Director Spotlight: Antonio Campos

Take a look at one of film’s up and coming directors who hails from New York City. I guarantee he’s one to watch very closely.

Antonio Campos headshotImagine being 13 years old and knowing exactly what you wanted to do for the rest of your life. However, for most children, these dreams of a career change yearly, if not more often. Except in Antonio’s case. When Antonio Campos at this age, he knew exactly what he wanted to do: make movies. Antonio’s passion for film and the process of making them drove him to apply to New York Film Academy’s summer program. At the time, the age to apply for NYFA’s program was 15, and Antonio wasn’t. Most kids would just wait and most likely their passion drift away in those few years waiting to apply. But not for Antonio; he lied about his age on his application (and was blessed with looking older than he was) and got accepted. That is around the time I met Antonio; when I transferred schools and met him in 1998 at a school dance. The moment I saw how passionate he was, I knew he would achieve his goal. I recall one time when he came to my house to work on a school project and my mom asking him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said very matter-of-factly: “I want to be Stanley Kubrick.”

As the years went by after our High School graduation, I kept in touch with many of my friends, and one day, I got an email from a friend stating that Antonio had won the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Student Film for his first feature film, AFTERSCHOOL. I also saw that the Museum of Modern Art was going to hold a screening of AFTERSCHOOL and I quickly arranged for myself and many of my high school friends to go see it. In his years at NYU, Antonio had mastered the skills he learned at NYFA, and mastered the translation from his perception to his vision on the silver screen.

In 2005, Antonio won an award at the Cannes Film Festival for his critically acclaimed short, BUY IT NOW, in which a young girl auctions off her virginity on eBay. In 2006, Antonio was one of the few privileged to be in the prestigious Cannes Residence, where he edited his script for AFTERSCHOOL.

During a recent interview with us, Antonio talked to us about his influences in his current film, SIMON KILLER. He noted French literature, and the connection between the eyes and the brain. Both these influences are heavily seen in the film. The influences and even the music score is carefully chosen to help you understand what Antonio is trying to convey to his audience.


Now most of the time director spotlights are on directors who have a laundry list of classic movies under their belt. However, with Antonio, I chose to highlight him because of his passion. Yes, there are tons of young directors who are passionate out there trying to make their mark. However, I suggest you go see SIMON KILLER or watch AFTERSCHOOL or BUY IT NOW. Keep your eye on Antonio’s multi-layered vision, and I’m sure you will realize why I chose to highlight him. His vision is light years ahead of other directors.  It has been his passion that has been the driving force for him. That is something that sets him apart from other up and coming directors his age. His films are definitely not something to be passed over or taken with a grain of salt.


To see my review of SIMON KILLER, click HERE.

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