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An Inteview with E.B. Hughes, Director of The Long Way Back

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2021

Films directed by E.B. Hughes on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie The Long Way Back - in a few words, what is it about?


Iíd say itís about redemption. Also, overcoming certain obstacles. It is all of that, but mostly focusing on the central character - Max Lyons, and ex-con who has been given a second chance in life.


With The Long Way Back being a gangster movie of sorts, is that a genre especially dear to you, and some of your genre favourites? And what can you tell us about your movie's approach to the genre?


Iím a huge fan of films from the early 70s - Scarecrow, Night Moves, Five Easy Pieces, French Connection, Death Wish, Fingers. All those movies play a part in one way or another.


Other sources of inspiration when writing The Long Way Back, and is any of it based on personal experiences or the like?


Not really. I mean I know of people who have had second chances in life, and I do believe people should be forgiven for wrongs they have committed. So, I guess I wanted to take a character who was down and out, and see him through the hurdles he needs to overcome.


To what extent could you actually identify with The Long Way Back's lead character Max - or any of the other characters, really?


Well, the underdog, really. Five Easy Pieces is a perfect example. Nicholsonís character in that, heís a guy who has a past, but youíre not quite sure. But you know he can do better than what heís going through when we are introduced to him. Night Moves and The Conversation with Gene Hackman are two of my personal favorites. Iím drawn to deeply flawed characters, because let's be honest, life is hard much of the time.


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?


This is my 3rd feature film, and they are all very different, from conception to completion. In regards to working with actors, I have worked with many. But I like to give them room to move. I donít like the term - but ďactor's directorĒ I suppose it fits to an extent. But Iím very detailed in my approach, and I know when an actor needs tweaking if the scene isnít going right.


Do talk about The Long Way Back's key cast, and why exactly these people?


Well, mostly all New York based actors. The lead, Denny Bess, has an extensive theater background, as does Mark Borkowski and Sayra Player - both members of the Actors Studio. I cast the film, and they were all invested from day one - and it shows. Reyna Kahan is a NY actress, she played in my short film Harsh Light, so I knew I could rely on her. Conor Romero is another one to watch for. After he shot my film, he starred on the Michael J. Fox Show, playing Michaelís son for 2 seasons.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was shot over a period of time, mostly because of financial restrictions. So continuity was key. Shooting indie features - things pop up, always full of surprises. I had to recast two parts after shooting some earlier scenes. So, that wasnít easy either. Shooting in New York was challenging, and also without permits. But the crew was small, and that certainly helped.


The $64-question of course, where can The Long Way Back be seen?


Taking offers from distributors as we speak. I have about three offers, so figuring out which one is the right fit.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Long Way Back?


So far so good. It has screened at about five film festivals, but of course itís all very different at the moment with Covid - and everything being mostly virtual. The reviews have been wonderful. Itís a pretty straight forward film.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I have several. I shot a few projects for writer Garry Michael White (writer of Scarecrow with Al Pacino & Gene Hackman) last year. One was a filmed stage play. I have a project called City of Silence that is making the rounds with investors, and another film with Peter Greene (Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects) that I am trying to get off the ground.


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Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?


At the moment there is a Facebook page:


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Just finished the trailer, and very happy with that, and canít wait to share this film with everyone.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD