An Interview With New Harlem Filmmaker Of “Wine Tasting” Justin Samuels (Video)

June 3, 2017

Harlemites love wine, and especially wine tasting, so it’s not surprising that a Harlemite has written and executive produced a film by the same name.

Wine Tasting was written and executive produced by Harlemite Justin Samuels who was born in Elmhurst, NY. He attended Columbia University in Harlem, got a MA in the Teaching of English (left above). The film is produced by Anjanette Mille and directed by Josh Mitchell released on VOD. The film stars Josh Mitchell, Josh Thrower, Jesse O’Neil, Vanja Kapetanovic, and Jenae Alt.

Harlem World Magazine asked Justin Samuels about his film Wine Tasting:

Harlem World Magazine: Who/what inspired you to make the film? 

Justin Samuels: To explore the issues people face in going out for professional careers. Plus wine is appreciated in my favorite parts of the world, which are the Mediterranean parts of Europe, California, and Southern South America.

Here’s the Wine Tasting video trailer:

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HW: You’ve worked in food, in education, in finance, etc., what happen to make you realize film was your passion?

JS: After an economic downturn made certain finance jobs scare, I realized I wanted to have control over my work schedule. Plus I own my work and this is really me working in my own projects, as opposed to being just another employee.

HW: Where can Harlem World Magazine readers find more about the film?

JS: Wine Tasting is on Amazon Prime and is free to those of who are Amazon Prime subscribers. Those who don’t have Prime can still rent or buy the film from Amazon Prime. KinoNation will soon release Wine Tasting to other VOD outlets.

HW: When did you realize Wine Tasting was the film you wanted to make?

JS: I submitted the script Wine Tasting to a number of film festivals. It placed as finalist at Sunscreen Film Festival West, Evolution, Mallorca International Film Festival, and Beverly Hills Gilm Festival. I’ve written a number of other scripts, but based on this feedback I decided Wine Tasting had to be first. And after the film finished post production it placed in a few more festivals like Finisterra Arrabida, Premios Latinos, and LA San Rafael. Plus my publicist Josh Mitchell had moved up in the world of independent film and when he offered to direct Wine Tasting I was very happy. Josh and I have worked together on and off for years through his company Wickid Pissa. Since then My scripts Office Problems and Lunatics are in development.

HW: Are you a closet sommelier? Why was Wine Tasting a subject for this film?

JS: While I have no plans to take the exam, I do have academic interests in various aspects of the industry including the actual growing of the grapes. Plus wine is such an important part of culture.
HW: What’s your fave place in Harlem?
JS: Riverbank State Park. It’s gotten awesome athletic facilities including a swimming pool, track, basketball and tennis courts, plus Sofrito Restaurant in the park gives you an awesome view of the Hudson River.

Find more about Wine Tasting on Facebook and  IMDb profiles.

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