Writer, director and lead actress, Jennifer Elster’s Particles of Truth has us witness a critical 48 hours in the life of struggling New York artist as she deals with her junkie parents, a budding relationship with a germophobe and her own self doubt in the face of an upcoming art show. Over the past year, “Particles of Truth” has played at numerous festivals, including Tribeca, IFP Los Angeles, Woodstock and Santa Barbara. Now it’s opening in New York, September 17th at the Village East. We asked Jennifer a few questions before the big day.
How did Particles of Truth come to be?
While I was writing “Particles of Truth” I was in an incredibly voyeuristic state. I love the idea of an audience being privy to a character’s unveiling. When I was through writing I had become obsessed with illustrating the story. So I made a few short films to make sure I knew what I was doing and then moved on to make my feature.
Was there any self doubt going into the making of this film?
I have never done something important without self-doubt. I’m not a neurotic “what do you think?” kind of person, but I am constantly questioning myself, constantly questioning my own motives, thoughts, abilities. Self-doubt is a tool that I use to develop myself and push myself further to get onto new levels. I’m pretty hard on myself. The benefit is that when I am pleased with something, I can feel good about it whether other people respond to it or not. I basically drag myself through the mud until my self doubt subsides.
What were some major obstacles in getting “Particles of Truth” made?
Big ideas and little itsy bitsy money. And of course there were the parrots in front of the pet store near where we were shooting who started calling “action” and “cut” during our heaviest dialog scene –you know, the usual.
So your film opens in New York in September. Was it a hard climb to get to that point?
It was hard, but making a movie is so creatively rewarding on so many levels that I forget about it. I hope that everything I do will be hard on some level. I don’t want to get into a repetitive life where I’m doing something because it feels comfortable.
Are there further release plans past this New York date?
We’ll see. It’s a real NY story, so NY first.
What would you like for this film to do to its audience?
Move them. Make them think. Feel. Introduce them to my storytelling which is continuing to develop and mature.
Any upcoming projects?
We have formed a production company, 75 Films, which develops and produces feature films. Our first film is “Life on the Ledge”; a dark comedy about a guy who wants to die until he finds out he is actually dying. “Life on the Ledge” is a daring story because it deals with so many unconscious desires, thoughts and fears that aren’t normally dealt with.
I also recently completed writing “A Nervous Society” which is a story about the difficulties in trying to love and fearing our own insignificance.