'Maid's Room' Director on Immigration and Class and Their Role in His Film

Michael Walker is the director of "The Maid's Room" to be shown at the film festival on Saturday and Monday.

   Filmed in Bellport over a period of 18 days for $700,000, "The Maid's Room" has the look of an expensive Hollywood production. “We did everything we could to make a local film, but not a small film,” says Michael Walker, its director.

   “To that effect, the acting has the style of heightened realism, a theatrical quality echoed in the use of camera and lighting, costumes and set design.” By confining the action almost entirely to one home, the film makes it clear that it is not strictly a “Hamptons” story, but a study of class divisions that could take place anywhere.

  The film tackles a hot-button subject—immigration—through a lens focused on a wealthy family, the Crawfords, who hire Drina, a recent immigrant from Colombia, as the maid at their Hamptons home for the summer.

  The gulf between the Crawfords and Drina is clear from the outset. At the same time the Crawfords seem to be reasonable, if privileged, people. As the story progresses, a hit-and-run accident caused by Brandon, the family’s teenage son, propels what began as a slightly tense but sharply observed study of class and cultural differences into a dramatic, suspenseful, and ultimately tragic thriller pitting power against truth.

The film will be shown at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Saturday in East Hampton at noon and Monday in Southampton at 8:45 p.m.

An interview with Michael Walker appears in this week’s East Hampton Star.

Paula Garces, left, who plays Drina, and Annabella Sciorra, her employer Mrs. Crawford, in a scene from "The Maid's Room."