Patrick Ulysse’s film Forever Yours screened at the Newark Black Film Festival and received an Honorable Mention for the Paul Robeson Award at that festival. An Official Selection at the Boston International Film Festival, the romantic comedy was not only directed by Ulysse but was also written by the multi-faceted helmer. But how did he get drawn to creating for the big screen? And what does he have to say about Forever Yours, his latest work? Well, find out here!
Kreyolicious: How did you get started in the film industry?
In 1986, after Jean-Claude Duvalier left Haiti, a wave of kids were shipped overseas. I [was] one of them. I continued my high school studies at Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn. Spike Lee, I believe, released She’s Gotta Have It five months later. That got my attention. I took some creative writing classes. I got involved in the drama club and other art productions. Later, I studied media and film production at three schools: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Brooklyn College and New York University. After college, I created an entertainment and multi-cultural TV show titled “Kreyol Mix”, a show that catered to Caribbean youth in melting pot.
Kreyolicious: Why did you choose the name Unimix for your production house?
UNIMIX Films Stands for Ulysse Network Incorporated and the mix stands for the collaborating with other artists. My field is a field that requires collaboration with a group of people.
Kreyolicious: Who taught you everything you know about your industry?
I studied film at three schools, but I have learned the industry through real production experience, books and the net. As we speak, school is really in session with Forever Yours. I am learning so much that you can only learn by going at it and do it. To be good in this industry, you have to get your hands dirty. You just have to do it.
Kreyolicious: Your film Forever Yours was honored at the Paul Robeson Awards. What was it like bringing this project from conception to production, to final product?
Mr. Paul Robeson is actually one of the filmmakers I read a lot about his system of movie distribution. Getting the Paul Robeson Award from the prestigious Newark Black Film Festival is an amazing experience, Forever Yours came to life because as a technical filmmaker I got tired of waiting for people to bring me projects. I learned how to create a story with beginning, middle and end. I learned about pre-production/ production and post, and now I am experiencing distribution through four-walling a type of distribution where you organize your own screening in different cities and countries. [This was] pioneered by Mr. Paul Robeson. The experience is not always sweet, but [the] joy of starting a project and finishing it, surpasses all pain.
This concludes PART I of the interview with filmmaker Patrick Ulysse! Watch out for PART II!