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Dan Israely talks writing and directing the feature film ‘Papa’ (Includes interview)

On writing and directing Papa, he said, “It was a major project, but an enjoyable one. It is inspired by a true story. The nucleus of the story is true, but everything I wrote around it is just my story.”

Joining him as executive producers on Papa are renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Zahava Israely and Emilio Roso. “Zahava has been by my side for many years. We have worked together on quite a few projects. It was fun to work with her,” he said.

Israely had nothing but kind remarks about Robert Scott Wilson playing the leading role of Ben Freidman. “Robert was a sweetheart. He is a great actor and very easy to work with. The whole cast was wonderful. I don’t have any complaints. They were all very cooperative and a pleasure to work with,” he said.

On being a filmmaker in the digital age, he said, “The whole industry is changing very rapidly because of COVID-19. A lot more people now have the opportunity to see the movie. So far, the reaction is great and I hope it continues this way.”

For young and aspiring filmmakers, he said, “Unfortunately, anybody who is starting today, has a really uphill battle because of the situation. It is always challenging but now, it’s super difficult. This is why a lot of productions are on hold because they are getting to be way too expensive. So for anybody starting out today, I can only say ‘good luck’.”

Israely defined the word success as “when people come out of the theater or after they watch the movie and have a good reaction.” “To me, that’s success. The monetary part is always nice, but it’s much less important than seeing people really enjoying the movie and getting something out of it,” he explained.

Papa is available on Amazon Prime Video. “Papa is a very unique story and film. It’s very different than most films on the market today. The fact that it was inspired by a true story adds another dimension to it. Papa started as a book, and then I wrote a film script. I might even add that the film is better than the book,” he said.

Read More: Papa earned a glowing review from Digital Journal.

David Proval and Robert Scott Wilson in  Papa

David Proval and Robert Scott Wilson in ‘Papa’
Photo Courtesy of ‘Papa’

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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