Meet Junayed Alavi: The Rising Star in Hollywood’s Horror Scene

At just 24 years old, Junayed Alavi has already made a significant impact as an Independent Filmmaker, Screenwriter, and Content Creator hailing from India. With his latest horror short film, “Hunger,” he has captivated Hollywood audiences and garnered attention for his creative storytelling.

Throughout his career, Alavi has proven his talent in writing, directing, and producing a plethora of independent short films, showcasing his versatility and dedication to the craft. His unique storytelling ability and artistic vision have set him apart in the competitive world of filmmaking.

In addition to his film endeavours, Alavi has ventured into the world of podcasting with “Late Night Show with Alavi,” the only live Hollywood podcast show in Bengal. Through this platform, he has hosted renowned Hollywood A-listers who share their journey and experiences, inspiring the next generation of artists. Distinguished personalities like Lexi Rabe from “Avengers Endgame,” Jeffrey Weissman from “Back to the Future,” Harry Gregson-Williams, the Music Composer of “Narnia” and “The Martian,” Rob Schmidt, the Director of “Wrong Turn,” Ashley Avis, Director of Disney’s “Black Beauty,” and Donald Mowat, the Oscar-nominated Make-up Artist of “Dune,” “Blade Runner 2049,” and “Spider-man: Far From Home,” are just a few of the esteemed guests who have graced his show.

Alavi’s passion for storytelling and dedication to his craft has allowed him to make a mark in the entertainment industry at such a young age. His ability to create compelling narratives and engage audiences has garnered praise and recognition from peers and industry professionals.

As an ambitious and talented individual, Alavi’s journey has just begun, and his future in Hollywood shines brightly. His commitment to pushing creative boundaries and telling meaningful stories promises a career filled with even more exciting projects and accolades.

Keep an eye on Junayed Alavi as he continues to rise in Hollywood’s horror scene and beyond, leaving a lasting impression on audiences worldwide with his captivating storytelling and innovative approach to filmmaking.

FilmCentral Magazine recently had an insightful conversation with Junayed, and here’s the highlight of our encounter.

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started in the industry?

I started very early. I never went to any film school. I used to make short films with my school friends. I did computer science and engineering. I started working in the Indian film industry as an Assistant Director. But there was so much hostility in the film industry. I have grown up watching Hollywood blockbusters. I dreamt about Hollywood since the beginning. But I had no connection in Hollywood. The only faith I had was in my skill. I got a job in a literary agency in Hollywood, where I used to work as a script analyst. And it helped me to understand the film business. I received so many networks over there. I became a poster boy of that agency. Prominent studio executives, writers, directors, and producers used to love me. I left the job and started my own production house, Alavi Motion Pictures. I started a podcast called “late night show with Alavi,” where Hollywood a-listers join and share their journey to inspire the youth. That’s how I started everything.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

It’s getting the right idea. Ideas come and go, but the right idea stays. It haunts the mind for a long time. And anything that creates magic in my mind, I write them.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to viewers what they want?

I always believe in originality. If it’s not original, it doesn’t make me feel excited. And I think that’s what viewers want.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

“You did a great job, Junior!” “Thank you for believing in your dream.”

What is your directing Kryptonite?

Directing a really bad actor on the last schedule. Too many NGs kill the patience.

What was the best money you ever spent as a director?

On PRs, maybe. (laughs)

What was an early experience where you learned that films had power?

I have always believed in the power of storytelling. One film can change perception and can change the world. Filmmaking is a very responsible job. One personal story can change the global perspective. I was an introvert in my childhood. I used to speak through my films. And I still do the same.

Can you tell us more about your latest film?

My latest horror short, “Hunger,” has become a worldwide phenomenon. I didn’t expect this to happen. Last Halloween, I watched Marvel Studios’ Werewolf by Night,’ written and produced by Peter Cameron. Who also produced Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight. After watching Werewolf by Night, I also wanted to make a monster movie. But at the same time, I wanted to represent my culture through the film. I met Peter on a podcast episode. He watched some of the glimpses of hunger. He instantly loved the film and wished to executive produce the film. Peter’s involvement made the film even more bigger and bolder. The film received numerous appreciation from the Hollywood film fraternity. Hunger was screened at the First Cut International film festival on March 18, 2023. The film will be screened at the Festival del Cinema di Cefalu, Italy, on September 2023.  What a journey it was! Marvel Studios’ producer executive produced a film directed by a filmmaker who never went to any film school and had no connection in the film industry.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Having so many followers on social media doesn’t make you a star. Stay grounded.”

What advice would you give to a newbie director who wants to make it in the industry?

Have the courage to experiment. If you have a vision, stick to it.

What are your future plans?

My team and I are working on another horror short film. We are working on a feature film also. So, fingers crossed.