We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Linderman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matt, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am inspired by beauty. As artists, we are not only captivated by what we see around us, we also want to make something that reflects that beauty and inspires others. In my own practice, I draw particular inspiration from the created world around us and from the human person. As a filmmaker, I appreciate the visual beauty found in both, but I am also very interested in the beauty of people’s stories. Each individual has an interesting story to tell – whether of pain, tragedy, joy, or accomplishment. And every one of these stories has a way of touching us and changing us a little bit. So my desire and inspiration is to tell these stories of meaning and beauty, in hope that they might be used for good and encourage others to pursue the good.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

Filmmaking started for me in high school. After graduating, I soon began working as an intern at a video production company until over the years I eventually transitioned (by a winding road) to healthcare and working as an ICU nurse. About 5 years ago my passion for filmmaking was rekindled when I started making camp videos, wedding videos, and other personal projects. In 2020 I created a short film that played at the Phoenix Film Festival and I started getting more work for religious and nonprofit organizations creating promotional films and profiling particular people within their organizations. 

I am now making the transition from working full time as an RN and making videos on the side to being a full time filmmaker and doing nursing on the side. Its a bit of a scary step, but I believe that I have a valuable gift and I want to be able to share that more, and in the process help other people share their stories. One thing I have learned in recent years is the importance of starting. The first step is the hardest and success may seem unlikely, but half of the battle is just taking that first step. Not every effort ends favorably but if you dont start, then you will NEVER succeed. 

I would describe most of my work as documentary style, authentic storytelling. I want people to feel a connection to the subjects of my films. The main focus for my business, Mustard Seed Cinema, is helping religious and nonprofit organizations tell their stories, to raise awareness and build support for their work.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

I would take them on a little road trip: go see the Grand Canyon, quick stop in Flagstaff, 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, and back to Phoenix. Within Phoenix, I would recommend hiking Camelback or Piestewa Peak.

Explore downtown Phoenix, particularly Roosevelt Row.

Tempe Town Lake and Mill Ave is another nice spot.

Favorite restaurants: The Parlor, Jobot, Ocotillo, Cibos.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I dedicate my shoutout to Mike Conner, who first fostered my passion for video, as well as the many friends and co-laborers in my community who encouraged me to continue on the filmmaker path and lent me their support.

Website: https://www.mustardseedcinema.com/

Instagram: @mustardseedcinema

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/MustardSeedCinema

Other: https://vimeo.com/mustardseedcinema

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.