“The Nomad Chef” is a documentary portrait of Travis going through a transitional period of his life. The period during which he is letting go of his old identity and creating a new one, the period of mobilizing his forces to start anew and break into the culinary industry, the period of taking the road less traveled by and leaving the stability behind.
Produced by: Marina Pyak
The 3-week run for The Nomad Cook ended on May 20th, 2017. Thank you to all the fans that supported it!
6 questions with The Nomad Cook director, Marina Pyak at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
1Hi Marina! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, how did you meet Travis and what inspired you to document this period of his life? Hi Fandependent Films! Thanks for making my film a part of your festival!
I met Travis when I was on a hunt for a good story for my grad film. I noticed his post on some Facebook group and I immediately had a gut feeling that Travis would make a great subject for my short film. And I was right! Travis turned out to be a captivating storyteller who had a lot of energy and enthusiasm to embark on the hero's journey and reach his goal. We always hear the success stories of people who have already made it in life, but we rarely hear the stories of people who are just starting out. That's why I decided to tell Travis' story - because he is someone who has tremendous determination to succeed and will his dream into existence.
2Travis is taking a very unconventional path to try to get into the culinary industry. What are your thoughts on people go down these kinds of paths? Personally, I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who trail blaze through adversity and uncertainty to pursue their passion. I believe that there's no "right" or "wrong" path in life. All paths take you on a journey that will lead you to your goal or to some sort of self-discovery. I also think that it's very important to follow your instincts, especially when you're in doubt and you don't see a clear path that could take you where you want to get. My Dad keeps telling me that every life-changing journey starts with the courageous first step.
3Travel seems to have had a large impact on his life and his art. Do you find travel inspiring? Has traveling influenced your work in any way? Absolutely. My family moved around a lot when I was a kid and it certainly had broadened my perspectives and made me very observant in general. Then, when I grew up and started traveling by myself, I learned how to find common ground with people from all walks of life and how to listen to their stories without any prejudice or bias. I'm very glad that I had a chance to acquire those skills because they came in handy when I decided to become a documentarian.
4It's very clear to see the parallels from this culinary art, to the art of filmmaking. Travis has drive, passion, he's traveled the world to be inspired and he's taking an unconventional path which makes sense for him. Did you know this doc would be relatable to any artist's journey? Where were you hoping this doc took you? Yes, I knew that right away because Travis' story hit very close to home for me. Like Travis, I also left my stable job back in 2015 to pursue filmmaking. It was a very turbulent period of my life but I'm glad I made the right decision and challenged the status quo. My film about Travis took me on an amazing journey that made me believe that I can be a filmmaker.
5What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? I think it was the documentary "Born into Brothels" that made me want to pursue factual filmmaking as a career. I was truly inspired by the protagonist (Zana Briski) who ventured to Culcutta, India to teach photography to the kids of sex workers in the red-light district. Her social work had a huge positive impact on the lives of her students and raised the awareness around such alarming social issue as human rights for children. I hope that one day I'll be able to do the same with my films. That would a dream come true for me!
6What's next? I'm currently working on my first social issue documentary. It's a very exciting and challenging project for me so I'm really looking forward to sharing my story with the audience and the film community.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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