WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ME?

AN AFI THESIS

HOW FAR WILL YOU GO IN ORDER TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT?

THE STORY

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.

DIRECTOR's STATEMENT

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

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PRODUCER

Bryce Fishman

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.

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CINEMATOGRAPHER

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.

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WRITER - PRODUCER

Nik Sysuev

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.

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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.

PRODUCTION DESIGNER

Minolae Jain

EDITOR

Yuxi Han

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.

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DIRECTOR

Ira Storozhenko

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. 

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PRODUCTION DESIGNER

Rashi Jain

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.

 
 

AFI CONSERVATORY

NOTABLE ALUMNI

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. 

Established in 1969, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. 

Admissions to AFI Conservatory are highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 fellows per year. AFI alumni continually celebrate critical recognition, including wins at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Grand Prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival making one of the most rewarded film schools in the world.

 

SUPPORT US

ALL DONATIONS MAY BE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE

 

These funds will help to pay for:

Post-Production Sound & Color

Marketing

Festival Submissions

 

ONLINE DONATION:

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MATCHING GRANTS

Many companies will match donations made by their employees to non-profit charitable institutions. This can double your donation. Your Human Resources Department will be able to inform you if your employer offers this benefit. If so, please select “My company will match my gift” on the AFI Web Donation Portal. Please contact us for additional help. 

 

IN-KIND DONATIONS

Help comes in many forms. We will gratefully accept any in-kind donations to our film and you will make the credits! In-kind donations might be tax deductible for the full retail value.

Please contact us and let us know how you can help in any part of the production process from film locations, to equipment rentals or craft services.

 

The majority of the money is needed by October 2020!

 

DONATION CREDITS

All donations will receive a special credit at the end of the film and come with incentives: 

 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - $5,000 - $10,000

IMDb Credit - Executive Producer

On-screen Executive Producer credit

Video message from set

 

SPONSOR - $1,000 - $4,999

On-screen Sponsor credit

poster of the film 

 

PARTNER - $500 - $999

On-screen Partner credit

BENEFACTOR - $100 - $499

On-screen Benefactor credit

DONOR - $10 - $99

 On-screen credit "Thanks"

 
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CONTACT

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