Posted On March 9, 2016 By In Blog, CaFA, CaFA News, caribbean, caribbean film, Filmmaker Focus, Interviews And 1669 Views

CaFA Q+A with Maya Cozier

coming soon pic - maya 1200Maya Cozier
Trinidad + Tobago

Watch “SHAN,” now.

“SHAN,” the debut short by Trini filmmaker, Maya Cozier, was released earlier this week on Studio Anansi Tv.  Ahead of the release, we talked with Maya about the making of the film and her love of filmmaking.

In your own words, tell us what this film is about and why you chose to tell this story.

Shan, is a portrait of a young Trinidadian dancer at the Universoul Circus, which tours the USA. The work follows Shan backstage and on stage, moving between darkness and light, as she prepares to pass under the limbo stick.


Did the film turn out the way you envisioned? If yes, in what ways. If no, why not?

It was my first time visiting  my friend at the circus. I had no idea what to expect. When I arrived I met a group of Trinidadian dancers and I immediately became fascinated by the environment. I started following them around with my camera on and off stage. It was a very organic process and I think it turned out a lot better than I envisioned.

What was the most challenging aspect of making the film and why was that so?

The circus was in Philadelphia at the time. They gave me permission to film backstage but the managers cautioned about photographing the caged circus animals. When I returned to New York to review the footage, I felt like I needed more. Management didn’t want me snooping around again. It’s kind of a crazy story but my roommate and I jumped on a bus to Philadelphia. I somehow convinced her to go on this undercover mission to get the footage I needed. She obviously hated me after that experience but those are the kind of things you have to resort to when the situation is dire.


If you were to pick an aspect of filmmaking – producing, writing, directing, cinematography, editing – which would be your favorite? why is that? – which do you dislike the most? and why is that?

A woman of color has a better chance go making it onto an NFL team than becoming a director.  I’m not sure why I decided to pursue this but I can’t see myself doing anything else. I never like to edit my own narrative work.  It’s always great to have an unbiased viewer work through the footage and add another level of interpretation to your story.

And then some completely random questions: What is your fav film (or 2 or 3) all time? What did you enjoy about it/them the most?

I love the indie film “Spirit of the 90s,” “Clerks,” “Night on Earth,” “Blue in the Face.”  What I love about these films is that the characters are forced to spend time with each other in confined spaces such as taxi cabs, convenience stores etc. so that we’re left with no distractions. All we can focus on are these interactions. Nothing is more delightful for me as a viewer than seeing nuanced characters and the way the navigate each other and their surroundings. It’s all familiar and relatable and that’s what I enjoy about it the most.

blue in the face

We hope you enjoyed reading the interview as much as we enjoyed sharing it. Visit Studio Anansi Tv, to watch this and other great Caribbean films.

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