Jessie Kahnweiler spoke with Solzy at the Movies about the upcoming premiere of her short film, He’s The One, during the Sundance Film Festival.
Kahnweiler writes, directs, and stars in He’s The One. Joining Kahnweiler in the cast are Luka Jones and Alexandria Churchwell. The film premieres this Friday during the festival in Shorts Program 2.
How thrilled are you that He’s The One is making its world premiere during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival?
Jessie Kahnweiler: Insanely excited. This project is very personal and has gotten a lot of NO so to get a yes on this level feels fucking sweet. Very grateful.
How did you come up with the idea for the film?
Jessie Kahnweiler: Like most afternoons, I was crying in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s on the phone with my manager Paul Young. I was frustrated about some of the hard things that have happened in my past and wondering if/when I was ever going to be free from some of the resentment and anger I was carrying. I was crestfallen and decided to try and write my way through it.
What was the most challenging part of making He’s The One?
Jessie Kahnweiler: Having an idea that so badly wanted to be bad. And having an ego that wanted to make a perfect movie. I just tried to do right by the story and have fun making art with people I love.
Can you talk about the casting process?
Jessie Kahnweiler: I was panicked about casting. If we didn’t have the right Christian, we didn’t have a movie. My friend Jordan Firstman suggested Luka Jones and I loved him from Shrill. I decided to just slide into his DMs. Making movies, you just get rejected so much so I was like fuck it, what’s the worst that can happen? Luckily, he read the script and agreed to meet up. He immediately understood the character and the story on a cellular level. It just felt right. So I guess Instagram isn’t a soul crushing void ALL the time.
Jews have a way of turning to comedy as a form of therapy. Why do you think this is?
Jessie Kahnweiler: I don’t know why but I’m so grateful for it. It’s my favorite part about being Jewish and almost makes up for all the stomach aches.
You’re a Sundance veteran. What is the one piece of advice that you would give to a filmmaker premiering a film at Sundance for the first time?
Jessie Kahnweiler: Drink water, take naps, and don’t believe the hype. It’s a blast but the real party was making your movie.