The San Diego International Film Festival (SDIFF) is one of the hugest festivals in California with screenings of movies, from shorts to feature lengths, for rising and independent filmmakers. During the Night of the Stars tribute, the day before the screenings, we met up with Hal Linden, who stars in the movie that screened at the festival, The Samuel Project. Linden appeared in various projects, including The Mindy Project, Will & Grace, and Hot in Cleveland to name a few. However, The Samuel Project is different from many of the projects he was involved in. Linden mentions that it is about three generations of a family who bond together over an art form; it is very touching to watch and hear about movies where generations, that are usually separated, bond over an emotional experience.
Linden also shares that he will star in another movie Grand-Daddy Day Care that is coming soon where he plays a grandfather, much like in The Samuel Project, as well. He also shares some advice to rising filmmakers and actors: “don’t do it, unless you need to.” In other words, the reward in being a filmmaker or actor is doing the project itself, not reward that comes after the project; however, he believes his job is a great one because he gets to learn through the characters he portrays. “You learn how the world works,” he says. We appreciate Hal Linden for joining us this year at SDIFF. We wish success on both of his films.
The Samuel Project tells a powerful story of generations connecting for the first time. A whole new world opens up for a teenage grandson (played by Ryan Ochoa) and he starts to understand his grandfather’s life for the first time when he meets the woman who hid his grandfather (played by Hal Linden) from the Nazis as a young boy during WWII and saved his life.
The Samuel Project opens this Friday, October 19 at the AMC Mission Valley Theater. You can watch the trailer and see more about the film here: https://thesamuelprojectmovie.com/home/
Release Date: October 19, 2018
Official Website: www.TheSamuelProjectMovie.com
Cast: Ryan Ochoa & Hal Linden
Social Media: @TheSamuelProjectMovie
Local AMC Theater Near You: www.amctheatres.com/movies/the-samuel-project-58159
Host: San Diego International Film Festival 2018 – Joining me right now is Hal and he’s here to promote his new movie at The Night of The Stars. So, Hal, how are you doing today?
Hal: I’m still here. That’s the good news.
Host: Hey. We love you. Thank you so much for coming to San Diego.
Hal: It’s always a pleasure to come to San Diego.
Host: So, hearing about the award show, what went through your mind and what does this particular evening mean to you?
Hal: Well, I’m ear to introduce my movie, which opens tomorrow in the festival and, about a week or so, in local theaters. It’s called The Samuel Project. It was shot right here in San Diego. While I was appearing at the Old Globe Theater, I was working on The Samuel Project. It’s all set for the public to see it now.
Host: Nice! Can you tell us a little bit about what The Samuel Project is?
Hal: It’s about generations. Grandfather, Father, Son, and the normal distance that we find between generations and how to bridge that distance. We do it in the picture through the project. The boy has an art project to tell out his historical story and he selects the story of his grandfather. Who doesn’t wanna talk about it? If there’s a point: they’re brought back together by art, not by arts. By art, which can be more eloquent than words. Basically, that’s the story.
Host: Being that we’re at an independent film festival, what advice do you have for those filmmakers and actors that want to get into this industry?
Hal: I have no idea (laughs). I have no idea how I got here so how can I tell anybody how to get here.
Host: Well, you’re too talented. Obviously.
Hal: What it takes is dedication. I tell this to all acting students: don’t do it, unless you have to because the reward is in the doing. So, if you want to make a picture, that’s the award, not the prize you’re gonna win ‘cause you may not win a prize, but the reward is in the doing.
Host: Exactly. I appreciate that! What other projects do you have going on that we should keep an eye out for?
Hal: There’s another movie coming out. I don’t know when, so I can’t even plug it. It’s called Grand-Daddy Day Care. Yes, I play a Grand-Daddy. By the way, in this film, it’s a grandfather, father, and son. I do not play the son. I play the grandfather.
Host: I know, but you can pass for a lot.
Hal: Too much makeup.
Host: Lastly, how has acting enriched your life both professionally as an actor and spiritually as a person?
Hal: I’ll tell you. It’s a great occupation. Think about it. How many lives have I lived? How many people’s experience have I experienced? Not just my own, but every character that I’ve inhabited to walk in somebody’s moccasins. That’s what makes you aware of what the world is like. It’s terrific. You may be on unemployment for a long time, but I recommend it very highly.
Host: Oh, my gosh, Hal. It was so wonderful meeting you. You’re such a delight on our family screen.
Hal: Thank you, love.
Host: We look forward to seeing your project.
Hal: Oh please do! The Samuel Project.
Host: Hopefully, we’ll see you again in the future as well. Best wishes to you as well.
Alan Santellanes | Writing Contributor
B.A | Communications | Cal State University, LA
Alan Santellanes is a California State University, Los Angeles graduate and cannot wait to hit the ground running in the media making industry. His goal is to become a showrunner for kids & to promote diversity and equity in the shows he creates. He has a strong interest in development production; more specifically, creative writing; organizing and planning. Aside from pursing a career in the media making industry, Alan enjoys playing videogames with his brother and nephews, watching television with his family, going to the movie theaters with his friends & baking desserts for his loved ones. Alan brings positivity to any new friendship or challenge that crosses on his path. Find him on Instagram @AlanSantellanes and Twitter | View My Blogs
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