Five Questions with Filmmaker Regan Young

Marza---WebA Marine combat-veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Regan A. Young painstakingly produced ‘Marza’ on an independent budget and expedited timeline to humbly commemorate and forever remember two of many innocent lives lost in the wake of war. Young’s film, Marza, will be at the 2015 GI Film Festival.

Where are you from and what is your film background?

I’m from Arlington, VA and I had a 3-month part-time evening course in filmmaking Jan-Mar 2013; I shot Marza Apr 2013, produced/edited by Sep 2014 (2yr anniversary of the events that inspired this film).

Who are your biggest influences in film and why?

“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of G-d, tell a joke.” -Joss Whedon (simply put, he is my favorite cinematic storyteller) (and Firefly)

What was the hardest part about getting this film made?

Other than painstakingly producing the film from scratch by raising my own money (and borrowing) for productions costs (I assembled a talented cast/crew that worked for free)… Hours after the incident that sparked the inception of Marza, Marines I was just serving with in Kabul were sending me articles of a tragic incident that involved several young Afghan girls I befriended and had a bittersweet relationship with. I was recently told by my former girlfriend that as I read the news (and had a quick cry), she witnessed me slip into a dark and different state; a permanent shift. 48hrs straight, I wrote about the saddest thing in my life.

What do you want viewers to take away with them after watching your film?

I want the takeaway to be the understanding that although there are bad people in countries we generally dislike, that there are good people too of the same nationality. Additionally, I want these brave girls’ to be remembered for their uncommon valor and ultimate sacrifice; I will never forget.

What is a fun fact about you that would surprise people?

I can make a film on my first try but my first official attempt at cooking for my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day was a disaster…

Marza directed by Regan Young is playing at Angelika on May 24, 2015. Click here for tickets.