Interview with Hectorlyne Wuor Jarmon

Earlier this week I stumbled upon the Kickstarter page for a new sci-fi film titled Keep,Leave. The synopsis:

In 2096, technology exists giving people the power to erase memories from their minds, but at a cost substantially higher than money.

I had the great fortune of interviewing Hectorlyne Wuor Jarmon, the Producer for the project. Here's how it went!

DK: So, starting off: telling me a bit about your kickstarter project.

HWJ: Keep,Leave takes place in the year 2096, when the power of choice is at an all time high. Technology exists that allows people to choose which memories they would like to keep, and which they would like to erase. This is made possible by our company, Retentia Neurologic Therapeutics. 

DK: That's a really interesting concept, one most people can relate to. Who came up with the original idea, and what was the inspiration?

HWJ: This concept was created by our Uber talented Writer-Director Kryzz Gautier. I enjoy working with her because she has brilliant ideas that everyone can relate to no matter who you are, and she really understands the art of storytelling. We've all had experiences in our lives, or moments we wish we could erase from our memories.This story was rooted out if heart break. Imagine keeping the beautiful beginnings of the relationship, and tossing the messy moments that end up in heart break. Thats what this story is about. 

DK: I can definitely think of some memories I'd like erased. Now, the description also says, "...but at a cost substantially higher than money." Without spoiling too much, can you elaborate on this cost? Aren't our bad experiences part of what make us who we are, as much as the good? 

HWJ: Exactly that's part of the costs one may not anticipate with the memory extraction process. Ultimately some of the horrible experiences we go through significantly shape who we are positively and negatively. The choice ultimately lies with the customer.

DK: The entertainment industry often overlooks women and minorities when it comes to lead roles. The Science Fiction genre is especially guilty of this. What are your thoughts on this, and how does Keep,Leave deal with this kind of problem? 

HWJ: I think this all comes to who is telling the story. A much larger percentage of films made are written by men, and directed/produced by men. It's only natural that they would write a story with male leads because that's what they connect to.

Keep, Leave is written and Directed by a Dominican woman, Produced by a Liberian woman so it's natural that we will have a female in the lead. What I love is that the crew driving this film is all women, of all nationalities. It's bringing a diverse voice to the forefront, one that is very needed in Sci-Fi genre.

DK: Diversity is always a positive thing in art; different people bring different viewpoints and ideas to the table, and it creates a far more balanced product in the end as a result. In this vein, what existing works in TV/Film/Literature have been an inspiration to you?

HWJ: In terms of literature, I'm a great fan if Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and playwright Lynn Nottage.  In Film, one of my favorite films is Bend It Like Beckham and I saw Samba last night which was remarkable. I'm excited about television right now and the diverse voices that VOD bring into play. Shows such as Transparent, Empire, Orange is the New Black, Fresh Off the Boat, And Jane the Virgin. I think we're moving in the right direction, but I know we have a long way to go.

DK: So, aside from Producing Keep,Leave, what else are you working on? Are there any future projects to have mulling around in your head?

HWJ: I am also producing a feature film called PAPA. It's about a teenager, Pepe Fadiga, who thought growing up with an abusive African father was hard enough, but that paled in comparison with surviving the inescapable violence of the south Bronx ghetto. We are going to be starting principle photography in fall of 2015.

DK: Well thanks for taking the time to tell us about your Kickstarter. Is there anything else you'd like to say?

HWJ: I would like to thank everyone who has donated to our campaign so far and shared our project, we are so grateful. I ask that others please partner with us and donate so that this film can come to fruition. Thanks for taking the time to interview me David.

You can take a look at the Kickstarter for Keep,Leave here