Sunday, April 10, 2016

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: Adrian Miles

My name is Adrian Miles. My mother is a first generation Mexican American/Chicana. My father is Black, Cherokee, and Irish. I was taught to identify as all that I am, whereas schools and my peers told me otherwise. When you're the “smallest," and youngest, kid in class and become tired of fighting to correct people, you give into societal pressures. In order to survive one's environment, you learn to adapt; sometimes against your own will.

Although I was raised by a loving single mother, I was drawn to the gang culture that dominates Los Angeles, California; the city I was born and raised. All my friends throughout middle school, and the short period of time in high school, were either skaters, graffiti writers/taggers, drug dealers, or gang bangers. Some dabbled in everything…which is the category I fell into. At the age of 13, I was “jumped in” to a gang. At the same time, I was introduced to Kundalini Yoga, DJ'ing, Capoeira, and books such as “Autobiography of a Yogi” and the “Autobiography of Malcolm X.” At the age of 15, I found myself at a crossroads: Do I choose to pursue the road that would eventually be the death of me, or choose the higher path that was always beckoning? I chose the latter.

Soon after, my mother moved my family of 3, including my sibling, Ella, to New York City. We began training with a Grandmaster of Capoeira Angola and I also  began taking an interest in photography. I got my first point and shoot digital camera for my 16th birthday. Since then, I have been documenting everything from punk shows, Capoeira events, music festivals, and protests. To working with freelance models and capturing the essences of international cities and their inhabitants.

I owe my love of photography and film to my mother and father. My father is a screenwriter, and my mother wrote, produced, and starred in, Pas De Deux, my directorial debut. Pas De Deux is a story of self-love and self-empowerment. It is about how we relate to each other, personally or romantically, can be seen as a dance. A dance of two; pas de deux. The lesson of this story is to enjoy the most important dance: the solo…the dance with one's Self. There is no dialogue in this short film. It solely relies on the art of visual storytelling.

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