The Blue Cave
⌛Duration: 20 Min
🇺🇸Country: United States
Director: Muhammad Bilal
Director: Muhammad Bilal is an African American filmmaker and actor from the South Side of Chicago. He began studying both acting and filmmaking as a child. He first studied acting at the Piven Theatre Workshop with the late Byrne Piven. He was then accepted into the highly selective drama program at Lincoln Park High School, where he wrote, directed, produced and starred in numerous full-length plays. Simultaneously, he studied filmmaking at Chicago Filmmakers.
While furthering his film studies at Chicago Filmmakers, Muhammad was awarded a full scholarship to The Theatre School at DePaul University, where he continued to study acting. In 2003, after completing a master’s degree in education, Muhammad relocated to New York City. While working as a public school teacher, he continued to study filmmaking at The New York Film Academy and New York University. He, too, continued to study acting at the Anthony Abeson Studio. In 2018, after earning a second master’s degree in education and serving as a high school teacher and administrator for more than 15 years, he left the field of education to pursue filmmaking on a full-time basis. Muhammad earned a Master of Fine Arts in film production at The City College of New York in 2020.
He is the founder and creative director of his own independent film production company, Bilal World Entertainment. He is currently in post-production with his second short film, SAPO. Muhammad is scheduled to start production on another short film this year. He plans to begin production on his first feature film in 2022. He is also an active member of One on One NYC. Director's Statement:I assembled this film in a very unique way so that it doesn’t feel nor look like so many other black, urban films about gang violence and dysfunctional families. Hence, I incorporated a magical cave into the story. I believe the presence of this cave gives this film a layer of science fiction that sets it apart from other urban coming-of-age films. Not to mention, the blue cave is actually what I experienced as a child. It was a portal to my dream and imagination. Therefore, this film is not simply about a black boy who wants desperately to survive, it is about a boy who wants to live so he can achieve his dream. My hope is that this film creates an emotional yet engaging experience. Every camera angle is designed to take viewers on a journey with Ali. I want them to feel the terror of a young boy being choked by an adult, the trauma of being attacked by a vicious gang, the pain of being neglected by a mother and the wonder of discovering a magical cave. I employed tracking shots, point of view shots and, in some scenes, a Steadicam to really immerse viewers into this story.