Featured Filmmaker: Ryan Piers Williams – Writer, Director, Producer, Lead Actor in “X/Y”

Ryan Williams - X:YTonight, at 8pm at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, we have X/Y, a sexy, edgy, smart, and richly emotional story following four young New Yorkers as they struggle with the challenges of intimacy to discover what they truly desire in a relationship.

Filmmaker Ryan Piers Williams is here on Maui and will be introducing the film – one that he wrote, directed, produced and acted in. The film also stars America Ferreira, Amber Tamblyn, Dree Hemmingway, and Common.

Take a moment to learn more about how this film came to be. 

Q: How did your film come to be? How did you get involved in making it? Where and when did you start?

A: Before I wrote the script for X/Y in 2012, I had been going through an intense period of my own artistic and personal self-reflection. This drove me to want to tell a story about the challenges we face in modern society in truly connecting deeply with someone. One big question on my mind was, “How does one build and maintain a deep relationship in this hyper connected social media driven world?” I was inspired by many observations I made in the lives and contemporaries around me. In writing the film I wanted to explore the gray areas of each character, dive into their vulnerabilities, and really find a way for the audience to get under their skin. I didn’t want to make a cookie-cutter portrayal of modern relationships. All of the characters in X/Y are conflicted and not entirely good or bad, which I believe is more true to life.

Q:  What was the most challenging thing about making this film?

A: I wrote, directed, produced, and act in X/Y. The biggest challenge I faced in making the film was to perform all of my duties without sacrificing the integrity of the project. It required me to be extremely prepared and exercise a great deal of discipline – while at the same time being flexible and willing to embrace the imperfections in the process. I was also very fortunate to have a seasoned team of producers, crew, and actors who were very supportive in helping me rise to this challenge.

Q: What type of experience do you hope the film will bring to viewers?

A: I hope audiences can laugh, cry, and find compassion for the characters in the film. Ultimately, it would be awesome if by watching the film audiences would find more compassion for themselves and others in their own lives.

Q: What do you think our Maui audiences will appreciate about your film? What is your connection to Maui?

A: I have never been to Maui, but I am very excited to see how Maui audiences respond to the film.




The Featured Filmmaker series is coordinated and written by the Maui Film Festival’s Filmmaker Liaison and Social Media Director Sara TekulaClick here to see all of the Featured FIlmmaker posts and be sure follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get live updates from the festival.