Q & A With Rising Filmmaker Yara Estrada Lowe

Photo Credit: Yara Estrada Lowe
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Photo Credit: Easton Schirra

Thank you so much, Yara, for taking time to do this interview! Before we dig in, congratulations on “Demise”. Tell us more about that project and what inspired it?

DEMISE is a steamy noir thriller being released by Gravitas Ventures on February 27th, 2024. I was inspired to write DEMISE by my love of the thrillers of the 80’s and 90’s such as Dressed to Kill, Body Heat, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, and Fatal Attraction. But the film is a product of my wild imagination and it’s my take on the genre.

Photo Credit: Yara Estrada Lowe 

Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path? 

I am a Mexican/ Nicaraguan American and I grew up in Eastside San Jose and Modesto, California. As a kid growing up in the 80’s & 90’s, I always had a love for storytelling and entertaining people. Every day of my life as a child, I would create skits, scenarios for skits, characters, dance performances, and audio recordings of pretend talk shows. I caught the acting bug when I was in a church play at an early age. When I became a teenager, I would use my uncle’s camcorder to film our family parties. It was then I saw a different aspect of being behind the camera, and I was just as excited about that as I was about acting. This all led me to study theater arts at San Jose City College, and in 2008, I moved to Los Angeles. Over the last sixteen years, I studied acting at numerous studios in Los Angeles. I also worked on many projects both behind and in front of the camera, including being a featured extra, a script supervisor, a second unit director, and producer in the indie circuit. I also taught myself the craft of screenwriting. All of this experience was essential to preparing me to write, direct and produce DEMISE. 

Photo Credit: Yara Estrada Lowe

Can you share the most interesting story that has happened to you since you started working in the film industry? 

The most interesting story is that NOTHING has really happened with my career until now. Years ago I wrote, produced and starred in a TV pilot that ultimately ended up going nowhere. I also had multiple agents and managers over the years that resulted in nothing of significance. I also pitched my first screenplay with a trailer that I produced (that everyone loved), but I couldn’t get funding. Finally, I got my big break to produce and direct DEMISE, which was on a very low budget, and everyone seems to absolutely love the movie. We are hoping it’s going to be a big hit.  

Are you working on any other exciting new projects? What is next for you?

I’m currently writing an “untitled” Christmas Romcom that I’m ecstatic about. And I have written a Romcom called Epic Love. I also have already written a treatment for a sequel to DEMISE, which everyone is anxious to see produced. And last, I hope to get the opportunity to direct films and TV shows written by others.

Photo Credit: Yara Estrada Lowe – Demise lead actors with director

Is there a particular person whom you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? 

Yes. That person is my husband Steven Lowe who is one of the Executive Producers on DEMISE. He was the one who got the financing for our film and without him our movie would not have been made. It was his first experience making a film, and we soon realized that our individual strengths made for a powerhouse team.

From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to others who want to work in the film/entertainment industry. 

If you’ve ever planned a wedding or an event, that is the essence of what a film Producer does. The production team controls all aspects of a film. Getting experience on a production team is a great way to start. If you want to make your own movies, you need to learn how to Produce. It’s also helpful to learn as many positions as you can behind the camera by getting on independent projects, even if that means working on a student film. 

Can you please give us your favorite ”Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life? 

Like the Nike Ad says“Just do it.” To me that means, don’t hesitate, don’t hold back, and take a leap of faith. That’s what I did when I moved to Los Angeles, that’s what I did when I was given my first directing opportunity on an internet soap opera, and that’s what I did on DEMISE.

How can our readers follow you online? 

They can follow me on Instagram @yaraestrada_lowe and our DEMISE Instagram page is @demisethefilm