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Inside Job: an interview with filmmaker Matt Nagin

Ahead of the upcoming Festival de Film in Cannes (8th to 19th May), Riviera Insider chats to New York City-based filmmaker and comedian Matt Nagin whose recent production, Inside Job, has been nominated for three awards at next week’s Nice International Film Festival (5th to 12th May)!

Hi Matt, how would you describe Inside Job?

New York City filmmaker Matt Nagin. Copyright Amy BeckermanThe film is a 38 minute dark comedy. It is perhaps best characterised as an offbeat version of Wolf of Wall Street. Much of the humour revolves around the bizarre situations—such as Mr. G’s fascination with a rubber chicken—that the new intern is expected to view as normal. Another key element of the plot is the workers in this office are conspiracy theorists—Truthers—who believe 9/11 was a controlled demolition and want the new intern to join their cult.

How long have you been making films?

This is my first professional film that I’ve written/directed/produced. I took 16mm filmmaking at Cornell University and was in a film club there as well so I had made shorts. But not on this scale! In terms of my background, I have a B.A. in English Literature from Cornell and an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought from NYU. I am a writer first and still teach college writing (I’ve been doing so for fifteen years). Writing led me into stand-up comedy and acting, both of which I continue to pursue. The reason I created the film was I’d acted in so many other projects, to be honest, where the script was not that great so I thought I’d write my own and see if I could beat the competition.

Have you been to the French Riviera before and will you be staying on after the event in Nice for the Film Festival in Cannes?  

I have been in the region before. An ex-girlfriend’s relative invited us to stay on a boat in Nice with them about fifteen years ago. We went to Cannes, Antibes, Monaco etc. It was terrific! Unfortunately, I could not make the Mediterranean Film Festival in 2016 (where Inside Job won the award for Best Short) as it would have interfered with my teaching schedule and other obligations, but we were thrilled to win. I will attend the Cannes Festival, yes! I am excited to do so!

How did you find out about the Nice International Filmmaker Festival? Are there any specific parts of the festival that interested you?

I found out about The Nice International Film Festival through Film Freeway. We submitted last year. We submitted because, after winning one festival in Cannes, we surmised our film might play well at other festivals in the area. My guess for why this maybe is: French people tend to love Jerry Lewis, and this film has quirky physical humour of a similar ilk. Also, the film has a bit of an Anti-American sentiment and deals with sexual themes, both of which – to generalise a bit – seem more akin to French cinema. The Nice Festival interested me because they not only screen films, but offer filmmaker panels and workshops. It also was intelligently scheduled at the same time as the Cannes Festival, which, I figured, might bring slightly more attention to the films and help with drawing audiences. Finally, I was hoping to one day return to the area and get a nice sun tan… This was the perfect excuse!


The screening at Nice International Film Festival

Film: Inside Job

Director: Matt Nagin

Date: Sunday 6th May at 7.25pm

Location: Novotel Nice Arenas Airport Hotel (455 Promenade des Anglais, Nice)

Cost: Free

More information: