AG Rojas

A short interview with AG Rojas, the young LA-based director and co-producer of TRIBUTE, a thrilling new film project premiering on Dazed Digital

Arts+Culture Q+A
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Today sees the launch of a film project months in the making. A collaboration between Vince Haycock  and AG Rojas, the LA-based music video directors currently shooting some of the best work in the world - including Earl Sweatshirt's EARL, Florence + The Machine's Lover To Lover and Gil Scott-Heron's I'll Take Care of You - it's a series of films about youth culture from some of today's most talented new directors. TRIBUTE kicks off with Matt Lambert's Paul und Jakob, a tender, poetic portrait of two mates kicking around Berlin's deserted Tempelhof Airport and will continue premiering on Dazed Digital over coming months. Watch that over here, and read our interview with AG below, whwere he talks about forthcoming films and MAINLINE, the company he runs with Vince that has curated and produced this extraordinary project. 

Hey AG! How's it going? 
AG Rojas: Good. Currently easing into a sweet coma, trying to alleviate some of my incessant anxiety.

Where are you now? 
AG Rojas: I live in Los Angeles.

So, you're launching a film project, excitingly. Can you explain it to the readers please?
AG Rojas: TRIBUTE is a series of experimental, documentary shorts about youth. It's been produced by MAINLINE which is a home for special projects created and curated by Vincent Haycock and myself. The documentaries are based on a few short films I've made over the years. They take place during one day, are improvised, and the directors let the subjects dictate what we see and where we go.

Who else is involved? 
AG Rojas: Vince and I have recruited a group of the best young directors working right now. The first film was directed by Matt Lambert, and over the next few months we'll see films from Focus Creeps, Abteen Bagheri, Young Replicant, Emily Kai Bock and BREWER. 

Are they all your friends? 
AG Rojas: Friends and enemies. 

What's the theme linking the series? 
AG Rojas: We haven't created any thematic or visual restrictions for the directors. The films are about embracing the spontaneity of youth in real time. There's no bullshit, no artificial "teenage" moments. 

What's most exciting about filmmaking right now? 
AG Rojas: More than ever before, young filmmakers are honing in to their aesthetic and voice faster than ever. We don't have to wait til a director is 30 any more to see some amazing work, it's now happening a decade earlier.

How did you start making films, and what's the best advice you'd give to a hungry filmmaker coming up? 
AG Rojas: Like a lot of other directors (including Vince and Matt), I grew up in the skate and hardcore punk scene in California. In my case, there was a natural transition from filming friend's bands at live shows to directing music videos and eventually short films and commercials. The best advice you can give to an aspiring director is to be aware of which one of your friend's bands is going to be famous and do a video for them. Surround yourself with creative people whose work is better than yours.

What are your favourite cult film about youth?
AG Rojas:  Elem Klimov's Come and See.

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