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An Interview with Albert Dabah, Director and Star of Extra Innings

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2019

Albert Dabah on (re)Search my Trash


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Extra Innings is based on your own teenage years, right? So what prompted you to make that part of life into a movie, how close did you remain to what really happened and how much artistic license have you taken, and what kind of a feeling was it to revisit your own past?


I was 18 years old when my brother committed suicide. Although it was years later (15 to be exact) my sister committing suicide was what prompted me to tell my story. The suicide, especially in my teen years, caused me to question my own mental and emotional health. What is my future? I had many feelings of guilt, sadness, fear and confusion.


As for remaining close to what really happened, I did take some artistic license with some of the story as I had to condense many years into a two hour film. The feelings in the movie were authentic and real.


Revisiting my own past was at times extremely difficult. I had to revisit the sadness and confusion that I felt and now I was revisiting the past and all the pain resurfaced. As the feelings resurfaced, I was better able to understand the pain and suffering that they experienced in their lives.


Other sources of inspiration when writing Extra Innings?


Inspiration for my film came from other sources as I pursued my education and career as a social worker and received a masters in social work. I worked with numerous individuals who had their own difficulties. This experience as an MSW helped me to learn about myself. I was given the opportunity to help other people as well as understand myself and my past.


With Extra Innings being set in the 1960s, what were the main challenges of bringing that era to life?


The main challenge to bring that era of the 1960s to life was being authentic to the time and working with a limited budget.


Do talk about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand!


My approach, because this was based on a real story and real characters, was to talk to each actor about their role, and yet give them the freedom to use their craft and bring their own authenticity to the role.


You also appearing in front of the camera in Extra Innings, playing your lead character's father - so what did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and did you write him with yourself in mind from the get-go? And what kind of a feeling was it to essentially play your own dad?


My original intention was not to play my father, so I did not write him with myself in mind. What I drew on from my father was his sweetness, stubbornness, and his inability to understand his children growing up in a different time and country.


I have to say that it was actually fun to play my dad, which gave me a better sense of who he was and the challenges that he had to face.


Albert with co-star Aidan Pierce Brennan in Extra Innings

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?


Every actor that was cast in the film truly represented the character that they were playing. It was a fun and creative process to select the right person for each character.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


Being that I was the writer, producer, director, and an actor in the film, wearing so many hats was truly thrilling, intense and at times frightening. As the days went on, I became more more comfortable and patient, which allowed me to let the actors do the work, but making adjustments when needed.


Some of the artists’ creative impulses conflicted with others and as a director, I had to step in and make the final decision.


The $64-question, where can your movie be seen?


Right now, we are trying to get as many people as possible to see the film by entering various festivals, sharing with mental health foundations and Jewish community centers. Eventually, I hope to get Extra Innings into selected movie theatres and onto online digital platforms.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Extra Innings yet?


The first week of May 2019, we won Best Feature Film at the Manhattan Film Festival to a sold out crowd, and nine days later, we sold out at the Jewish Community Center in New York City. The film was met with a very warm reception at both.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I am constantly thinking of new projects for the future.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Extra Innings?


The last 40 years, I have been producing and directing videos for commercial products, a few short films, and also documentaries.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I didn’t need to give too much direction to the actors, because I was confident that they were familiar with the characters they were portraying. There were some moments where I had to be more hands on and guide production according to my vision and story. The crew knew exactly what they needed to do and my co-director was spectacular in keeping them focused.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


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Charlie Chaplin, Martin Scorsese, Milos Forman, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Redford, and Woody Allen are filmmakers that inspire me.


Your favourite movies?


Spartacus, Midnight Cowboy, Ordinary People, Cider House Rules, The Godfather, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Once Upon a Time in America, Field of Dreams, Life is Beautiful, and Limelight.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD