You can stream Life in a Year right now!
The film is now on Amazon prime
Here is the synopsis to Mitja Okorn's emotional drama film "Life in a Year":
When 17-year-old Daryn (Jaden Smith) learns his girlfriend (Cara Delevingne) is dying, he sets out to give her a lifetime's worth of experiences in the year she has left to live.
The film stars Jaden Smith, Cara Delvingne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nia Long, RZA, Chris D'Elia, and Stony Blyden.
1. (Fill in the blank question): the year 2020 has been ___________________ .
…kind of amazing. I know it’s kind- of-not-cool to brag about having an amazing year where everybody had a hard time, because of COVID-19, election, protest and so many other things going on, but for some reason the universe rewarded me this year with the birth of my young child and two cinematic “children”. One is „Life in a Year” and the other one is a Polish movie „All My Friends Are Dead” that I produced and will be released on February 3rd on Netflix globally. On one side it was annoying that Life in a Year took three years to be released, but everything happens for a reason and everything is good for something. One might think that the movie not being released when it should be released is the worst thing that could happen to you, but the universe knows why it is the way it is and the universe said, “just wait, there’s going to be an even better time for this film to be released” and that is year 2020. You always have to trust the UNIVERSE.
2. What did you watch/read during the lockdown in Slovenia due to COVID-19?
I was too busy reading scripts and working on my own scripts. I was also working on the Netflix movie, so I did not have any time to read anything else. The one thing I did watch was “The Mandalorian” Just to relax.
3. In one word, how would you sum up your experience with making Life in a Year?
Fortunate. Fortunate to be able to direct this film. Not Lucky, because I really worked my ass off to get the chance to direct this film. And I guess hard work invites good fortune. But making Life in a Year was an all around amazing experience.
4. List 3 adjective to describe Life in a year.
Heartwarming, gritty, and a real tear-jerker.
5. What drew you to direct this film?
Obviously, the script. When I signed with my agency (Gersh), this was the first script they sent me. And when I read it, I cried at the end, which means that I connected with the characters and the story. Although it wasn’t a perfect script, the fundamentals were there. Plus, the emotions. I like to cry when watching films and I love to make people cry with my films. So the decision to direct this film was a no brainer.
6. What’s your favorite Life in a Year scene?
The scene when Jaden Smith’s character, Daryn, breaks down in the hospital. And the final scene between Daryn and Isabelle. Both scenes are intense and were hard to film.
7. Did you make a cameo in this film?
I usually have small cameos like being a hand double or something like that. But I don’t think that I did any cameo in this film.
8. Could you give us an interesting fact about lead star Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne?
They are both amazing people and amazing actors. It was an all-around great experience working with them. At the beginning, before making this film —and I am ashamed to admit this now— I didn’t know who Cara was. My assistant Jan Belcl suggested that I should cast Cara because she’s the best. So, I watched her films but even more importantly I went down the rabbit hole of watching all “7 hundred” of Cara’s Funniest Videos on YouTube. She is so funny, energetic in those videos – she plays guitar, drums, she beatboxes, raps… She does everything! She is multitalented and she was just so pure, honest and street smart on these videos. From that moment on there was no other actress that could play Isabelle. The only thing that I was worried was that she was too old for Jaden, because there is a five-year age gap. However, she was able to, the good actress that she is, transform herself into a teenager.
9. How about the Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. What was it like working with him?
He is great. Very professional. There is a funny story connected to that. Cuba was not our original choice for the role of Xavier (Daryn’s Father). But then something happened and two days before shooting we lost the actor that was supposed to play this character. It was Saturday, we started shooting on Monday and we didn’t have the actor for one of the main roles in the film. But thanks god to my amazing producers – they reacted quickly and found Cuba, who just started his long-deserved vacations with his family. We begged him to reschedule his vacations and he did! But then we had another problem. He had no passport with him in NY. And he needed the passport because we were shooting in Toronto, Canada. It was Sunday and we had to find someone in LA to get his passport, send it to Cuba in New York, so he could fly to Toronto on Monday morning. We managed to do all that and get him to Toronto almost in time. He only missed one scene, the first scene of the day. And the next scene, the second scene of the day was the hardest Xavier scene in the film. It’s where Xavier listens to Daryn’s music and cries. And so Cuba, who two days before didn’t even know about our film, walks in directly into his hardest scene in the film… does the scene… cries… I say: “Beautiful! Cut! We have this! Let’s move on!” Unbelievable.
10. What genre would you like to tackle besides Comedy and Romantic drama?
To me there are only two genres: good films and bad films. And I would obviously like to do the Good ones.
11. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are the executive producers of this film; did you get to meet them? If so, how was the encounter?
Yes, I got to meet them. They are great. They are emotional and they like to cry just like me. We got along great. I learned a lot from them and I’m thankful that they gave me the opportunity to make my first Hollywood studio film with such amazing actors and crew. I will never forget this. They gambled on me and I hoped that I repaid them with a nice film. The first time I met Will Smith was on the first script reading. I had to pretend that it was a normal Tuesday for me, but of course it wasn’t. I was talking while Will Smith sat beside me, listening. It was a dream come true. It felt unreal. I felt the same way with Jada. But, at the end of the day, I was so passionate about the project that I quickly forgot that I was working with Will and Jada. I just wanted to make the best film and that is all that was important to me.
12. Which director(s) do you admire or inspired you and your work?
I really don’t have a specific director that inspired me. There are many films that inspired me. But my hero is Jose Mourinho. He is a football coach. He coached Porto, Chelsea, Man. Utd, Inter and Real Madrid. He is currently at Tottenham Hotspurs. And I Really think that football coaches are similar to film directors. They have to work with players / actors. Above them they have owners of the clubs / producers who they report to and whom they have to make happy. They have to answer to journalists like yourself. They have to be good in psychology and have different tactics to get the most out of the players / actors. They need to know how to motivate people and they are building a story that can end with success or failure. So, I look up to Jose Mourinho and try to learn from his mistakes so I can avoid my own mistakes.
13. Can you express anything about your upcoming film “All My Friends are Dead”?
The film is coming out on Netflix… globally… in 190 countries, on February 3rd, 2021. It is a Teenage Tarantino-Style black comedy. A New Year’s Eve party that goes wrong and, as the title suggests, everybody dies! It’s a hilarious politically very incorrect film!
14. Last question. What do you miss most about your childhood?
I miss skateboarding. I am old now, and my knees can’t take it anymore. But even more importantly I miss that young “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. When you don’t care about anything or anyone. There is no authority that can tell you what you can and can’t do. When you are young you are stupid and you dare to do things that you wouldn’t dare doing when you are in your 40ies, 50ies. There is no obstacles. You feel like there is nothing you can’t do. You are a superhuman. You can do whatever you want because there is always a safety net - your family. And that is why you dare to do more, you are not afraid to do mistakes and taking risks. So if any young people out there are reading this please know that you will never be as free as you are as a child, teenager… And that is why you can do anything you want if you only put your mind to it. You can change the world!
Many thanks to Mr. Okorn for answering those questions. So, here is a YouTube clip of the film. I hope you stream the movie as soon as possible. Take care and stay safe.