Exclusive: 10 Questions with Predisposed’s Philip Dorling


Philip Dorling’s Sundance short Predisposed examines the unhealthy relationship between a boy and his manipulative, drug-addicted mother, focusing in on the day when he has to take her to rehab — right before an important college interview. Things become even more complicated when he discovers that she has to be intoxicated in order to be admitted. Yes, Dorling — who has been making films since he was 15 years old — manages to cram all of that action into just 15 minutes. Our brief interview with the emerging filmmaker after the jump.

Flavorwire: Describe the moment when you found out that your film made it into the festival.

Philip Dorling: I was ecstatic. And shocked. After I put down the phone, I screamed at the top of my lungs.

FW: Is it your first time here?

PD: It is. But it’s not my first time screening Predisposed; it premiered at my home festival in Woodstock

FW: Who did you bring with you to Park City?

PD: My co-writer/producer Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) and my executive producer Lisa Dorling (my mother!). My star Melissa Leo (Frozen River, 21 Grams) is here as well.

FW: Are there any films/filmmakers at the festival who you’re ridiculously excited to see?

PD: Peter and Vandy. I am working with their producer, Peter Sterling. I’ve already seen the film, and it is amazing.

FW: What surprised you the most about making Predisposed?

PD: That people related to it.

FW: What do hope that people take with them after seeing it?

PD: A little piece of America they never saw before.

FW: What character from your movie would you like to go out drinking with?

PD: Penny. She’s the antagonist and also a druggie, but she knows how to party.

FW: What historical time period would you visit and adapt into a film?

PD: Turn of the century New York City. My great-grandfather came to America from Sicily at the age of 16 with nothing. He spoke no English, and became a foreman on the docks in Brooklyn. It’s a pretty compelling time in American history, and especially in New York.

FW: Do you think the current economy has affected the mood at this year’s festival?

PD: I heard there was less attendance. But if anything, Obama is giving us all hope and a positive spirit for the future. We can keep making cheap movies, anyway.

FW: Finish this statement: If I had one wish for the future of independent film it would be…

PD: …to make good movies, not movies that are independent and weird for the sake of being independent and weird. Obscurity isn’t synonymous with genius. A good film is a good film.