Neil Soni

Motion Pictures & Television / BFA

I am a filmmaker, based in San Francisco, California. I grew up in Mumbai, India and moved to the United States in 2017. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a filmmaker. I was a curious kid. While watching movies growing up – something I did with great frequency – I always found myself wondering how they were made. But no one I knew ever gave me the answers.

The Back to The Future Trilogy were the films that kindled my desire to be a filmmaker. But it was not until Goodfellas flooded all my senses that I knew there was only one path in my future: making movies.

Knowing nothing about film, I decided the best place to learn was in the U.S. So I quit my marketing job and followed my dream to be a filmmaker: hopping on a wide-body jet that took me thousands of miles over the Pacific Ocean, making sure I caught sight of the Golden Gate Bridge from above before touching down at SFO Airport. I checked into my digs, walked into the building at 466 Townsend Street, that would become my home away from home, and began my immersion into filmmaking at Academy of Art University.

There, I directed a number of short films: The Mix-up, Heart Thief, Parallax, Last Bite, No Smoking and Vengeance. I AD’d an indie film, P.J. Malone – Planet Earth. And my social media campaign for Be a Hero, Stay at Home, a PSA encouraging people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, is still going strong on the San Francisco Fire Department's website, with almost a thousand views.

My tenaciousness and go-getter attitude is why I never quit to reach my goal, no matter the obstacles placed in front of me, and what keeps me going through rough-and-tumble times. I am also self-motivated, which allows me to work under pressure and meet all deadlines. I am a critical thinker, which often plunges my mind into a deep pool of thoughts and images that find their way into my films. And a secret that I am sharing for the first time – I daydream – which aides me to visualize, create and block shots and scenes.

I am currently working on a short film, Love Unstoppable, based on, simply, how to love under quarantine, which I plan to direct. In the future, I hope to write and direct a film starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts in a thriller genre.

You can find some of my work on my Neil Soni YouTube channel.

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