Meet the Filmmaker: Olivia Abtahi, “The Reason I Jump”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
OA: I remember watching a show called “AHHH! Real Monsters” when I was a kid and they had a projector that hooked into your brain to show everyone else what you were thinking and seeing. I was totally obsessed. When I learned that the machine wasn’t real, I realized that filmmaking was the closest I’d ever get to showing people exactly what I was thinking and feeling. It’s one of the few portals I have into my brain to share with others.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
OA: This film is an adaptation of The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, a 13 year old’s tale of his experience with autism. It screened at CIWF but I don’t have any other plans for it.

Q: What else are you working on?
OA: I’m shooting my next short film the first weekend in May. It’s about a female protagonist that gets into a fight with her male narrator.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
OA: I try to make all of my narrative films with the restrictions I have. Budget, location, access to props, etc. I write to the resources I already have, not the ones I want.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
OA: www.oliviaabtahi.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
OA: Thanks so much for considering me!!

The Reason I Jump will screen at The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, April 20th at The Bug Theatre.