Jul 12, 2017

Writer Director Alex Kahuam Chases Dreams with Passion

Alex Kahuam
Written by Jesus Figueroa

Since Alex Kahuam was 12-years old making video projects for school he has pursued his dreams of becoming a filmmaker, now having his feature film "So, You Want to be a Gangster?" coming in September 2017.

Making short films about the situations surrounding him in Mexico City, Kahuam has been able to capture some of the reality which was around him growing up.

"I was raised in Mexico City, I was born in Mexico City, where (kidnapping) is an issue when I was a kid," Kahuam said. "You have to be aware of all these things growing up. I just wanted to make a message, in the beginning, for kids to be careful."

Kahuam's first project "El Secuestro" (The Kidnapping) was made for a school project.

The project caught the teacher's assistance because Kahuam was able to use stuff he had as special effects, like using fireworks to simulate gunshots.

This project was made without the knowledge of how to write a story, how to shoot a movie or how to edit it together. The story however became something that simulated the reality around Kahuam, it was violent.

"I kept going," Kahuam said. "I was posting on YouTube, I am talking about in the 2000s, when YouTube wasn't big."

The posts ranged in genres, from dramas to comedies.

Eventually, after a failed attempt at film school in Mexico, Kahuam set out to Los Angeles where he would find a way to make short film "So, You Want to be a Gangster?" which would go on to be shown at Cannes and eventually evolve into a feature film by the same name to be released in September 2017.

"Of course I wanted to move to Hollywood, because I was fascinated with how they shoot movies over here," Kahuam said.

The film has evolved, become more of a dark comedy, but has kept many of the same cast members.

"You know what's really cool? I did the short back in 2012 and we showed it in Cannes 2014," Kahuam said. "It evolved alot because it was just a short, I would say it was dark. Now the feature is darker, but it's funnier, a real dark comedy."

From focusing on the harsh gangster life centered on the real life of initiation and tests, the feature film is more comical and has more fiction.

With influences from "El Mariachi" by Robert Rodriguez, "Reservoir Dogs" by Quentin Tarantino and "Snatch" by Guy Ritchie, "So, You Want to be a Gangster?" is sure to have great action sequences mixed with witty humor.

"So, You Want to be a Gangster?" will be out on Video on Demand September 2017.

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