The Heroine’s Journey of Maria Allred

What is the best thing that I love about my work? What I love best about being a filmmaker is that I am able to almost perfectly render the rich, evocative atmospheres that take form within me. No other artistic medium can come close to depicting the emotive fullness of how these atmospheres appear to me.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? This is an interesting question, as I don’t think in binary terms of happy vs. unhappy. To answer, my idea of perfect happiness is accepting all emotions and experiences as perfect, no matter how painful, difficult, uncomfortable, etc. I find that when I surrender to all emotions and states I have a peace and joy within that transcends what most would deem “happiness,” which to me is a fleeting emotion like all the rest and only one color in the beautiful palette that is life.

What is my greatest fear?  I think my greatest fear is making art that is not good. I can accept failure, rejection, criticism, etc. But I fear actually making art that is not of value or that fails to meet up to my own goals or standards as an artist.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I am extremely self-critical. I think this holds me back.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I have great admiration for the Canadian film director, Xavier Dolan, for he is always stepping outside the cinematic box with vibrant panache, style, and bravado, and I think all of his works have an essence of aliveness that really resonates with me. I think the critics are hard on him because he is indeed a genius, and while he has gotten many accolades he has also received his fair share of negative critique. I also truly admire Shane Carruth. He is also a maverick filmmaker and plays many of the major roles in his productions, as do I, and that is a rare thing in this industry.

On what occasion would I lie? I would lie when I feel it is in service to a greater good.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I feel that with my first feature film (I have made many shorts, but this does not apply to them) I tended towards being naval gazing. It is a personal story and therefore I really don’t know if others will relate to it, and that is hard for me. I want to move outside of my insular world with my next films.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I think I am the happiest in the editing bay, though it also drives me insane, and behind the camera as a DP.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would heal the internal wounds that convince me that there is something wrong with me, that I am essentially flawed and not good enough. I feel that can affect the way I create and perceive the world around me. I would like to shed my self-deprecation and replace it with self-love.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Creating my debut feature film, The Texture of Falling. I am its writer, director, main producer, DP, editor, art director, an actor, and I raised the money to fund it as well as invested my own money that I earned working another job while producing it. That is a lot of roles to play and an unusual feat. It may be a bit insane, but I had to do it because of budget restrictions and also because I wanted to make sure that my voice was really embedded in my first feature. I have been told on numerous occasions that it looks like a multi-million dollar picture and that is saying a lot given that the budget is 200k and I played the roles of about 20 people (more that I didn’t list).

Where would I most like to live? I love where I live – Portland, OR, USA. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and I always want to live here, at least part time. But I wouldn’t mind also having a part time residence somewhere warmer and more arid, maybe Southern Italy, maybe somewhere in the hills in California.

What is my most treasured possession? I would say that my most treasured possession is my film equipment. My equipment allows me to create, and that is everything to me.

What is my most marked characteristic? Well everyone tends to think that I am very strong and intense. On the inside I feel really vulnerable and tender so I’m not sure. But if I had to say, I would say my creativity; I am always creating one thing or another, even beyond film. I dance, rap, write, photograph. Spending time with me usually entails getting wild and creative somehow.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My entire city inspires me, but I love Mt. Tabor, a dormant volcano, from which you can view the city. It is a very special place and I go there as often as possible.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? My favorite restaurant currently is Coquine, which is unexpectedly nestled into a quiet neighborhood on the side of Mt. Tabor. I tend to go to the Sapphire Hotel for drinks and gatherings; it has a great atmosphere.

What books influenced my life and how? The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, because it mirrored the way I experience the world, which at the time of reading it was rare to find and so quite a gratifying experience. And probably Orderly Chaos by Chogyam Trungpa, because he speaks truth in a non-binary, nonlinear, quantum way that resonates with me.

Who are my favorite writers? David Foster Wallace

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I would probably listen to the music created by my first love, whom I can’t name here, and also Bach and Miles Davis.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Hmmm…my mom and dad for sure. Also, all of the artists who risk putting their art into the world, for I know how exquisitely hard that is, and I so appreciate those who move through the pain and fear of exposure to bear their gifts. 

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? This is hard and may change depending on my mood, but right now I would say, Life is Beautiful by Roberto Begnini, Café de Flore by Jean-Marc Vallee, or Synedoche New York by Charlie Kaufmann.


What role plays art in my life and work? In my life I am constantly inspired by painting, philosophy, and music. I would say those influence my filmmaking more than other films do. I am also interested in films that take cinematic risks and new paths style-wise. I am particularly interested in the intersectionality of artistic mediums and I have a desire to create films that, in essence, transcend the film medium. As you might imagine, this produces films that are quite different and not for everyone. For example, because of this innate pursuit to “transcend” I believe my debut feature film is quite outside of the box and may not appeal to classic cinema lovers. But to go back to the question, I feel all of life is art, and even though art could seem to some as frivolous or unessential, I believe art is the only thing that can truly encapsulate and express the temporality of life. The ephemeral nature of art is directly in tune with the fact that all of life is both fully living and fully dying at the same time. To me that makes art the most essential thing.  

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  My biggest partner in crime is my co-producer and collaborator, Damien Genardi.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? I would love to meet fellow female filmmakers, Crystal Moselle and Ana Lily Armipour. I would also love to meet filmmaker, Shane Carruth.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? I have a short film I am working on titled, Aesthetic AF, which is a dark comedy, social narrative looking at the highly mimetic world we all largely exist in now with the internet and in particular social media. That will be done at the end of the summer. I am also writing my second feature film, which is a dark comedy, mind-bending thriller that places futuristic, full-immersive VR technology and nanotechnology in a grounded, visceral story of a marginalized undiscovered genius and his/her journey to truly see and be seen.


Where can you see me or my work in 2018? My feature film, The Texture of Falling, is having its theatrical release this June. We are screening in select theaters in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. After that it will be released on VOD platforms and DVD/Blu-Ray. To stay up to date with the happenings you can go to thetextureoffalling.com

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? When you shape your entire life based on your passion, there is no end to that, only evolution. It transcends career and moves into the realm of purpose. It is why you are here. That can change shape, but the seed of it exists in the flame that enlivens your heart, mind, and soul. When you live from that place, your spark can set the rest of the world on fire. For me, my medium is film. And since I discovered that, which was later than I may have liked, I have been unstoppable. It is a hard life, and most of it is unglamorous, but I stay true to it through the arduous, tedious, and outright excruciating because I am living in service to that flame within. It is my offering to the world.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Hmm, I would say Kate Baxter, though I don’t have her email, but you can find her on facebook and I can connect you there if you would like.

How can you contact me?

allredfilm@gmail.com

Websites: thetextureoffalling.com ALLREDFILMS.com

I write on my blog, SAP, https://allredfilms.com/sexartphilosophy/

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