ALBANY — Upstate New York is home to a long list of people who have expanded and improved upon the world of film and entertainment; a list which now includes the name Miles Joris-Peyratfitte.
Joris-Peyrafitte, an Albany native, made his directorial debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with the highly relatable and sufficiently, but not excessively angsty “As You Are,” a film which he describes as a story “about young people trying to define themselves inside a culture which wants to do it for them.”
A film any creature of the nineties and/or Capital District native can appreciate, three plaid-backed teens seat themselves against the local landscape, as Joris-Peyrafitte cites upstate New York’s scenery among his biggest influences.
While he admits there is no motive or ethical agenda behind this film, he and co-writer Madison Harrison did seek to express the idea that “we as a culture invalidate the emotional experiences of young people.”
Joris-Peyrafitte also stresses the importance placed on the emotion of this film, with that being the most autobiographical aspect. “You present things a-morally, without judgement, and let the audience be moved or touched, or pissed off or sleepy or whatever it is they feel as a reaction to characters in the story as opposed to an ‘idea’ or ‘feeling’ you want them to have.” He states his desire for people to go into the film with an open mind, and hopes that the film might speak for itself upon doing so.
The director also draws inspiration from the community he grew up in, which included being the son of a poet and a performance artist. Having also been influenced by his fellow up-and-coming directors, Joris-Peyrafitte claims that they are “young filmmakers that have such a clear voice and such a command of their stories that I feel pushed to do the same.”
On his appearance at Sundance, Joris-Peyrafitte still struggled to completely absorb the experience. “It was surreal to say the least,” said the director, who jokes that he might have blacked out upon receiving the US Dramatic Special Jury Award. He claims that the validation from winning such an award “gives me the confidence to tell the stories I want to tell the way I want to tell them.”
While he is uncertain about the future of “As You Are” and when it will be released to a wider audience, Joris-Peyrafitte is already beginning his newest venture into the noir-thriller genre, with his film “Mother’s Milk” set to begin filming this fall.