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Filmmaker Isaac Cherem: “The world is diverse and films have to be diverse as well in order for the audiences to see all the possible different takes on stories and characters”

The world is diverse and films have to be diverse as well in order for the audiences to see all the possible different takes on stories and characters. Diversity will only give us a better offer and a wider variety of films. I had the pleasure to interview filmmaker Isaac Cherem. Isaac was born in 1992 […]


The world is diverse and films have to be diverse as well in order for the audiences to see all the possible different takes on stories and characters. Diversity will only give us a better offer and a wider variety of films.


I had the pleasure to interview filmmaker Isaac Cherem. Isaac was born in 1992 in Mexico City and graduated from The Los Angeles Film School in 2011. He started working as a production assistant on film sets at the age of fifteen and in 2015 he founded Fosforescente, a production company solely focused on Mexican cinema. In 2018 he shot his directorial debut called Leona, which is showing at the Hola Mexico Film Festival the first week of June.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born in Mexico City, within the tight Syrian Jewish community. I went to a Jewish school until I was 18, I only had Jewish friends who lived in the same neighborhood as me, I had a Jewish girlfriend and had a big family with 15 cousins who I was very close to.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

After the theater teacher convinced me to do casting for a school play at 15 I discovered the greatest feeling ever. Being in front of an audience, acting. I wanted to be a stage actor but I thought I would never make enough money to live so I switched to film, Hollywood sounded creative and wealthy. I didn’t know much about film but I started devouring film after film and found my way in to begin working on sets at 16. I fell in love with the process. Then at 18 I earned a degree in film from LA Film School and went back to Mexico to keep working. I became an assistant director, then a producer and finally directed my feature.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The first time I arrived on a film set they were shooting a scene with an alien vagina, it had 10 fingers and was dripping green liquid. That had a big impact in my approach to film for quite some time.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I wouldn’t call it a mistake but I thought I was going be a horror director (I did three horror short films) until, luckily I found my real honest voice.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m happy to be writing a comedy with my closest friend from school, also, producing a netflix original film to be shot early next year.

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

The world is diverse and films have to be diverse as well in order for the audiences to see all the possible different takes on stories and characters. Diversity will only give us a better offer and a wider variety of films.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

I think it’s the beginning of it. It’s starting to happen, it’s a long way but I’m optimistic.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Be Honest — people can only relate if it’s honest.

Be Bold — Take risks.

Be Nice to people — people will work better for your project.

Be consistent — it’s hard to go all the way and make a film, talent is not enough.

Have Discipline — routines have worked well for me, specially while writing.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I try to spread the word about being brave and focusing on personal happiness and joy instead of trying to accomplish somebody else´s expectations. I also like talking about being ok with uncertainty which is related.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mom supported me without understanding me. I will never be grateful enough for that because she even convinced my dad to support me, so both my parents are the main reason why I was able to do this.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Disappoint your parents.

I disappointed my parents at first because I wanted to do things that they didn’t understand and that were afraid of. Ultimately, I did what I wanted and they respected that. I was not going to live under the expectations of somebody else.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

@Miranda_July was of great influence to me.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@nocomofrutas

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