Dominican writer and director from Providence, Rhode Island, Vega Montanez is mastering the art of visual storytelling. After inking a distribution deal with Dame Dash Studios & Homestead Entertainment, The Hurt We Share will make its debut. The feature film starring Bryce Jones and Evette Morales will stream on Tubi, starting February 2022. The highly acclaimed film highlights mental health issues and how severe lack of awareness can impact our communities.
HypeFresh had the honor of sitting down with Vega to discuss his filmmaking journey.
Meet Vega Montanez.
On Vega and The Hurt We Share
Please tell us what inspired you to get into film.
VM: Well, the inspiration isn’t the best scenario. I lost an amazing friend who was a phenomenal photographer. He seemed to be happy, and then committed suicide. No matter the positivity, things still seem negative to a person who suffers depression. Certainly, trouble accepting positivity can definitely lead to suicide.
What is your experience navigating the industry in New York?
VM: Born in Manhattan, my parents moved to Providence when I was about 9 or 10. Nevertheless, upon moving back to the city in 2018 and already doing music, all arms were open. Indeed, it’s definitely a blessing in my book. Set bookings and all.
Tell us about the cast selection of The Hurt We Share…
VM: Just a bunch of good folks along my journey, I connected with different creators. For example, getting the opportunity to meet friends like Evette Morales, whom I met a fashion show. Running out of male models for the show, Evette landed me a spot, pairing with her—favor. Most are random encounters, including meeting Sadie on a TV show set.
More on Montanez
In your opinion, what is your responsibility to your audience?
VM: Of course, my audience is me. I want to enjoy my work. On a larger scale, making an impact—doing something different. Showing various perspectives and helping people mirror themselves.
What are the toughest aspects of making a film today?
VM: Undoubtedly, money. The only thing that holds off distribution. Most production companies don’t accept unsolicited work. A filmmaker needs representation. There needs to be a money strategy, using less money as possible.
Do you have any projects in store for 2022?
VM: Producing and directing three films. Getting hired on three film sets, any position. Two films locked in, a horror in March and an action film in April. Dominican actor Victor Martinez will play the villain in the action movie, The Burden of 9 Lives.
Connect with Vega on Instagram at @whatupvega.
And check out the trailer for The Hurt We Share: