Meet the Filmmaker: Jose Chalit, “Steve & Robert”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JC: I think it was mainly when I was growing up that I realized the fact that movies make me cry, feel scared, or happy in a way that no other medium can do. I’ve always wanted to recreate this experience specifically by focusing on stories from the poor and marginalized.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JC: Steve & Robert is a short, essay/interactive documentary that contrasts the opinions of a priest and a gender fluid friend of mine through asking them a series of questions about masculinity. As a response to the MeToo movement and the ongoing revelations of men abusing their roles through celebrity status or power, I thought it specifically important to instigate this conversation that men need to be having around leadership and masculinity. I’ve been waiting to do an online release after I hear back from several fests around the country and have a chance to gauge the response from different audiences around the country; I hope this film will reach a lot of people, especially those in seats of power, through an online release. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts EFP!

Q: What else are you working on?
JC: I’m editing an advocacy piece about the “Middle Eastern/North African” category on the census (aka M.E.N.A.), which was a category officially denied by the census bureau a few months ago therefore creating massive undercounts and misrepresentations of people from that region who now live in the U.S.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JC: When I was 15 I used to run a vlog on YouTube that gained me some lifelong social media fans. I’ve had to block a few creepy people over the years but overall it’s been a nice reminder that you can connect with people all over the world and even make some friends.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JC: All my social media stuff is my middle name “Emilio” and my last name “Chalit” with a j at the very front. jemiliochalit.wordpress.com is where you’ll find my “professional” portfolio or you can connect with me on social media @jemiliochalit

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JC: I love the EFP! It’s always a supportive, engaged crowd and I’m excited to screen Steve & Robert, Thanks to all The Bug staff for making this happen each month!

Steve & Robert will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 19th at The Bug Theatre.