The new indie film “Farewell Amor” is the feature film debut for writer/director Ekwa Msangi and her up and coming star, Jayme Lawson. Lawson landed the role right after graduating from Juilliard. You’ll also see her in the new Batman film starring Robert Pattinson. She acknowledges the rarity of landing these roles fresh out of school.
“It’s crazy. I keep using that word to describe everything because that's just how unreal my experience has been so far. I definitely think had I not had 'Farewell Amor' under my belt I don't know that I'd have the confidence to even audition.”
In “Farewell Amor” Lawson plays Sylvia, who has emigrated from Angola to New York City with her mother to rejoin her father, who emigrated 17 years earlier. Msangi says the story was inspired by an aunt in Tanzania, who is still trying to join her husband in the United States.
“It inspired me to write the 'what if?' story. What if this was the mountain, you know, the mountain that they've been climbing for all this time disappears and you get your visa? How does one reconnect overnight?”
The film explores how the immigration experience is different for each family member, something Lawson welcomed.
“It’s different for everybody. We see it from three different perspectives because here is seemingly a family that’s sharing the same journey, but different experiences.”
The film was shot in Brooklyn, which was home for Lawson at the time. Lawson enjoyed the short commute.
“It was great. I mean, it was in my neighborhood so the commute was easy. It was like, we weren't filming and we actually like, we're driving past my apartment. And I was just like, 'Oh, my God.'” Lawson says she loves Brooklyn. “Brooklyn’s amazing. It just comes alive.”
Lawson’s career is heading for the bright lights. She says working on “Farewell Amor” helped show her the ropes.
“I really got to begin to figure out myself and figure out okay, what works for me, how to even get familiar with the camera, ask all the newbie questions, and not feel intimidated.”
You can check out Jayme Lawson in her feature film debut on demand, because you’ll have to wait till 2022 to see her in “The Batman.”