Henry Hughes grew up as an army brat who spent his childhood both in the US and Europe. He studied film at and received his BS in Communications from Boston University. He spent the following five years as a paratrooper in the 173rd Airborne, conducting two combat tours in Afghanistan. He was featured in ABC News’ Standing Up For Heroes where he was paired with George Lucas as a part of American Corporate Partner’s National Mentoring Program. Currently, Henry is completing the second year of his MFA in Directing at the American Film Institute, where he has received the Gary Winick Scholarship in recognition of his talent and academic achievement. His film, Day One, is part of the 2015 GI Film Festival.
Where are you from and what is your film background?
I grew up as an Army Brat moving every few years: Germany, Kentucky, Texas, Kansas, Georgia. I got into filmmaking through homemade skateboard videos and then went on to study film at the American Film Institute.
Who are your biggest influences in film and why?
Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy continues to teach me lessons each time I watch it. He found a way to discuss personal duty, capitalism, and the American Dream through family. It grounds the story in relatable fashion that somehow still remains operatic. It’s intimate and vast.
What was the hardest part about getting this film made?
Balancing accuracy and truth. These two things are not often the same.
What do you want viewers to take away with them after watching your film?
I tried to craft the film’s emotional architecture in a way that felt honest to my time in Afghanistan, balancing the sublime and the tragic.
What is a fun fact about you that would surprise people?
I type with two fingers.
Day One directed by Henry Hughes is playing at Angelika on May 24, 2015. Click here for tickets.