Fast Forward Friday with Jennifer Snowdon

snowdenFor this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed makeup artist Jennifer Snowdon. Her work includes film,features and shorts, television, commercials, theater, reality shows, documentaries, corporate videos, private consulting and workshops. She has award winning directors and celebrities as her clients. For more information, visit www.jennifersnowdon.com.

Q: What are you currently working on?  Tell us about it.

I have been busy rebranding myself to set up more opportunity teaching makeup for actors, individuals and groups; as well as preparing for the second shoot for WonderamaTV this summer.

Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?

I love sharing my expertise and finding others’ experiences opened by it, whether for a role or for their life. Wonderama is a great concept variety show that inspires young people to find their gifts.  It is true to my purpose of bringing meaning in what I do.

Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?

My grandmother Doris Snowdon – painter and my first mentor who taught me color theory in her row boat and how to sew for my dolls at 8 years old. My Barbies never dated, they designed!!

Georgia O’Keefe – “Make it so big that everyone will have to notice it!”

Dr. Kenneth G. Mills – when I was ready a teacher … the Universal message
.

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist? 

Working with kindred spirits on their passion projects in a supportive role. This inspires me to never give up on my own! Perfect example was the film No Pay, No Nudity with Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Frances Conroy, Boyd Gaines, Donna Murphy and more …

 It just topped me up with inspiration working with Lee Wilkof on his directorial debut. Check it out on Amazon, itunes and Starz.

 Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?

I’ve started writing my first book/screenplay based on a true story you’ll never believe. I have a children’s story to publish that is already illustrated, Imagine That.  And an animation to collaborate on, Wake up the Questions,a poem in my own voice! A Dr. Suess-esque poem with a Mother Earth voice.

Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?

When I have recited Wake up the Questions and the listener is stunned at where it took them. It’s for the young of all ages.

Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?

 Working on all of the above and getting them out to the world.

Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?

 Figuring out how to sustain myself with enough time and quiet energy left to just do the work.

Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?

Attend live performances, work on others films and projects, watch other’s works, cheer us all on.

Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?

 Thinking that I have to do it all myself first to prove I’m worthy of receiving support.

Q: What is your favorite piece of art?

 I love Eskimo line drawings. I was once given an art assignment by Dr. Mills to capture a walrus and a dolphin with five lines each.  It changed my entire life. Essence 101.

Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?

Dr. Kenneth G. Mills – always dared to make the impossible possible.

Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be? 

Since I was a child I was driven by a calling to do something important. That comes in many guises and it guided my choices in life that were not always understood by parents and others. I really feel my writing would fulfill that call from my own essence.

Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Persistent.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

I love HGTV shows! Especially Fixer Upper. I wanted to be an architect/interior designer when young and I love makeovers for people for the same reason. I just love people and problem solving with art.

Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?

Do it now! Ask for help somehow!

Q: Where would you most like to live?

 Somewhere in the woods communing with Nature but accessible to city life and travel.

Q: What is your idea of success?

To be a part of something that is meaningful to others. Any form of the “make a difference” life that opens a new experience or broader horizon for someone.

Q; What is your idea of happiness?

Daring myself to go beyond what I think I’m capable of and accomplishing it. The only legit way to self-esteem that I know of.

Q: Final Thoughts?

 Makeituptrue! Dare to be your unique self, express your unique gifts. They are needed more than you know and are part of the Essential puzzle of Being .

 

Fast Forward Friday with Danijela Stajnfeld

Danijela HeadshotFor this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed actor-director-producer Danijela Stajnfeld. After earning her MFA from the Academy of Film and Theater at the University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, Danijela achieved critical and commercial acclaim in film, television and theater in her country. The Hole, her directorial debut, premiered at The New Filmmakers Film Festival NY 2016 and has been presented at Women Behind the Camera screening series in Los Angeles. Hold Me Right is an especially important project for Danijela, as she draws on her personal experiences and activism to create this documentary film, with the hope of inspiring social change. For more information, visit http://www.holdmerightfilm.com/

Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.

I am currently working on a documentary, Hold Me Right, which explores the aftermath of sexual assault through interviews with all of those who are affected by these crimes. This includes survivors, perpetrators and the wrongfully accused. The production is currently in the final stages of principal photography and we are preparing to work on a promotional crowd-funding campaign in order to begin post-production.

We have also recently partnered up with Glam4Good, an amazing organization that uses style and fashion to promote positivity and inspire positive self-esteem. I’m very excited about future collaborations between Glam4Good and Hold Me Right.

Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?

After experiencing the effects of sexual assault firsthand, I was able to understand the complicated aftermath of the initial crime. I understand both the trauma of the initial crime and the second trauma faced when forced to be judged and silenced by a culture that does not provide support to its survivors. This second traumatization is an often ignored narrative and one that I believe can and will be heard through the final product of this film.

Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?

Lauren Greenfield, the director of Princess of Versaille, certainly inspires me and my work on this documentary. Kitty Green, the director of Ukraine Is Not A Brothel, has also influenced my work, significantly.

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?

The motivation behind my artistic endeavors is my constant desire to create and tell stories, through multiple outlets. I am both an actress and a filmmaker because I need to be, it is my passion.

Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?

I’m currently developing a mockumentary called Stasya, which is a comedic take on an Eastern European woman who has just moved to America and dreams of becoming the most desirable trophy wife.

I’m also developing Public Service Asses, an Instagram movement with sexist images accompanied by anti-sexist statements.

Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?

It was a personal experience that inspired me to make this film. So, of course, I came into this with my own perspective. However, over time, I have been able to take a step back and develop an outlook that goes beyond my personal experience. I think that this is a sign that I am living in my vision, in this film, rather than in my own head.

Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?

To my understanding, there are no unbreakable barriers when one has a true calling and I believe this is mine.

Q: What has been your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?

I always feel that there are not enough hours in a day.

Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?

 Creating comes naturally to me because it is what I love to do and, because of that, I am always connected to my creative self. In fact, I am often overwhelmed by the number of projects I want to take on.

Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?

I wish that I could let go of my tendency to be impatient. I want things to be completed immediately and, when they take too long, I sometimes get frustrated with the project – and myself.

Q: What is your favorite piece of art?

It’s very hard to answer that question. There are so many creations that I draw from and am inspired by. My answer changes with the moment. Right now, the work of Sally Mann comes to mind. I particularly love her piece At Twelve.

Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?

Oscar Wilde.

Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?

I had a chance to be celebrated and recognized as an actress, back home in Serbia. I didn’t find anything appealing about it. Thinking about how my work is received is not something that I consider.

Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Mirror.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

Coffee and cigarettes.

Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?

Dear Danijela,

Your parents fears are not yours to be fearful of.

Q: Where would you most like to live?

New York City. It was my home before it was my home.

Q: What is your idea of success?

The moment that you succeed is the moment you are done. Success, to me, exists to reveal and inspire new challenges.

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

“If you pursue happiness, you are an ordinary person. If happiness pursues you, you are an extraordinary person. Do not chase happiness; let it chase you.” Petar Dunov.

Q: Final Thoughts?

Don’t take things too seriously.

 

Fast Forward Friday with Phil Augusta Jackson

Phil_Augusta_JacksonFor this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed the multi-talented actor-writer-musician-comedian Phil Augusta Jackson. His writing credits include Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, Survivor’s Remorse on the Starz Network, and Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He’s received Emmy, WGA, and NAACP award nominations for his contributions on Key & Peele.  Phil was selected as a performer at the 2015 New Faces Characters Showcase at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival. For more information about Phil, visit http://philaugustajackson.com/about/.

Q: What are you currently working on?  Tell us about it.

I am currently writing for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a television series on the Fox network. I’m a co-producer on the show. It’s a cop workplace comedy starring a diverse and fantastic cast that includes Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Stephanie Beatriz, Joel McKinnon Miller and Dirk Blocker. My job includes ideating new episodes, writing and re-writing scripts, and consulting on set as the episodes are filmed. 

As far as personal projects go, I just finished a short film called Long Lost, which I co-wrote and co-starred in with my friend and collaborator Aaron Covington. I also make music  – hip-hop with elements of R&B and spoken word – , and I just finished work on a new EP called New Palm Tree that I will be releasing in April. I’ve collaborated with director, Nic Stanch, and DP, Carlos Medina, to create two music videos to visually complement this EP as well.  

Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?

As far as Brooklyn Nine-Nine goes, I had always been a fan of the show. I moved out to Los Angeles from NYC at the end of 2013 to write for the sketch show Key & Peele and after wrapping that show wanted to get more narrative experience. I worked on a great show on the Starz network called Survivor’s Remorse which gave me my first professional taste of crafting narrative and after working on that show was fortunate enough to get an interview and land the job on Brooklyn Nine-Nine – I’ve written on season three and four of the show. 

As far as the personal projects go, I’m always looking to create work of my own to keep refining my voice. Also, at a basic level there is something very satisfying to me about finishing projects. Long Lost is an idea that came about while I was out at dinner with my friend Aaron. The movie Creed had just come out, and he co-wrote it. I was in the midst of working on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and we both felt like it would be cool to work on something together. We came up with an idea that night about the idea of two brothers meeting for the first time on a park bench. We wrote it over the course of a few months, and self-funded the project with no real goal but to create something and see it through to completion. 

And when it comes to the music, it’s something that I’ve been doing since I was in high school. It’s like my therapy. There is something so unique, challenging and rewarding about writing and creating music. I create music in waves, usually after or in the midst of life-changes. This new ep is pretty much inspired by my transition into Los Angeles, where I’ve been living the past three years. It’s five songs and I’m really excited for people to take a listen to it. 

Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?

Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key – they are both geniuses and I was a huge fan of them both before getting hired to write on season four and five of their show. They are masters at collaboration, brilliant writers and performers, and all around good dudes. They also both have aspirations outside of comedy, and it’s fascinating and inspiring to see them both transcend the comedy genre that popularized them with such fluidity and ease. 

Basquiat – I love his art, and the documentary Radiant Child is amazing.

Rene Magritte – I love his art. I released a music album called False Mirrors several years ago and the idea for that album hit me when I saw Magritte’s False Mirror painting at the MoMa. It really spoke to me in a way art never had before.  

My parents – we are a product of our upbringing and my parents always encouraged me to think for myself and get stuff done. 

Anne Hathaway – she’s a great actress and I want to be a great actor. 

Jill Scott – I love her music. It’s so Philadelphia, and that’s where I’m from. She’s got her own flare and style and is so talented; musically she’s a genius. 

Kanye West — too much to get into, but I think Kanye is great. 

Ava Duvernay – she’s a trailblazer, and I hope to direct someday. 

Denzel Washington – he’s an icon. 

Edward Albee – The Zoo Story is one of my favorites — I read it as I was starting to realize that I really wanted to be a writer.  

There’s more, but those are the names off the top of my head. I will almost certainly regret some names that I can’t think of right now. 

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?  

I’m a huge fan of dialogue. Crafting scripts where the conversations feel real is something that I love to do – whether it be comedy or something more dramatic, I’m really drawn to things that feel like I could actually see happening, or see myself or someone else saying and experiencing. So that being said, listening to other people and their stories also keeps me motivated and inspired. And that is true whether it be a sketch, a pilot, a feature, making music or performing improv. 

Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?

I have an indie feature that I wrote called Seven Days. My appetite for writing features has been growing steadily and I’m excited about the potential in this project. I’m sure there will be a lot of rewriting moving forward but it feels good to have a draft. 

I also started an improv collective called The Colin Kaepernicks. I’ve been studying improv for years and found am amazing group of people who are down to experiment with improv and what it can be. We often have sets that have a lot of tears followed by a lot of laughter – it’s cool playing with a comedic art form and inserting some drama into it while still delivering laughs when it feels right.  

Q:  What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?

My first day writing for Key & Peele. Keegan came up to me and gave me a big hug. Jordan came over and gave me a high-five. And then 10 minutes later I pitched my first two ideas as a writer on the show. That moment still feels surreal and for me was a real moment of – “This is the very thing that I’ve been working towards. Now let’s not mess it up.” 

Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?

Getting my supremely talented friends work. 

Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?

When it comes to writing, reminding myself to judge the draft and not judge the process. I can overthink things sometimes but it’s better to overthink once you have something to revise, so I try to stay out of my head while I’m writing, but it’s a challenge. 

When it comes to acting, I think the brutal process of auditioning. I’ve been performing for years, but there’s something about that audition room that I have yet to master. I’m working to get better all-around as an actor.

Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?

Taking trips to places I’ve never been before, and shaking up the “routine” in general keeps me connected to my creative self. I’m heading to Spain in a few weeks to vacation and to clear my head and experience culture like I never have. I’m pretty sure I will return with some creative ideas. 

I also take long walks – about five miles a day, sometimes more. I get a lot of ideas on these walks. It’s therapeutic and gives me time to think about an idea or just let my mind wander. 

Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be? 

Self-doubt as an actor. Letting go of the unhealthy perspective that I wasn’t good enough for a role instead of the role just not being right. 

Also, not just telling myself what I want creatively but letting it be known to other people, including people that can actually assist in making it happen: i.e. sharing my vision. It feels crazy sometimes telling people what you think you’re capable of and I’m trying to get better about just letting it out without feeling odd about it. 

Q: What is your favorite piece of art?

New York City.

Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?

Two people, Joseph and Oona Jackson, my parents. 

Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?

Being a dope artist. 

Q:  If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Listener. 

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

The pumpkin loaf at Starbucks.

Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?

Don’t regret not going to law school, it will be one of the best decisions you ever make. 

Q: Where would you most like to live?

Fall and Spring in NYC. Winter and Summer in LA. 

Q: What is your idea of success?

Waking up and being happy. 

Q: Final Thoughts?

Thank you for your time. 

Fast Forward Friday with Minji Kang

Minji Kang Director JPGFor this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed award-winning South Korean born American film director Minji Kang, who is based in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) with a focus on Film Art and Aesthetics. She continued her artistic development at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in Film Directing. While attending Columbia, she dedicated herself to the craft of writing and to understanding what it means to create. She is a recipient of the SAIC Enrichment scholarship as well as the Columbia TOMS scholarship. For more information about Minji go to www.minjikang.com

Q: What are you currently working on?  Tell us about it.

I am currently in the process of completing a feature screenplay, Illicit, with my co-writer Luke Spears, with whom I studied in Columbia University’s MFA film program. I believe that in order to start a career as a director, the genuine story and one’s own vision must come first before directing anyone else’s story. Illicit scrutinizes the complexities and terrors of adolescence and growing up in an allegorical fictional world.

The film is about Jake, a struggling musician who has recently moved into a gated apartment complex – and Mona, a young blind resident.  Jake and Mona’s worlds literally collide and Jake feels compelled to help Mona escape her dark restrictive environment, which is governed by her intimidating brother.

Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?

I have been a fan of fairy tales ever since I was a child. Although works of fiction, fairy tales often tell powerful life lessons and warn us that the world is not all filled with brightness. I want to tell an emotionally provoking, socially important stories with images and characters that have symbolic meaning in our own lives. C.S. Lewis said, “Someday you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” Using cinema as the finest tool to create the modern fairy tale, it is my desire to put all my thoughts, experiences, hopes and dreams in new, provocative fantastic stories.

Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?

Before coming to Los Angeles, I was an international student for about 15 years.  I have some very dear mentors – or Guardian Angels as I call them – who have helped me to find my voice as an artist and filmmaker.  Their priceless words of wisdom always seem to come to me in a moment of need.

Plus, here are the film directors I admire: Ingmar Bergman, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Stanley Kubrick.

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?  

Learning music from a young age always helped me trust my own instinct and follow what I truly feel rather than think logically and try to construct a story in a cerebral way. Classical music is a mysterious puzzle of pieces filled with unknown configurations that sparks my curiosity.

When I hear music it provokes images and when I watch a film or scene, I can hear the music that would accompany it.  Both music and vision create an emotion that feeds the other. Whatever we create, be it music, film or even poetry, we open a conversation with others and society.

Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?

My latest film, The Loyalist, will be widely released via online platform later this month and the film is currently available on Hulu (NBCUniversal short fest channel).

The Loyalist is about a father and daughter who, because of their North Korean nationality, do not have the choices that most of us do in more democratic societies. The film opens on a North Korean General picking up his daughter at her Swiss boarding school for a spontaneous weekend getaway. Following up on reports of her contact with Western diplomats, the General sets out to test his daughter’s loyalty to her Motherland and bring her home. The General finds his deep paternal love for his daughter ultimately defeated by his blind loyalty to the totalitarian regime that formed him. He realizes his mistake too late.

The story also depicts a tormented young woman who stands with one foot in the East and the other in the Western world. As I visually constructed this fictional drama, I wanted the camera, as our silent witness, to ask us why these characters live the way they do and to prompt us to wonder what we would do if we were in their shoes. Though we all wished this story had a happy ending, the tragic ending of this short film was carefully decided: it reflects the continuous tragic reality of the Korean peninsula, which, despite deep family ties, remains painfully divided by irreconcilable ideologies.

The opening sequence clip can be seen:

http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi3084498457?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_1

One minute hunting scene can be seen: http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi1593750041?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_2

Q:  What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?

Every morning at dawn, I sit down and meditate on my project and write down the ideas that come to me.  This very process brings some exciting revelations.  This excitement and what I live for – and the knowledge that I will one day share these revelations with the world through the completed film.  Filmmaking is indeed a long process where you create a secret that you must keep for months or years, then eventually you get to tell it to the world.

Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?

I’d very much like to own a hotel, designed with eco-friendly materials, perhaps in a deep forest or by the waterfall or by the ocean.  I have had the great fortune to travel a lot and have been most productive, inspired and happy when I have stayed in that sort of environment.  I’d like to give others the same experience.

Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?

Of course, like most people, the biggest obstacle is myself!  They say Koreans are the Italians of the East – we are very passionate!  Sometimes, that passion leads to frustration. I can be my worst enemy at times.

Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?

Every day I try to keep up with my violin practice and try to take a long walk in the sun. Whenever I can, I also try to go to museums and theaters. I also enjoy conversing with other creative minds, such as filmmakers, artists, musicians and writers.  They often will provokes new thoughts, and differing points of view – I like that.

Q: What is your favorite piece of art?

The abstract modern artist Wassily Kandinsky comes to mind.  Especially his painting entitled Circles in a Circle (1923). I feel this piece really conveys a profound spirituality and human emotion.  I often look at Kandinsky’s work while listening to JS Bach’s Variations Goldberg. Together they create a perfect wordless prayer.

Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?

There are two European directors who have greatly inspired me: Ingmar Bergman and Krzysztof Kieslowski. I’m fascinated by these filmmaker’s persistent desire to find the meaning of life as they explore the human condition through time, death and eternity.

Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?

It’s a difficult question.  Perhaps the hidden themes I thread through my films. No matter how different my films may seem, in truth they secretly ask the same questions.

Q:  If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Stubborn!  So stubborn!

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

I enjoy karaoke all night long with my dear friends.

Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?

Like most artists, the surrounding world often discourages a career in the arts.  It took me a while to be confident about my path.  I would assure myself that becoming an artist will be the best decision I would ever make and to follow it passionately.

Q: Where would you most like to live?

By the ocean.  When I first came to America, I spent four years at a boarding school by the sea. It was the ocean nurtured and healed my loneliness and sunshine that kindled my passion.  

Q: What is your idea of success?

True success for me is ability to make a peace with myself and be happy on the path to wherever I may travel to.  I feel that when I was younger I missed out on many precious moments of life, so I no longer want to rush to a destination – wherever or whatever that may be.

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

Being content in oneself, having the mind filled with inner peace and having the good fortune to make my films.

Q: Final Thoughts?

For the past 17 years I have had the good fortune to have traveled and lived in various places in the world. Now, everywhere feels like home but nowhere feels like home. “Home” is a constant endless search for me – often I see myself trying to find it through or in my works, if that makes any sense.  This experience of Asian, European and American cultures has given me the desire to help tell multicultural stories and share the dichotomy in their philosophies so that each may understand the other.  I also like to tell stories about the power of courage and the importance of standing up for what one believes in.  

Zip Creative Community Looks Ahead to a New Year

We sat down with Zip Creative clients SHARI BERMAN, NAOMI MCDOUGALL JONES, KERSTIN KARLHUBER and ARTHUR VINCIE and asked them what was their proudest accomplishment of 2016 and what were they looking forward to in the year ahead. We hope you enjoy and find inspiration from their responses.

 

Q: What was your proudest accomplishment in 2016?

– Shari Berman  That’s a tough question as 2016 was a crazy ride. I’m proud of helping to get a high school musical up and running and having an impact on the lives of younger people. I’m HighFalls with Nora Brown (Executive Director)proud to have edited a few projects pro bono to help artists without funds and a non-profit trying to do something good in the world. I’m proud to have been an active member of both Film Fatales and the FilmmakeHers – groups where women support each other as we all attempt to navigate the industry and life as an artist. As a filmmaker, I am proud that my second feature film Sugar! won so many festival awards – including directing awards and best narrative feature awards. I’m also proud to have finished my Super 8 film (Woman), the screenplay of my science fiction film Numbers and the first draft of what will possibly be my next feature – Pink Mist . Yay for a year of creating, screening and giving back! 


DRP-TxBS2016-0995web – Naomi McDougall Jones  I’m going to have to give a double answer for 2016 because I can’t choose. In November, I had the great privilege of getting to give a TEDxTalk, The Women in Film Revolution Begins With You. I’m pretty sure that stepping onto that stage was the single most terrifying moment of my life (and I once chased a mountain lion away from my cat with a garden hose), but I am so grateful and proud to have done it. If you fancy having a watch, it’s on YouTube My second, equally proudest thing from last year was that I had the significantly great good fortune to team up with heavy-weight finance women Lois Scott and Sona Wang and my former producing partner, Caitlin Gold, to begin The 51 Fund, a venture capital fund that will finance films written, directed and produced by women. It turns out that putting together a many-million dollar venture capital fund is a heck of a lot of work, but I could not be more pleased to be doing my part to turn the tide on women in film. You can find more information about the fund and sign up to receive a notice when submissions open on our website

 

– Kerstin Karlhuber   There are so many milestones that my film Fair Haven hit in 2016; our world premiere, accompanying it to Canne’s Márche du Film, traveling to screenings around the world, Kerstin Karlhuber with crewand highly successful French and German releases (hitting the #1 bestseller spot on Amazon in each territory in the LGBT category). But the most recent accomplishment that I am extremely proud of was finding out that Fair Haven would have a limited theatrical release in the US. That didn’t seem like a reality for us, and in November, when the release was secured, I couldn’t have been prouder! Fair Haven will officially release in North America in March of this year.

 

 

3TC_Invite– Arthur Vincie  By far the best thing I did in 2016 (professionally) was write, direct, and distribute the first season of Three Trembling Cities.  It’s a fictional, intimate portrait of the inner lives and daily struggles of the immigrants trying to make it in NYC.  The cast and crew did a magnificent job, and I’m very proud of our work together. 

 

Q: What are you looking forward to in 2017?

 

NUMBERS – Shari Berman  I’m looking forward to working my way towards the final version of Pink Mist (on draft two now so only 10 or so more to go), finishing pitch materials for both Pink Mist and Numbers (I think I can, I think I can…) and meeting producers interested in working on films that focus on women’s issues (and want to drink coffee together). I’m hoping it will be a year of collaborating with other artists that I’ve gotten to know over the last few years (who are as insanely driven as I am). I’m also looking forward to continuing to give back, spending time with friends and family and getting some sleep…(maybe). 

 

 

Fear(ful)less Logo – Naomi McDougall Jones   I am certainly looking forward to continuing the work of pulling The 51 Fund into existence. My second feature film, Bite Me, will (god-willing, cough-cough, knock-on-wood) be going into production in April. Films take such a very long time to wrench into existence that finally getting to go to set feels like an especially fantastic Christmas morning. The film (which I wrote, am a producer on and will act in) is a subversive romantic comedy about the real-life subculture of people who believe that they are vampires (yes, real, real) and the IRS agent who audits them. You can find out more on our website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to follow the project. I am also insanely excited and petrified to be branching out into a new medium with the launch this month of my podcast on iTunes, Fear(ful)less: Filmmaking from the Edge, which will be a weekly window into the success, failures and adventures of an independent filmmaker. I will bust the myth of the “overnight success” by pulling back the curtain on my real struggles, real wins and real panic attacks as I make my movies, attempt to crack the nuts and bolts of breaking through, and, ideally, take down the patriarchy in the process. Finally, I’m very much looking forward to trying to bring greater balance into my life and find space for a little more down time, which, reading the above, does seem like possibly a fool’s errand. Happy New Year!

 

 

Kerstin Karlhuber  In 2017 I am looking forward to transitioning the projects I have in development to production. With Fair Haven in good hands and being released to theTension Rise On Mexican Border After Border Patrol Agent Slain Last Week public, I am ready to dedicated myself to what’s next. Jack Bryant (Fair Haven’s screenwriter) and I are developing two features and a limited series. The series is called Our Texas and it deals with the subject of immigration in this country.  It is a modern and fresh take on the issue, taking place in a small, Texas border town. The series explores many sides of this hot-button topic through a diverse set of characters, all of whom are
deeply effected by this issue.

 

unknownArthur Vincie  2017 is looking to be a busy year: We’re in the early stages of planning season two of Three Trembling Cities now.  There’s a bigger, full-sized television show that we’re hoping to get on the rails, The Spectral City.  It’s a supernatural/war show about a small band of refugees who are desperately trying to flee a decades-long civil war, but can only go deeper in, leading them to the Haunted City.  And I co-wrote a drama/thriller, Die Hunter, about a South African poacher-turned-ranger, and the teenage daughter he’s trying to keep from following in his path. we think has a good chance of getting optioned.