WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ME?
AN AFI THESIS
HOW FAR WILL YOU GO IN ORDER TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT?
When SAM (25), an obsessively diligent ride-share driver, notices his high rating start to go down for no reason, he goes to extreme length to find out why people suddenly stopped liking him.
SAM (25) works as a ride-share driver and is very good at what he does. He keeps his car clean, he is kind to passengers, he is attentive and diligent. For that he earned a high 4.99 rating. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and looks for faults in his own performance when he is criticized.
Out of nowhere, after a perfect ride, he gets a bad review. He tries to find out what happened. He tries to change his approach, he changes himself, he changes his car, he changes appearance but the ratings keep falling.
In his quest to find out what is actually wrong with him he decides to kidnap the passenger that started all of this and ask him directly.
We all live in a world where the opinion of society can change one’s life. We have all come home at least once panicking from anxiety of the thought “What do they think about me? Do they like me?” - I’ve done it a billion times. Since my childhood when I was a musician, I’ve learned that you will always be judged: how do you do your job, how do you look, how do you speak. Standing on the stage at the age of four, I was looking in the jury’s eyes, trying to guess "Do they like me?"
Sam is looking in the eyes of his passengers, carrying the same question. After every ride Sam checks his phone to see his rating… GRADES. We nervously check our email at the end of the term to see our grades, or at the end of the month for our performance review at work, and especially at the end of the day to see how many likes we've received. GRADES, NUMBERS, STARS, LIKES… all of this is to answer the questions “Do they like me?” and "Why don't they like me?"
“Why Don’t You Like Me?” is a unique opportunity for me to show people the influence of technology and rating systems on the mind, self-esteem and behavior.
I believe a comedic and satiric approach will reach people around the World and let them know how important it is to love yourself without depending on someone else’s opinion.
MEET THE TEAM
Bryce Fishman is a Los Angeles based producer best known for her work in tv, film, and new media projects. She is on the programming teams for both the Sundance Film Festival and the Slamdance Film Festival, serving as a senior programmer for the latter. She currently works as the senior producer of Moonbug Entertainment. She is a passionate voting member of the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy.
Ino Yang Popper
Ino Yang Popper is a Cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Her visual approach is committed to portraying the inner lives of the characters. She’s drawn to characters that suffer from lingering in their past experiences, struggling to find their true identities, and the meaning of life. Through photographing these characters, her work tends to have a fair dose of desolation, disassociation, and self-recognition.
Ino is a Cinematography Fellow in the class of 2020 at the American Film Institute Conservatory. She holds a BA in Directing & Editing from Beijing Film Academy and an MFA in Directing & Screenwriting from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.
WRITER - PRODUCER
Nik Sysuev was born in Russia. In 2001, he moved to the UK to complete his education. In 2007, he graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in Economics and Mathematics. The next 10 years he spent working in the financial sector in London as a trader. In 2014, he wrote and directed his first short film. After quitting finance in 2017, he produced two other shorts, a play with sold-out performances in London and two online promo videos for a fashion accessories brand. In the last year, he also explored other facets of filmmaking, which included acting, screenwriting and stage design.
Minolae is a graduate from Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore, with a BA (Hons.) in Interior Design. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Production Design at the American Film Institute. Originally from India, a science student with a flair for arts and management, she is an innately curious being, she observes details and notices the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Yuxi Han is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with BAs in Film and Video. She served as a video-maker and story writer for the Chinese Scholars and Students Association (CSSA), and as a digital specialist at the Center for Health Organization Transformation (funded by the National Science Foundation). She worked at the broadcasting company CGTN America and with Buoyant Brothers at the Filmmakers For Tomorrow Foundation (FFTF) to make music-video and virtual -reality projects. In the past, she served as an assistant producer on a local cuisine show in Sichuan Television. As a student filmmaker, she directed and edited HE IS MY SECRET, THE SECRET JOURNEY OF SHELLY, and ARTÍSTICA LISBOA.
Ira Storozhenko is a Directing Fellow in the class of 2020 at the American Film Institute Conservatory. Before AFI Conservatory Ira has been working in the film industry in Russia. In her work, she is always pursuing complex sensitive characters with extraordinary behavior. Ira worked as a director on Russia's Disney TV channel. Ira's short movie, MASTERPIECE, won a special mention for the best comedy in film festival Let's CEE, in Vienna in 2017; best editing and best young director in SHOR of the Point in Romania in 2017; and best comedy in at Green Apple in Russia in 2017.
Rashi is an Architect from Mumbai, India, and did her masters in Production Design from LA. Rashi has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 4 years including a feature film, a lot of short films, and youtube web series. She has also interned in a themed entertainment firm during school and currently has been working on a lot of music videos with artists like Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, and Eminem! She has managed a team of more than 20 people in the music videos of Godzilla - Eminem ft. Juice WRLD and Bad Bunny - Yo Perreo Sola. The idea of crafting imagination into reality intrigues her and she aims to create visual excellence and redefine the way we look at cinema.
Terrence Malick l directing
BADLANDS, THE TREE OF LIFE, THE THIN RED LINE
Paul Schrader l directing
FIRST REFORMED, AMERICAN GIGOLO, RAGING BULL (as writer)
David Lynch l directing
BLUE VELVET, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, THE ELEPHANT MAN
Patty Jenkins l directing
WONDER WOMAN, MONSTER
Darren Aronofsky l directing
BLACK SWAN, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE WRESTLER, NOAH, PI
Sam Esmail | directing
MR. ROBOT, HOMECOMING
Rachel Morrison | cinematography
MUDBOUND, BLACK PANTHER, FRUITVALE STATION
Robert Richardson l cinematography
DJANGO UNCHAINED, INGLOURIOUS BASTARDS, SHUTTER ISLAND, THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Robert Elswit | cinematography
THERE WILL BE BLOOD, BOOGIE NIGHTS, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK
Janusz Kaminski | cinematography
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, LINCOLN, READY PLAYER ONE
Matthew Libatique l cinematography
IRON MAN, PI, A STAR IS BORN
John Shiban l screenwriting
BREAKING BAD, THE X-FILES
Brad Falchuk | screenwriting
AMERICAN CRIME STORY, GLEE, NIP/TUCK
Steve Golin l producing
BABEL, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, SPOTLIGHT, THE REVENANT
Liz Hannah | producing
THE POST, LONG SHOT
At the world-renowned American Film Institute Conservatory, a dedicated group of working professionals from the film and television communities serve as mentors in a hands-on, production-based environment nurturing the talents of tomorrow's storytellers. The Conservatory is consistently recognized as one of the world’s top film schools.
With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling and personal expression, each class breaks into teams that mirror a real production environment. Those teams collaborate on and produce more films than any other graduate level film program.
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