Rey Christian Hunt
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I was around nine years old when I first watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was a magical and transformative experience. As the end credits rolled, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to be a filmmaker. After my parents separated, I had to suspend my dreams of going to film school and help support my family. It also didn’t help that I lived 1,400 miles away from Hollywood and had no industry experience. When I was able, I applied to the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts for a degree in Film and Television Production. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I didn’t wait around to see if I would be accepted. Instead, I sold my house, quit my job and moved across the country to Southern California. Fortunately for me, I was accepted into USC. I researched the works of master filmmakers such as: Kubrick, Kurosawa and Bergman. I read anything I could get my hands on including massive amounts of screenplays, production notes and industry periodicals. Included with my acceptance letter was a list of ‘100 must-watch films’. I watched every film on the list and of those 100 films only two of them were from artists of color. It wasn’t until I took an African-American film history course that I started learning about the contributions of black filmmakers like Oscar Micheaux (race films) and Charles Burnett (L.A. Rebellion film movement). I wasn’t satisfied with just reading books, so I volunteered for every production that was available and learned every position on a film set. While at USC, I was mentored by Michael Fink and Peter Sollett. Michael is an Academy Award winning VFX Supervisor, who has worked on over 40 feature films including Avatar and the X- Men franchise. Peter is an award-winning director who has won at both the Sundance Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival; both of whom I am still in contact with today. I also gained over six years of industry experience working for Sunset Gower Studios, Catalyst Motion Pictures and Skydance Productions. I have written and directed a half-a-dozen short films and have won several awards. In 2016, I was selected to be a part of the ‘Directing In A Virtual World’ workshop with training sessions at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. I directed a television pilot and hosted a live radio talk show entitled “Focus on Film”. My work with ‘at-risk’ youth allowed me to win an award for Outstanding Mentorship and Stewardship from a non-governmental agency. I am originally from Chicago, but have also lived in Texas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Ohio, and of course, California; which has given me a unique perspective when relating to broad and diverse audiences. As an independent filmmaker, I am completely committed to creating stories that promote empathy while accurately representing the experiences of marginalized communities.