Growing up in Newark has influenced me a lot… I think its grittiness, which I am attracted to, has spilled over into my work. To me, Newark is like a character itself.
Yuri Alves has written and directed more than a dozen films and won over a dozen film awards. Alves has been hired by production companies in New York, Los Angeles and Europe to direct a range of projects, including primetime television series, commercials, music videos, promos and more. His most recent film project, “Broken Clouds,” won the support of a strong fan base as well as multiple awards worldwide. He directed two primetime television episodes in Portugal as part of the series “Tempo Final,” and received critical acclaim.
I think young filmmakers need to keep fighting against all the reasons why things do not get done. It’s the only way to turn your passion into a reality and the best way to prove yourself.
Yuri dreamed of making movies as a young child growing up in Ironbound, where he spent countless hours making “epic” films with his action figures. Alves was born in Brazil to Portuguese parents and grew up in Newark. He moved to Kearny around the time he enrolled in high school. There, Alves transformed his family’s video camera into a guerrilla production tool. Bold and energetic, Alves convinced his teachers to accept short films in exchange for essay assignments, recruited classmates as actors and taught himself to edit in-camera at first, then using a VCR, and then on a crash-prone computer.
Immediately after the September 11th attacks, Yuri documented his school’s dramatic experience, and exactly one week later, presented the “first 9/11 documentary” to an audience of 2500 (for which he later received Presidential recognition). Around this time, Yuri’s passion for film evolved into a life calling. Alves wanted to ”learn the theory, history and technical names for much of what I was already doing,” and so he enrolled and completed a Bachelors in Media Arts at The New Jersey City University.
Today, Alves has earned the recognition of producers, peers, film critics and audiences for his cinematic eye, added production value, passionate approach to his actors and ability to “deliver” world-class quality on every project he directs.
If my films could win awards against much better financed films in festivals around the world, I knew I could deliver something special when working with more resources.
Alves is currently in post-production on a feature documentary film, “Paint the Rust” based on the lives of a Newark-based alt-rock band, At a Distance, and filmed during a two year period in both Newark and New York City.
Yuri is also in post-production for a short film tentatively titled “Exit Road,” which was also produced in North Jersey, and features several scenes filmed in Newark.
Alves splits his time between Los Angeles and New Jersey, but even in LA he claims “to carry the Jersey swag with him”!
For more on Yuri Alves, visit: http://yurialves.com