Fort Worth-native and Dallas filmmaker Iver William Jallah first experienced being on a film set when he was about 8 or 9 years old. Having a model agent for an aunt, she would put him in films, including one where he landed in a scene with Wesley Snipes. The attraction for filmmaking grew from there. Jallah began shooting music videos in Dallas, attended a couple of local film schools, and landed his first big screenwriting credit with a script he wrote in college. That screenplay was Grand Isle, the 2019 drama thriller that starred Nicholas Cage.
Now, Jallah is ready to take on the roles of writer and director for his upcoming film, Blood Orange Moon. A dark comedy, the story follows a couple who must address their deepest secrets in order to stop a zombie apocalypse that is threatening the world.
“It’s a very imaginative, surreal type of film,” Jallah tells PaperCity. “I was inspired to make a micro-budget film that I could control creatively.” Influenced by directors like Wes Anderson, Spike Jones, John Hughes, and the Coen brothers, Jallah names dark comedy is his genre of preference.
After co-directing Grand Isle with Stephen Campanelli, Jallah will have complete creative control of his next feature. “Blood Orange Moon will be my showcase film,” he says.
Written pre-quarantine, Iver William Jallah’s production company, FilmKeyz Productions, was about to start shooting the film when the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in the United States. The new production date will be October 5 in Dallas. With limited locations available, a local mansion and hospital will be primary sets for the film.
“Covid can’t stop filmmakers from filming — it’s a drug for sure,” Jallah says.
In order to get the ball rolling, Jallah casted local, non-union actors. Dallas-based Jordan DragonKing, Giovannie Cruz, and Kerry Graves have been cast. The timeline of the film will be quick — about 30 days to complete — and CGI heavy (given the zombie-filled plot).
“I went to L.A. two years ago. With Grand Isle, I was able to establish connections in the industry, but I’m all about Texas film in general,” says Jallah, who hopes to submit Blood Orange Moon to local festivals. “I’m not sure of the identity of Dallas filmmaking, but maybe it’s time for someone like me to come in.”