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An Interview with Joe Sanchez, Director of Imported Affairs

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2009

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You are currently in the process of shooting Imported Affairs. In a few words, what is the film about?


This is a buddy cop film, best way to describe it. It's about a Columbian drug lord that's on the run from a renegade Columbian police officer. And to make matters worst they team him up, the renegade Columbian officer, with a renegade American police officer. Think Rush Hour meets Lethal Weapon, meets Miami Vice.


What can you tell us about the shoot so far?


The film so far has had a very interesting shooting schedule. We film primarily on weekends. The thing is everyone is working on back end deals but I have had the fortune of not having too many businesses hesitating in getting involved. Basically meaning that finding locations for ideal shoots has worked out, I just have to film around their slowest working days or when they're close.


Adonis E.Charles

Richard Siggins

What can you tell us about your cast?


This film is full of some of the next best or up and coming actors. We have Ronald Acha, Gustavo Perez for the Latin/Hispanic community. Also worth mentioning are David Vogel, Mike Newman, Clay Maples, and even the two leads, Richard Siggins and Adonis Charles are all going to be household names, it's just a matter of time.

The cast has been very dedicated to the project. I couldn't have ask for a better set of talented individuals.


A few words about your crew?


My crew is very small compared to anything else. I really can't say much about my crew other then itís been interesting. I actually wear a lot of hats on my production team. Not only am I the director but I'm also the cinematographer. I actually have two dedicated crew members that show up at almost every shoot. My main concern really is to have the shots I need, the audio captured, and some stills ready to be posted online. Everything else can be handled in post. I'm very lucky that I'm able to master a lot of different production skills.


Your main inspirations for making the film?


One of the greatest filmmakers out there and most inspirational is Robert Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez writes and produces most of his own films, but the film that started all for him was El Mariachi. A film that was shot and produced for a little under 8,000 Dollars. This film is also inspired by all the great action films of my generation. In a lot of ways I took scenes that I saw in movies such as Lethal Weapon and just gave them my own creative spin, my own interpretation. I figured this could be my homage to El Mariachi and the clique action genre.


Why a gangster movie? Is this a genre dear to you?


First of all this is not a gangster movie, is a cop movie.  A typical cat and mouse film. It's more of an action adventure with a flair of comedy.


When and where will the film be out (presumably)?


This film will probably be released sometime early next year (2010) and it will probably play around Central Florida and small communitiesí nation wide, have somewhat of a limited release.


How hard is it to get an independent feature off the ground in Florida, and a few words on the Florida indie film scene?


Florida is probably a good place to start. There is a lot of support for independent cinema and filmmakers such as myself in the state of Florida. There is a lot of talent here.


How did you get started in the indie film scene, and your films so far?


I got started like many filmmakers, with an idea. I've been producing since my high school days but it wasnít till 2005 that I really took myself seriously. That year I self produced my first short film, Lee Ann, which got some attention. The film was shot with no microphone and using a Hi-8 video camera. I played it at two venues and the audience could clearly see that there was something there. I found it interesting that the story could still captivate people's attention aside from all the technical difficulties.


Any future projects you'd like to talk about?


Currently I'm producing a documentary about the United States and how far we have come in the last century. It's actually a documentary about the people that made this nation great, and how change has really destroyed what our founding fathers set out to do. The project is titled Area 52 America.


What can you tell us about your F.I.L.M.-project?


When I started the F.I.L.M site I really wanted it to be a place for actors, writers, directors, and/or any like minded people to come and just intermingle with one another. The site took a life of its own and now is home to over 400 members. I'm also about to launch the I AM F.I.L.M campaign - the basic idea is for every member, or anyone for that matter, to produce a short introductory video, telling us a bit about themselves and their craft. I look forward to being the first to contribute to this.

I also just started a similar website for the Latin/Hispanic community called L.I.F.E. or Latinos in Film Entertainment.


A quote of yours goes "Film is not just an art form, it's a sense of self expression". Would you like to elaborate on that?


To me personality FILM is really an art form, a visual style of speaking your mind. Art and film are not that different, like I said earlier I'm a storyteller first and foremost. I'm a writer and as a writer I have learned that I clearly have a statement to make. My main goal with every short film, music video, and/or feature is to be able to make a clear statement about certain things or situations. Art and film are pretty much one and the same to me. One just involves more verbal interpretations.


Your website, MySpace, whatever else?


The number one thing about me is Iím all about networking. I find that the best way to make a name for one self is to take advantage of everything there is to offer. This is why Imported Affairs can be found on both MySpace and Facebook and the infamous Ning sites. Ning has become very popular among web hosts. Three of my sites are Ning-related: FILM, LIFE and Imported Affairs. Ning sites are also so easy to operate and have a lot of tools to offer. Lol, I feel like I'm endorsing them but I'm really happy with what they have to offer for any networking individual such as myself.


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Joe Sanchez
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Joe Sanchez here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Joe Sanchez at

Your favourite directors, and why?


I have a few but right off the top of my head are three; Robert Rodriguez, Sam Mendes and Steven Spielberg. Rodriguez mainly because he did it on his own terms. The man is the true definition of a guerilla filmmaker that can make it to the pros. There isn't anything he cannot do. He has mastered every skill there is to filmmaking.


Mendes is just a great storyteller. His films have impacted me in more ways than one. From American Beauty to The Kite Runner. He sure knows how to capture the feel and emotional depths of each and everyone of his characters and the environments he is trying to create.


As for Spielberg? Where can I begin? When someone says then name Spielberg, they are talking about a God, the God of filmmakers. This man can not only tell a story but he can also make a point. Like Schindler's List. The man has mastered both extreme media and personal preference. He is truly what young filmmakers such as myself would like. A career where both the studio is happy and you as an individual can be in contempt with yourself.


Movies you really liked, both recent films and all-time favourites?


I really enjoy all the genres of film so for you to ask me to narrow it down a bit isn't going to be easy. I can probably name a few like Halloween, Scream, Face-Off, Titanic, The Departed, War of the Worlds, Fools Rush In, Home Room, 300, Saw, 12 Angry Men. I'm a fan of all types of films. I like both Hollywood blockbusters as well as indie hits. I'm not opposed to mainstream cinema. It's really about the characters and how well involved they are with the situations they are put in for the sake of the storyline.


And of course, some films you really deplored?


There isn't a movie that I hate. I try to think that even a bad movie can teach me a lesson. We have to appreciate everything that is out there and just take what we can from each movie experience - although Godzilla was pretty boring. I'm not sure what Emmerich was thinking but that film was a big mistake. By the numbers: budget 130 million  - earn 136 million.


Anything else you are dying to tell us and I've just forgotten to ask?


This is for anyone that is just getting started. Take a look around you and write with what you got. Try to incorporate what you have and take it as far as you can take it. As a storyteller my number one rule is to see how much I can get away with, with what I have available around me - and trust me creativity is key here. Challenge yourself as a filmmaker and as a writer and try to find a middle ground. It takes guts to make things happen and a lot of determination. Nothing is impossible, itís just a matter of how you look at things.


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