“Still I Reach For You” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Victor A. Janusz

2023 July 18

“Still I Reach For You” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Victor A. Janusz

Who is Victor A. Janusz?          

Indie Filmmaker out of Seattle Washington/USA, Victor Janusz has enjoyed a prolific multi-disciplinary career, –mainly as a
full-time Singer-Songwriter-Pianist (also with VJ Band, which he is frontman for, over 21 years in Washington State).  Since 1987, Janusz has also directed theatre, short films, and live musical acts.  Since 2019, his main focus has shifted to his original screenplays and films including the internationally acclaimed, award-winning feature “Still I Reach For You” (2023 Release). A new full-length film, tentatively titled “Last Dance, Amelia” is in development.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker? 

My years in the theatre (I was Artistic Director of an Equity-Seattle company called TRIAD Ensemble Theatre from 1987–94) as both actor and director made me fall in love with storytelling on a professional level.  AS I moved into music full-time (mainly as a live performer– playing piano in clubs, restaurants, hotels 40 hours/week) I became a prolific songwriter. The Songs would foreshadow the subjects of my films –what stories I could tell in that medium.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Absolutely. Just look at how popular films –even wildly successful ones! — (sometimes from unexpected places, sources) both reflect and move the conversation forward around topics that obsess our collective consciousness as a society. “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, “Don’t Look Up”  “Get Out” come immediately to my mind….

-What would you change in the world?

I’m driven by the concept of individualism, –what makes each being unique –and therefore, the follow-up idea that they can be listened to, worthy of ideas being integrated, worthy of acceptance. If you want to Americanize it, you can say I’m influenced by “liberty and justice for all” –for starters! “Tolerance” as a descriptive has a provocative political ring to it, sadly.  But the idea has both theological/religious roots (“Love thy neighbor”, “He that casts the first stone…”) but also triggers the eternal ‘culture war’ : The late, great theatre director Adrian Hall used to mention that the theatre PRE-DATED Christianity! And this fact alone is inflammatory: Anthropological evidence also supports this with finds of cave paintings clearly showing figures assembled in a proscenium “acting out” stories for an assembled, rapt audience!

Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years? 

I can only visualize the trend continuing of more, disparate, unique voices emerging from all kinds of places– telling their stories, sharing the experiences that were ‘game-changers’ for them, sharing their lives through cinema. My own film “Still I Reach For You” emerges from one of the most significant –painful–episodes of my life that have colored every day since it happened. As an “AIDS Widow” –I want the world to know this demographic, this group of survivors exists! That this fallout from the AIDS nightmare happened, –and is happening.