Vaintino is a Paris born New Yorker who lives in Brooklyn since 1995. Along the years, Vaintino wrote plays, short plays, series, screenplays and directed feature documentaries, feature films, videos, and developed his own personal aesthetic revolving around installations, events, and curated screenings as well as art projects. Lately, he co created The Bed Stuy Theatre group with brother and friend, Kevin Leonard and produced, cast and directed August wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" in the "August in August" summer series in Fulton park and James Baldwin's "Blues for mister Charlie" at the Black caucus in Albany, both events historical premieres co promoted by Restoration and the counsel for the arts. Vaintino also completed a feature film titled "An Afternoon In Monte Carlo" and a feature documentary titled "Shadows In The Box" for his production company www.thegroupnyc.com, teaming up with long time brother and friend and prominent underground music producer E.Blaze, under the patronage of brother and friend Rachid Rouabah.
What is the story behind your film?
I met Thomas Clark in 1995. It was the year I moved to New York city from Paris. In hindsight, a lot of the things that happened at the time were the genesis for me moving to another continent, another culture. Aesthetically, I already was very familiar with the city itself, the rest happened like it always was meant to be for me to be here at that time, or at least it strongly felt that way. Thomas Clark had street photographs that were on par with Gordon Parks, Robert Frank, Cartier Bresson, William Klein, etc... In a way it's like I met a world class master photographer, that the public at large did not know yet, and it gave me a sense of purpose that will manifest itself about fifteen years later.... In fact, I lost touch with Thomas in 1999, and miraculously, or so it seemed, I ran into him the day before my birthday in September 2014. I was having one of my plays produced the next day at a famous local theater, and I asked him "Come and shoot the whole thing". I still have these pictures on my walls. The day after my birthday I just asked him"Let me make a documentary about you to show the world who you are, your inner journey..." He answered "Ok. Make sure you don't F... it up!" And the rest is history. "Shadows in the box" was about to be born.
What should people take away, gain, realize after watching your film?
It' s a great question. Actually, for what I personally heard from the audience is that the majority of them feel a sense of peace and serenity. They are inspired to do art themselves, and they take Thomas' journey as a spiritual template to be emulated in any form of interactions with the world. It's like the film had achieved exactly what I intended it to convey: the journey inside the aesthetics of a man, and how he sees the world through the prism of love, compassion and sharing the beauty that he captures everywhere. Not as much as the destination and its potential material rewards, but more like a true mystical experience around impressions of a form of the divine on still pictures and short films. In Japan, a festival compared "Shadows in the Box" to the work of Tarkovsky as he sculpted in time. Wow... What a moment.
Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse?
Does art imitate life, or the reverse. It's the eternal debate about the dark and the light. People need love and beauty to survive the time they have on this earth. They find it in both ways, through the light and the dark. We hope that the light prevails, but we're not sure. So, as filmmakers, we can only be a reflection of the sum of all of those things that make up who we are and share it with our fellow humans, and hope for the best.
What creation style did you use in the production of your project? What cameraman elements did you use?
To stay close to the element of film, throughout, I used super 8, digital 8 and a small sony hd camera with a 35 mm lense for the interviews and some street sequences. I realized that those three formats combined very well with Thomas Clark's street photographs. Plus when it came to Thomas' old films, I used the finest scans possible, all the budget went there! lol And that's the best decision I made.
How did you select the actors for your project?
Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors?
I have a digital distributor. Actually, my first feature "An Afternoon in Monte Carlo" landed on amazon prime US and UK in 2019 and had a small collector type release on DVD. "Shadows in the Box" is on Prime US and UK on demand. and "Kings of docs" on you tube. And Tubi. I'm looking for partners in Europe and of course broadcasters, at this point.
At which festival has your film been screened?
A lot of online festivals awarded my film. I'm very please about that. And I love THE LOVE I'm feeling but I could discuss for hours what I truly think about festivals. It wouldn't be that productive. I need contact, human contact and I think that a festival should have LIVE screenings to be considered a festival. My humble opinion.
How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the film?
If you could change something in your film, what would it be?
Nothing at all.
Which movies are your favorites and why?
The Golden age of the Noir era. I'm partial to gangster pictures. I just love the immediate stakes created by that genre.
What topics do you like to address in your stories?
The human map. The true inner workings of our spirit. The transcendance. The beauty in the dust. Finding that small spark in the bullshit!
What is your motivation in making films?
All of the above. It never ends.
Which contemporary filmmakers motivate you the most?
No one. My creator inspires me.
What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I have 35 full length feature screenplays on deck. I'm actively looking for a literary manager.