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Filmmaker Spotlight: Director Nikki Roberts of "Botes al Amanecer"

Name/Position: Nikki Roberts/Director
Film: Botes al Amanecer
We caught up with Director Nikki Roberts to discuss her latest film, Botes al Amanecer, which was screened as part of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, CA. Get to know Roberts and her project. 
Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you’ve been working on it. 
Botes al Amanecer is about the resilience of a young boy who collects cans with his mom every morning to assist in the role of breadwinner for his family. In the process he learns more than just the value of a dollar--- he learns about his own strength.
From beginning to end, this project took about a year and some change to make.

Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?
I would like to thank the entire cast, crew, friends, and family members who worked tirelessly on this gem of a film. 
How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?
It’s simply an amazing feeling. 
What inspires you?
Having a good team – a family – of creative, inspirational people. Their energy becomes my muse. 

Who are your influences and who do you admire?
Really great music influences me; I always listen to my favorite music – whatever that song is at the time, it often changes – as I write, edit or before I film. My constant fave is Kelley Smith - Jazz / Big band singer. My favorite song of hers is, “Don't Take Your Love from Me.” The crescendo of her voice at the end, when she belts out that last note energizes me. 
What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?
Goodness where do I start? 
To know who you are as an artist and to know your brand. When you know that, you’ve got a lot going for ya. Also that no woman is an island – success is often times determined by the people around you. And to never give up; wisdom and passion together is rocket fuel. 

If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
That’s tough to choose just one. I have a few people that I would love to collaborate with. Kristen Wiig, Lee Daniels, Kasi Lemons, and Michael Man. There is a project in me for each one of these folks, but I would have to say if I could make a comedy with Wiig and a drama with Daniels (or even vice versa: say, Wigg with a drama and Daniels with a comedy), I would be over the moon.
What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?
The “isms”of life.  For me it’s been a two-fer combo of sexism and racism, but it’s the sexism that irks me the most. Ladies in the work place (especially in film world) have to prove themselves quite a bit, to the point where it’s just out right ridiculous at times. That’s been my experience off and on but it’s something that I’ve used to my advantage, I know what I’m fighting, and knowing your opposition is half the battle. I also take confidence in knowing that there are examples of female filmmakers who have broken through. 
What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?
To trust your instincts, no matter what; and to be strong enough to defend what you believe in.
What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?
I would offer the same: To follow your instincts, and don’t be afraid to be bold. I’ve come to notice that the moment you start feeling leery or unsure about a choice, it’s a signal that you may be doing something wrong. 

Where can we expect to see you next?
I wrote a teen comedy about a germphobic plumber’s assistant. It’s a romance too. My goal is to get that made in my hometown of Baltimore. 
Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects.
My company is Rocketlight Films, Our partner company is We Are Not Pilgrims ( Follow us on twitter and Facebook. The film here at the fest has a FB page “Botes al Amanecer.”

Want more info?
Visit the NewFilmmakers LA Official Website at for more information on screenings, tickets and more. 

About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
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