Israeli actress and producer, Shira Alon has made the move to the United States with a collection of films under her auspices providing a glimpse into life-changing moments in everyday lives.
“There are no shortcuts,” Shira says, quoting her mother, so she left her native Israel and came to Los Angeles to be a filmmaker and actress. Here inexhaustible energy put her on a web series (Coronaville), a feature film (Fragile Heart), five short films (Melancholy, Father Daughter, Shift, Through Her Glasses, Three is Definitely a Crowd) and even a commercial.
Shift has won Best Short Film at the LA Shorts Awards Festival plus wins and nominations from the Berlin Flash Film Festival, the Best Shorts Competition, IndieX Film Festival, the Istanbul Awards, the L.A. Shorts and the L.A. Films Awards, Shira looks forward to writing many acceptance speeches. Through her Glasses is also circulating festivals.
Compassion and uniqueness are her motto for the way she works and the material she creates. Through her Glasses is about a chance reunion between a young woman and her first crush –another young woman who refuses to admit to that crush. Shift – a crime drama focusing on a shrewd detective blinded by trust. And LINE 25 – a soaring love story … on a bus.
The recently completed LINE 25 is now circulating film festivals with Right Left Us; Fragile Heart; Sulochana; and There’s Definitely a Crowd currently in post production.
Shira is a founding member of ASA productions U.S., which serves as her production company on numerous projects. The mission of the production company is to encourage other filmmakers, by supplying a platform allowing them to advance in their own careers.
We picked the brain of this emerging artist and filmmaker for philosophies and battleplans:
Tell, us about yourself as an artist
“I’ll tell about myself as a person because honestly, it took me a while to consider myself as an artist so imagine how long it’ll take me to talk about myself like one. I see myself as a little bit of everything – I’m an actress, I’m a producer, I’m an assistant director, I write, I play basketball, I solve Rubik’s cubes, I cook, I give massages, and use Theta healing as a therapy to heal me and other people. I think it is clear to see that I don’t really like defining myself as one thing. I would combine all of the above and define it as one word- Shira. 🙂 Ok so after breaking the ice a little (mainly for myself cause I get nervous when asking me questions like this) I’d say that yes, I’ve come to America to accomplish my dream as an actress. At first, I just wanted to act – give me lines I’ll act it for ya…ok? In Acting School in Israel, I had a teacher who used to always say to us- there are 2 types of actors – operating actors and creating actors. He highly encouraged us to become creating actors who create materials for themselves. But it was too much for me – just give me lines and I”ll act it out for you ok? Great! But of course, with time I’ve grown and America itself made me realize that I have so much to say to the whole and so much to share that I have to use all aspects of Shira (remember from before? the combination of all things?) to CREATE! So here I am now in America creating! Creating what? Creating films, creating stories, creating call sheets, creating schedules, creating a platform for filmmakers, creating interests in me, creating me, creating life!
What was the hardest decision you’ve had to make in your career (so far)?
If you’d ask me what’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done to become a “creator” I’d say – leaving home. Coming to America and leaving my family was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was so hard that it took me 5 years to make that step (I wanted to move right after my military service in 2012…. but only in 2018 I got the courage to get on the plane). We are a very close family, and when I say we I mean all the 20 family members; starting with parents, sisters, grandparents, continuing with uncles, aunts, and cousins, and if that’s not enough finishing with 3 dogs. All of us hang out together every single day – grandma’s being the main house of where the food is at and all of us coming and going as we please. And if you missed anyone during the week – no worries there’s always the Shabbat Dinner where everyone always attends. I couldn’t imagine living so far away from them and talking about not seeing them every single day. The most I haven’t been at home before coming here is 3 weeks (which was by force by the military). So, yes it is still hard and hurts my heart but.. I knew this is a step I had to make if, for instance, I want to win the Oscar.
What was the impetus in opening your own production company?
Opening my own company was totally a non-decision making process. It just happened on the way, while me and a friend of mine who has the same ambitions as me and which I met in UCLA – Acting Program started creating (oh here is that word again) our own stuff and realized we’re good at it! After making 3-4 films together and after working with so many good-intention-people who just want to help make art into a living thing, I’ve decided if opening a production company it better be a company with a sign to help young and ambitious creators like us make their story come to life.
Where do you get your ideas?
Our ideas of stories come from our own personal experience or even other close friend’s experience who wants to share their story. Considering most of us are international and have come along way – there’s always a story to tell. Our first story we ever told was of mine when at age 13 I, for the first time had told a girl in my class that I’m in love with her, and how her rejection has shaped my personality.
An Oscar … best picture, best actress, best screenplay … whatever!