Interview: Naima (aka Hello Film Lover)

Beloved Instagram cinephile has been spreading her movie gospel to positive effect

A social media influencer is a person who has the ability to affect other people’s thinking in a social online community. The individuals who thrive at it don’t do it for personal fame, but a love for a particular medium that is infectious because it is genuine.

Digital creator Naima, also known as Hello Film Lover, caught our eye as a movie historian and she goes out of her way to bring fans together in a truly organic way that is positive in these somewhat cynical times that we live in.

DELIRIUM: Tell us a little about yourself…

NAIMA: I am originally from Barcelona, Spain. I went to film school in Barcelona and then I left Spain and never looked back! I moved to Los Angeles, experienced the film industry up close, met my husband there and then we moved around and ended up in London, where we now live with our two cats.

DELIRIUM: Where did your love of cinema begin?

NAIMA: My grandma has always been a cinephile. She used to tape all the movies she liked from television and she would also buy copies of her favorites. Cinema is something very usual at home. I spent a lot of time with my grandma and she always watched classics and spoke highly of directors. She always had fun facts and I grew up to learn to love film. My mother is also a classics lover but from her I learned to love science fiction and fantastic ’90s television shows like BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. It then became clear that I wanted to be involved with cinema in my future.

DELIRIUM: What are the films that shaped you?

NAIMA: PSYCHO, LITTLE WOMEN, and GHOSTBUSTERS. I’ve always been drawn to all types of genres. Movies are part of my life and they help me express and understand emotions very well.

DELIRIUM: There have always been female fans of horror, but I feel in the last 25 years or so they have been championing the genre in a positive light and are just as versed as their male counterparts. Do you feel like the horror community is united?

NAIMA: I do not find myself part of the horror community because I do watch all types of films. I feel like women have slowly been more empowered. I have always felt like a weirdo around my girlfriends for liking science fiction films or thrillers that are usually not considered girly. I think the community of horror is united, but they set themselves apart from the rest of film lovers, and that is something a bit sad. I feel we should all be able to love and cherish each other no matter our cinematic preferences.

DELIRIUM: How has COVID-19 altered the movie-going experience for you?

NAIMA: At first it did so very much. While restaurants were allowed to open, cinemas took a while to reopen their doors, then they opened with a bang with TENET. But after that big reveal, there are little movies showing at the moment. On the positive side, more independent films have found a space and a public right where before they were overshadowed by big productions releases.

DELIRIUM: Have you ever been to a Drive-in?

NAIMA: Never! And I would love to. Here in London there have been many Drive-in experiences since COVID, however, I do not own a car so…

DELIRIUM: The online experience can be toxic at times with individuals who are not afraid to speak their minds. How do you navigate through it?

NAIMA: I believe that the Internet has the ability to bring us all closer together, but it also gives bravery to people hiding behind a screen who think it is okay to be rude just because they are not in front of you. I believe there is a social etiquette that needs to be respected online. Being kind and polite is something that comes naturally for most, but not everyone knows how to behave or have not been raised that way. My advice is to always be honest, speak your mind and be respectful. Do not force your opinion on anyone and very importantly, do not judge people.

DELIRIUM: How has social media changed the fandom journey?

NAIMA: It has changed brutally. Before we had chats, blogs and magazines. Now everyone with an opinion and a smartphone can have their say across multiple platforms. It is amazing and terrifying.

DELIRIUM: Do you prefer Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?

NAIMA: I spend most of my time on Instagram as my main page is there. However, I like Facebook for their groups and Twitter for the ability to set trends on many topics instantly.

DELIRIUM: Where can you be found online?

Naima: @hellofilmlover on Instagram!

DELIRIUM: Would you like to give a shout-out to any friends of yours?

NAIMA: I constantly give shout-outs to people on my stories! I have made many friends online and this has honestly been the best part of having this account. I would sure forget many, so just a huge shout-out to everyone who has made this last year unbelievable.