Meet the Filmmaker

Meet the Filmmaker: Elizabeth Holloway, “Mayan Renaissance”

1097591_10100939317068468_510660987_nCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Elizabeth Holloway
Editor/Production Manager, Mayan Renaissance 
PeaceJam | peacejam.org

A: Why did you become a filmmaker?
EH: It has always been a dream of mine. As soon as I was 13 and first got my hands on a camcorder I’ve been hooked.

A: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
EH: Mayan Renaissance is a film about Rigoberta Menchu Tum, a Nobel Laureate and Mayan activist from Guatemala. It has screened in several festivals, and premiered at the United Nations in NYC in 2012.

A: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
EH: Very excited for the chance the participate!

A: What are your hopes for the event?
EH: To meet other filmmakers and enjoy their work.

A: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
EH: Colorado has a relatively small amount of females in the industry that can be overlooked at times. It’s very nice to have an entity focusing on that.

A: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
EH: Almost everyone enjoys watching films! Non-filmmakers should enjoy it as much as the filmmakers themselves.

A: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
EH: Mayan Renaissance is the first of 13 films in the series “Nobel Legacy Film Series” which will each feature the story of one of the Nobel Laureates on the PeaceJam board.

A: What else are you working on?
EH: “Children of the Light” starring Desmond Tutu (June, 2014) and “Educating the Heart” starring His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama (2015)

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
EH: Peacejam.org
Nobellegacyfilmseries.com
Mayanrenaissance.org

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
EH: Keep up the wonderful work!

Mayan Renaissance will screen Friday August 16th at 8:00pm at The Bug Theatre.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Tara Tusher, “Aryl & Ybur”

1079251_10200846579421399_1718133212_nCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Tara Tusher
Writer, Director, Editor, Aryl & Ybur

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

TT: It started with screenwriting. I had just come out of UCLA’s screenwriting program when I realized that I didn’t need to sit around and wait for someone else to make my script into a movie, I could just do it myself. That’s when I got into short films and it was pretty much immediately that I fell in love with the process. There are so many resources available to independent filmmakers these days that if you are a writer and have not produced your own film you are probably just lazy…so get out there and make a movie!

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

TT: Aryl & Ybur is a 6 minute dark comedy about the demise of an arrogant teenage documentarian embarking on the interview of a lifetime. The film premiered at the Indie Grits Film Festival in South Carolina and we hope to have the opportunity to play at more festivals across the U.S.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

TT: My only hope is to see a huge turnout of filmmakers and film enthusiasts.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

TT: I think the real focus is on regional filmmakers, ie; what creative projects are surfacing from within our communities. Filmmaking is a collaboration and I bet that all of these films were a collaboration of both women and men.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

TT: This festival is great event for both filmmakers and non-filmmakers alike. Art galleries are not spaces for artists, but for anyone who appreciates art. Likewise, this festival is for anyone who appreciates film.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

TT: I get really embarrassed seeing my films play in front of an audience. It always feel like I’m watching a horror film, where you can’t look so you try to peek through the tiny opening between your fingers.

Q: What else are you working on?

TT: I’m in pre-production on another short film, Til Death Do Us Part, which is another dark comedy about a woman who’s taken hostage by her husband when she tries to leave him after 50 years of marriage.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

TT: Thanks to CIWF for putting such great energy into this event, I’m always in awe of the people that work so hard to make these things happen. In my opinion, this is a community service.

Aryl & Ybur will screen Friday August 16th at 8:00pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Sara Starr, “The Journey Back”

CIWF Filmmaker Interview with Sara Starr
Writer, Co-Director and Actress, The Journey Back
West of Midnight Films, LLC | West of Midnight Films on Facebook

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Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

A: I’ve always been captivated by film. It has the ability to evoke emotions like no other art form. Film makes people feel, it inspires, it has the power to change lives and I have an overwhelming desire to be a part of it. Film is what I am passionate about and I think it’s one of the biggest human tragedies when people don’t or can’t pursue their passion. As a mother to a wonderful son, I want him to pursue whatever it is in life that fulfills him, and in order to teach him that, I must do it in my own life, no matter how challenging it can be.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

A: You will be seeing the short film, The Journey Back. This is a film that explores the struggle of a woman whose addiction is hurting those who love her most. So far, it has screened at the Unity Film Festival and the Front Range Film Festival. I plan to continue to submit the film to as many local film festivals as I can. I am grateful for each opportunity I have to screen the film, because each opportunity is a way to showcase the talent of each cast and crew member that dedicated hours of hard work to the project. Without this collection of talented people, The Journey Back would not have been made and I am forever grateful to everyone involved.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

A: I am truly honored to have my work selected with so many talented women. Honestly, I have to pinch myself every time The Journey Back is selected for a screening. This festival is special because it celebrates the women that are kicking ass in the industry.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

A: That is a big question. It is important that there is a balance between male and female filmmakers and I think festivals like this one help to restore that balance. Women have a very important voice and energy and it’s important that our community demonstrates that we value that voice and energy by providing opportunities to inspire future generations of female filmmakers.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

A: Art has the power to change lives, so I would say anyone and everyone should attend the film festival.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

A: I am not sure how unique it is, but my creative mode is often triggered by the combination of song and nature. Red Rocks is a perfect example of how the two elements work so well together. I always create a playlist that evokes the emotion in me that I want to portray in a scene. Music is so transcending, it allows me to live in the space that I am creating on the page.

Q: What else are you working on?

A: I am currently writing a feature length film. This next film is very honest, raw and gritty and may be the most emotionally challenging piece I will ever write, but it’s a story I have to tell.

I am also working on sharpening my skills as an actress, so I am taking classes and working on other independent and student film projects when the opportunity comes.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

A: They can check me out on Facebook by searching for West of Midnight Films.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

A: Yes, I am very grateful for this opportunity to show The Journey Back. I am excited to be surrounded by passionate, talented people and to learn from other women who are paving the way for the future generations of filmmakers.

The Journey Back will screen Saturday August 17th at 7:30pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Lauryn Guerrieri, “Roses in December”

CIWF Filmmaker Interview with Lauryn Guerrieri
Producer, Director, Writer, Roses in December
liquid luck productions | facebook.com/liquidluckp

meQ: Why did you become a filmmaker?

A: I never actively decided I wanted to be a filmmaker, it just sort of happened to me! I started with my parent’s handicam filming barbies and my siblings at the age of 10. I took classes in middle school and high school, making video projects whenever I could. And then I decided to major in film in college and here I am today! I became a filmmaker because I wanted to have a job that I loved.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

A: I’m usually just a producer, but Roses in December is the first film I’ve directed. It’s a true story that happened to my family and I concerning the death of my grandfather. This is it’s first real festival besides our school’s (CU Denver’s Cinefest), where it won Audience choice, best production design and best cinematography. We plan on continuing to screen it for the next year and then releasing it on DVD with a package of our other shorts.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

A: I’m very excited that Roses was chosen for Colorado Independent Women of Film! Our cast and crew worked very hard on this production and it’s great that their work is getting recognized.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

A:  My hopes for the event is that people take something away from my film. This is one of those films that you make for yourself and you make to get a message across. Death is such a taboo topic and it really shouldn’t be.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

A: It’s important to focus on regional women filmmakers so they can be encouraged to make more movies! Our film community in Colorado needs more contributions from women.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

A: Anyone and everyone should attend the festival! Even if you are a non-filmmaker, it’s good to see the variety of films and how women can contribute to the film making community.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

A: Something interesting about this film is that it was filmed in all the original locations that they occurred. All the actors represent someone in my family (names changed of course). And we filmed this at the same time as our other short film Back to the 80’s!.

Q: What else are you working on?

A: We just finished competing in the 48 Hour Film Race with our superhero film Villains Anonymous. Besides that, we have a lot of commercials, reels, weddings, and web based videos we are creating.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

A: Most of our work is on our facebook page: facebook.com/liquidluckp. And our videos are on vimeo: vimeo.com/liquidluck

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

A: I’m very excited to see everyone’s work! It’s great having a festival dedicated purely to women!

Roses in December will screen Saturday August 17th at 7:30pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Amy Shaffner, “The Note”

996911_625227350832278_691755696_nCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Amy Shaffner
Director, Writer, Producer, Actress, The Note
Starlight Films in Association with Mark Mook Productions

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

AS: I was encouraged to make my first film by Patrick Sheridan. He had taught a screenwriting class and one of the ideas for a film didn’t get any interest from his class. He told me about the premise and I said, I’ll do it! So from that small premise, The Note was created!

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF?

AS: A sweet, sensitive film.

Q: Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

AS: No, it’s premiere is at CIWF. I will be submitting it to other film festivals.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

AS: Honored.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

AS: That it will encourage other women to make films.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

AS: It’s important because it shows the creativity and talent in our area.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Anyone who enjoys making films. Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

AS: Not necessarily just for the filmmaking community. A non-filmmaker might be inspired to make their first film!

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

AS: The Note won’t be my last film. I would like to make films that deal with social issues and/or have a life lesson. And leave the audience wanting more.

Q: What else are you working on?

AS: No plans at the moment, but I really enjoyed the entire creative process of making a film, from an idea and developing it all the way through.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

AS: I am glad there is a venue to showcase films made by women. Thank you for screening my film!

The Note will screen Saturday August 17th at 9:00pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Jhené Chase, “Caged Starling” and “The Fantastic Finneas Frook” (trailer)

534021_619280378102776_1309981115_nCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Jhené Chase
Writer, Director, Production Designer, Caged Starling and The Fantastic Finneas Frook (trailer)
Glitterbomb Entertainment

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

JC: I’ve always been a storyteller. Film was the first medium that combined all my interests: storytelling, art and fashion. It has also become a source of growth for me as I’ve tried to tackle personal turmoil in each project.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

JC: At CIWF you’ll see my second film “Caged Starling” and the trailer for my third film, “The Fantastic Finneas Frook”. Both screened at the Emerging Filmmakers Project. My plans for each are to develop feature length scripts with the hopes of one of them being my first feature directorial debut.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

JC: I’m so excited! It’s wonderful to think that I’ll be included alongside some of the amazing women representing film locally.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

JC: I look forward to meeting other filmmakers in the community and getting feedback on my work.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

JC: The great thing about focusing on regional female filmmakers is that we get to see not only the kinds of films that women are creating but we get a snapshot of the time and the place in which those films are made. Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

I think anyone that enjoys art or film should attend. It’s invigorating to see work made out of the Hollywood system and it can open your perspective.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

JC: My favorite thing about writing is working with personal material and finding a way to make it cinematic. From a visual perspective, I think the films have a very handmade feel. Q: What else are you working on?

I’m currently in post with “The Fantastic Finneas Frook”, I’m shooting a short documentary in October and I have a surrealist passion project where I’m looking to develop a second visual voice using magical realism.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

JC: I feel so lucky to be a woman making independent film in Colorado and I look forward to seeing the other work being represented by the community.

Caged Starling and The Fantastic Finneas Frook (trailer) will screen Saturday August 17th at 7:30pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Ashley Lynne Nagel, “A Woman’s Place

548555_10200595187417354_1795453242_nCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Ashley Lynne Nagel
Writer, Producer, Director, A Woman’s Place

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

ALN: Well, there is the obvious, “to tell amazing stories with deeper meaning”, “to reach a broader audience, and an audience that is listening”. But more then that, I think I became a filmmaker because I realized there is this magic moment between maker and audience.

Film can be a very private interpretative space, and especially when your message is one that isn’t easy to listen to, the filmmaker creates a space that is “idea-safe”, and suddenly it doesn’t matter to the audience what they may, or may not believe, they are living in that moment, in that frame of time with you. – That’s a powerful feeling.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

ALN: “A Woman’s Place”, was my third personal short, and my final for Prod.1 at Colorado Film School. It’s a quick glimpse into the less sedated side of a lesbian woman in the work force.

It’s a piece that I’ve struggled with personally, because like any first films it needs a lot of work. But a lot of people seem to enjoy its kitschy sense of irony, and relate to its humor.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

ALN: Honored. Shocked. Blessed. I love it! It’s really, always a very good feeling being showcased amongst your peers, in a supportive environment! And all of the woman here are a shinning representations of what it means to “put up the good fight”.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

ALN: I’m looking forward to seeing what’s out there, and who’d I would love to work with! I am here with two films in the festival, as co-producer of “Words” by Amanda Prentiss. It’s really a great feeling of success, not only for me, but everyone that I have worked with since the beginning of this year. So I am very excited to see every one together this weekend.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

ALN: Well that’s slightly a silly question. There is no comparative quantity that can rate the significance of woman as filmmakers. That’s one thing I emphasize in a Woman’s Place. The gender disparity needs to change. Not just in our industry but in all industry’s. There is 1 female director to every 15 male. As filmmakers have a voice, and as contributors to media we have power to create change and inspire ideas. That’s the great thing about this medium.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

ALN: All filmmaking is community! Global community…. No matter what, we are all people, and we relate to people moments. This festival is for EVERYBODY, not just woman, because it’s the people around us, in our everyday lives that truly make us the woman we are.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

ALN: It’s my hope to always stay true to myself, and represent that moral through my films. But stylistically, I want every thing I do to have a larger then life feel, and I think that is important, because life is very much larger than itself. And the dramatization of that is what people enjoy.

Q: What else are you working on?

ALN: PA work here in Denver. I have a few scripts in the works. I just wrapped my first feature film with Double Edge Productions a couple weeks ago. In conjunction to finishing up school, I do a lot of local photography as well. And what ever else you throw at me!

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

ALN: Currently I am working on a web site. Trying to catch up with the times, but I am always available via phone/e-mail/Facebook.

Please check out “The Frame”: https://www.facebook.com/the.frame.movie

The Winans/ Double Edge Productions were absolutely amazing to work with, and Jamin’s style of suspense just cannot be beat!

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

ALN: Just, thank you for this opportunity! I think we can all agree that we would love to see the Denver market continue to grow the way that it has over the last couple years, and it’s so very important, not only to the artists/filmmakers, but to the community to continue to have events like this, engaging, inspiring, causing change and developing growth!

A Woman’s Place will screen Saturday August 17th at 7:30pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Kathryn Gould, “Bound by Blood” (trailer)

BoundByBlood-posterwordsCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Kathryn Gould
Writer/ Director, Bound by Blood (trailer)

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

KG: I think it is just a natural evolution in my growth as an artist and storyteller. Film is a medium which fuses many different forms of art into one extremely powerful way of examining the human condition, and I rather like playing in that sandbox.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

KG: It is a trailer for a film that not only hasn’t been made yet, but the screenplay hasn’t even been written. It was created for a trailer contest for the Intendence Film Festival, which it won, and it is based on a story idea that I am still outlining. I’m very close to having a working outline and moving on to the scripting stage. The trailer has screened both on the night of the contest and at the Intendence Film Festival.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

KG: I am very honored to be participating for the third year in a row!

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

KG: I enjoy seeing what other women filmmakers are up to and meeting other film industry folks in the Denver area. I just hope to see lots of good films made by some awesome women.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

KG: Well, it’s no secret that there’s a dearth of female filmmakers, and there are lots of theories as to why that is, but it certainly isn’t going to change without some effort at encouraging and fostering women who are making an effort in this biz. Many people wonder why there is a need for women’s festivals, and it is exactly that. Until the ratio of male to female filmmakers equals that of the general population, then there’s a need to encourage women in this field.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

KG: Everyone should come out, certainly. We make films for people to see and hopefully connect with on a human level. Filmmakers and other industry folks can certainly five each other feedback, but feedback from the general film-going public is invaluable to us.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

KG: Well, I haven’t made enough of them to really tell yet, I don’t think. They tend to be women’s stories, so far. Many of my stories are also based on dreams. One unique thing about me is that I’m a lucid dreamer, so I write stories as I sleep, in a way.

Q: What else are you working on?

KG: I always have 4 or 5 irons in the fire– I have a feature length comedy I’m finishing up and a play I’m in the process of rewriting for starters. Nelson Goforth and I are also in development on a web series, based on an idea of his.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

KG: www.kathryngould.com, or you can follow me on Twitter @KathrynGGould.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

KG: Just thanks to Eileen and Patrick for giving the women filmmakers of Colorado both an opportunity and a reason to strut their stuff!0

The trailer for Bound by Blood will screen Saturday August 17th at 9:00pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Mamiko Ikeda, “A Little Death”

alittledeathCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Mamiko Ikeda
Animation, Words and Music (including guitar and vocal), A Little Death
www.mamikoikeda.com

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

MI: I love making art (mainly drawing and painting), making poems and stories, and composing music, and have found that animation is a great medium for me because I can put everything I love into it.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

MI: I am grateful to be able to share my animation piece. Thank you!!

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

MI: I think everybody who loves music, art and/or something creative would enjoy attending the festival.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

MI: A different view with an Asian touch…?

Q: What else are you working on?

MI: I’m working on my new animation piece.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

MIhttp://www.youtube.com/user/imamiko
http://vimeo.com/mamikoikeda
www.mamikoikeda.com

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

MI: It’s a great opportunity for the female film makers to share their pieces.

A Little Death will screen Saturday August 17th at 7:30pm at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Margaret Norwood, “Independence”

552644_10153159800530164_319307412_nCIWF Filmmaker Interview with Margaret Norwood
Writer, producer, editor, actor, Independence
Baby Lion Productions | Www.babylionproductions.comwww.independencethemovie.com

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

MN: I was an actor on the stage in NY and I started to write this story. I ended up becoming a filmmaker because the nature of my story required it. I’m a slave to the story.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it

MN: We’re going to see “Independence.” It has screened in NYC, Cozad and Hastings NE, Macomb IL, and here in Denver. It premiered at the Omaha Film Festival in 2007. It will be available to watch and download from Amazon.com in the next few weeks.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

MN: I am very pleased to be part of this festival. One of my first stage roles on the stage when I graduated from college was at the Bug. I have a lot of love for this theatre. And for the people who run EFP!

Q: What are your hopes for the event?

MN: I think I may speak for all filmmakers when I say that my main hope is that nothing goes wrong with the screener copy of the movie! And I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce the work to a community that I hope will enjoy it!

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

MN: It’s a great thing to focus on regional filmmakers as it really allows us to introduce ourselves and our work to the people who may become important collaborators for us in the future.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?

MN: Everybody likes movies! We have movies. Everyone should come!

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

MN: Personal uniqueness is difficult to define. I suppose you’ll have to tell me!

Q: What else are you working on?

MN: I am in the final stages of writing and publishing an acting textbook with Galina Boulgakova called “Sanity in Acting.” It is designed to work through basic Stanislavski technique and explores Galina’s discoveries about the nature of the human psyche and how to keep ourselves safe in our artistic endeavors, as well as in our real lives.

I will be continuing to teach classes at Colorado Film School and I have several editing jobs coming up in the next year.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

MN: www.babylionproductions.com is the site that right now houses information about “independence” but will be redesigned to include other projects in the near future. Margaretnorwood.com currently houses my blog, which I plan to get back to in the next few months as well. And amazon.com will have both “Sanity in Acting” and “independence” within the next month or so.

Independence will screen Friday August 16th at 9:15pm at The Bug Theatre.