“There is no direct path to being a director, which is ironic,” Angelfish (2019) filmmaker Peter Lee tells So Booking Cool in support of his debut feature film, starring rapper Princess Nokia and Jimi Stanton (The Punisher, Wu-Tang: An American Saga).
Lee’s interest in film began in his youth, which involved the tradition of going to the “cinema” or “the movies” (he admits he is still learning American vernacular) with his father. These moments allowed for father and son bonding as well as learning. Watching movies helped Lee see how big the world is and the difference in people. Though he realized film greatly appealed to him, he doubted it as a career. In fact, he thought the idea of being a filmmaker was outlandish.
“’Cause I’m from Ireland,” Lee explains to So Booking Cool, “At that age, when I was [young], not many people can name lots and lots of directors. I genuinely thought about it, like ‘well, being a big film director is as difficult as being an actor.’ I genuinely was like ‘who does that?’”
It was at university as a religious studies student that Lee decided to give filmmaking a try. He submitted his final coursework and flew from London to New York to attend film school, which he says changed his life completely. He bonded with other aspiring filmmakers, some of whom were former film classmates from his days in the UK. His new home in New York opened him up to collaboration.
Lee has a couple short films under his belt including Padma; The Quiet Cult; and One Last Time (a tragedy about a pianist who is forced to give up his passion because of a change in his life).
Angelfish is a love story set in the Bronx during the 90’s, in which Eva (Princess Nokia) and Brendan (Stanton) meet during the summer and fall in love, but as with classic romances, things get in the way of their relationship.
Check out Part 1 of our interview with Lee to learn more about Angelfish such as how a documentary influenced the title; the casting; why the film has a yellow theme; whether he would ever act; if he’s “chosen” film over television; if he prefers writing or directing; and additional tidbits about Lee’s journey as a director including why he once dropped out of film school; and more! For more information, visit the official Angelfish website.