When Cindy Tsai Karafilis set out to make this film, she was inspired by all of the good her children and their band, Beyond Chaotic, were doing reaching people through their music. Cindy felt compelled to tell Eric’s story. Gifts From The Heart is her first film. Through this film, Cindy hopes to encourage others to do everything in life with heart and live life to its fullest. The other message that she hopes the audience will take away from this film is what big hearts children have and how much adults can learn from them. “As soon as everyone met Eric, it was as if everyone thought, wow, this is so much bigger than us. It wasn’t spoken, but we all knew that we had to work our hardest to do right by this little boy, Eric.”
Given the chance, Cindy shares that she would have liked to make Gifts From The Heart into a feature documentary instead of a short. “Coming in at 17 minutes was more than twice as long as I intended it to be, and we cut so much footage.”
Although Cindy never set out to be filmmaker, some stories just need to be told, and Eric Piburn’s story is one of them. Surprisingly, if she had to credit someone who cinematically influenced her appreciation of film, it would be Alfred Hitchcock, “probably Psycho or The Birds”.
As for advice to young, aspiring directors and filmmakers who want to get started, Cindy says, “Tell your story from the heart and surround yourself with competent people who you trust.”
When discussing failures, Cindy explains that “every failure in life teaches you what not to do and that is just as important as knowing what to do. I would fall short of attaining goals from giving up after continued rejections but I have learned that you can never give up on something you believe in and are willing to work hard for.”
As someone who hasn’t been active online very long, Cindy admits that the connections she has made would not have happened so fast nor would they be as extensive as they are without social media. As a wife, mother and band mom, Cindy still makes time within her busy schedule to share her knowledge and support others. She continues to use her influence, talents and resources to help others in any capacity that she can and that in itself is a gift from the heart! We look forward to seeing more from Cindy, Eric and Beyond Chaotic and are thrilled to screen this heartwarming film at the upcoming Cosmic Film Festival!
A few final words from Cindy:
Cosmic Film Festival is my first festival and I am not doing it for me. I am doing it for Eric and his family. By submitting to festivals, my goal is for them to see it on the big screen at a festival. I would like Eric to not just tell his story and be in a film, but to get to experience what happens after the filming process. Festivals can launch careers, get word out about a film, help filmmakers network, help advance a cause like Eric’s heart disease, and even help make dreams come true.