in culture, end up being such a fantastic actor in  hit television shows and movies?


WM:  Luck, accident, and planetary alignment.  Right after college I worked as a production assistant (aka gofer, peon, serf), and then in project development (ie, reading piles and piles of script).  At age 30 I moved to NYC for a while and took a couple acting classes.  To my shock, I found acting to be both challenging and a lot of fun.  I was completely hooked.  A couple years later in LA I started a two-year acting school, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find work (sometimes!) ever since.
 

CC: Ok, Another Earth. This has been getting some great reviews from its showing at Sundance and SXSW. Tell me a little about this film and your role in it.


WM:  It’s a romantic drama sci-fi.  I like this official synopsis:  “Rhoda Williams, a bright young woman accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program, aspires to explore the cosmos. A brilliant composer, John Burroughs, has just reached the pinnacle of his profession and is about to have a second child. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined.”  In a terrific twist, I play the composer, *not* the female astrophysicist.
 
CC: I’ve heard it’s imaginative sci-fi, I’ve heard it’s a tear-inducing drama. What’s your take? Will it satisfy both the men and women in the audience?


WM:  It’s both sci-fi and drama.  The director has done a very good job of blending a high-concept story with a romantic drama.  So far it seems to appeal to both men and women.  A number of audience members have called the film ‘spiritual.’
 
CC: Brit Marling, who plays Rhoda in the film, is generating a lot of buzz over her abilities both as an actress and writer of Another Earth. What do you think we can expect from her in the future?


WM:  You’ll be seeing lots more of her, without question.  She succeeded through something I advise a lot of young actors to do:  create your own material.
 
CC: Can we expect to see Another Earth in theaters any time soon?


WM:  Fox Searchlight has planned a platform release starting on July 22.  That means it will start then in NY and LA, and then open in other cities depending on how it performs in theatres.  We don’t yet know if it will play in Louisville, so seeing it at the Flyover Film Festival might be the only chance here to see it on a big screen.
 
CC: What is your role in the Louisville Film Society and Flyover Film Festival?


WM:  I’m a co-founder and on the Board of both.


 Discussion Panel: photo courtesy of Simply PR


CC: Do you think Louisville could ever become an area known for film production on a larger scale?


WM:  More production than it sees now?  Absolutely.  It has a great deal to offer filmmakers — reasonable costs, beautiful locations, experienced crew members, KY’s production incentives, etc.  I’m on the KY Film Commission, whose goal is increasing production all across the state.  Louisville is, of course, integral to that.
    
CC: Can you tell me a little about Flyover Film festival and its goals?


WM:  It’s our third year, and we’re experiencing terrific growth.  Our director, Ryan Daly, has set a fantastic festival for this year.  Our goals, as you can imagine, are to show films which Louisvillians might not otherwise see, in the hopes of prompting discussions and new perspectives.  And having fun.
 
CC: What can we expect to see this year?


WM: Ryan Daly, Director of The Louisville Fim Society states: “A good mix of socially conscious, politically relevant, stare down the barrel documentaries; A heart warming, slice-of-life, coming-of-age narrative drama; A science fiction film that charts new territory for the tried and true genre yet simultaneously debuts as an instant classic; A not-yet but well on its way midnight-circuit, cult-classic, screwball comedy, A love story and a western. More or less, something for everyone.”
 
CC: Will you be attending this year?


WM:  Absolutely.  I wouldn’t miss it!
 
CC: Any other projects from you we can look forward to?


WM:  A few upcoming films:  Edwin Boyd (as a policeman chasing the infamous Canadian bank robber), A Warrior’s Heart (as a lacrosse coach – and the movie’s stars are from the Twilight series), Static (as a realtor – it’s a 3-D horror film), and FDR: American Badass (as a doctor – FDR fights werewolves.  It’s a  historical drama).
 
CC: Anything else you’d like to share with the readers at Louisville.com?


WM:  I’m on Twitter, @WilliamMapother, and my site and blog are at williammapother.com.  Finally, on behalf of all actors, if I may:  Thank you for watching!
 

 

Be sure not to miss Flyover Film Festival June 10-12. The line-up will be announced this week, and we'll be sure to report it here!

Flyover Logo courtesy of flyoverfilmfestival.com

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