We had the opportunity to talk to the inspiring director Andrew Reid about his film Asia A which is based on true events that happened in his life. At the age of 21, he became paralyzed from the chest down. We had the honour of interviewing him; asking him how he felt about making a short film based on his life, his upcoming projects and how he regained movement after the doctor told him he would never walk again.
Hi Andrew, how are you doing?
Doing well! Staying busy working at Matt Damon & Ben Affleck’s production company Pearl Street Films. Also, developing the feature to ASIA A and the TV pilot Road to Zion.
Congrats on Asia A. It’s an incredibly touching and gripping short film. Where did the idea for this movie come from?
At the age of 21, I became paralyzed from the chest down. A malformation of my blood vessels resulted in a rupture which compressed my spine while I was sleeping (AVM), leaving me completely paralyzed. I was told by doctors I would never walk again but with dedication and perseverance, I regained movement. Today, I walk with a cane and continue to progress in strength and health. I became an advocate for the disabled community and expanded my film production skills by moving to Los Angeles. My goal is to bring new and diverse perspectives to Hollywood that promote a culturally progressive future for our society.
It must have been very emotional to turn your own life into a short film?
It was, but I found it rewarding to create a short film that shows how important perspective is when dealing with recovery. I have met many individuals who lost the will to live after a debilitating injury. One of my goals as a filmmaker is to provide authenticity and inspiration to the topics I covey on screen.
The main character of this movie is being portrayed by London Brown. How did you come across him for Asia A?
I have always been impressed by London Brown’s performance on the TV shows Ballers. When beginning to cast for this film I knew immediately that he would be great for the role. I had a phone call with him about the role and we clicked immediately. It was a pleasure working with him.
How important was it for you to tell this story?
It was extremely important. Disability is diversity and I felt the need to tell this story because of my personal experiences with the topic. Disabled directors and actors are few and far between in Hollywood and it’s time for us to have better representation in the industry.
What do you hope people will take away with them from this film?
I hope people realize the importance of having the right perspective when it comes to recovery. Also, that we should value ourselves as individuals regardless of whatever disabilities we might have. We are all special.
You’ve been selected with this Asia A for a lot of different film festivals such as LA Shorts International Film Festival and Hollyshorts Film Festival. Are there any more other films festivals the film will be screened at?
Yes, we have been selected to screen at Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival on Sept 8th, 2018 and have a few others coming up which I cannot name publicly as of yet.
What advice would you give any up-and-coming filmmakers who want to get a foot into the door of the film industry as well?
Never quit. Most people will doubt you so it takes a certain amount of determination and talent to survive in the industry.
One more last question: Do you already have more upcoming projects?
Yes, we are developing ASIA A into a feature and I recently finished my latest short Road to Zion which is now being submitted to festivals.
Liselotte Vanophem, Just Celebrity Magazine’s Film and Celebrity Reporter