Ten Minute Film School E17: Amman Abbasi on DAYEON, interviewed by guest host Gordon Hight

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In an I’m right, you’re wrong world, a film that explores the complexity of life instead of declaring definitives may show us how to begin reversing the polarity of post-truth society. Amman Abbasi’s Dayveon is a film centered upon the difficult choices life presses upon the title character at the young age of thirteen in his search for the things we all want: identity, security, and above all, belonging. Only he has more adversity than many of us face. Shot in Wrightsville, Arkansas just south of Abbasi’s hometown of Little Rock, Dayveon is struggling to fill the void in his life following the gang-related shooting of his older brother. His hero and mentor gone, Dayveon must choose between family and gang, innocence and loyalty. Refreshingly, the film insists on revealing the goodness and commonality in all its characters, but in so doing makes Dayveon’s decision all the more difficult.

Abbasi’s creative fingerprints are all over this film. Not only did he write and direct, but he also composed the musical score. Further, his background in photography led to the decision to shoot the film in 4:3 perspective. Paste caught up with the talented filmmaker between flights in France to discuss those stylistic decisions and how they contributed to an immersive, cinematic experience in rural Arkansas that compels viewers to
consider its people and how we all might be more similar than different.

Dayveon was selected as one of the 20 Best Films of Sundance 2017, where it premiered in January. September 13th marked the film’s theatrical
release in New York and LA, and it opened in additional cities across the country the following week.

Dayveon will be released digitally on iTunes and other platforms on September 26th.

Gordon Hight is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and fly fishing guide living in
Teton Valley, Idaho. You can follow
him on Instagram @gordonhightphotography or at gordonhight.com.