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WIFVNE Member Spotlight: Juliette Sutherland

27 Jul 2018 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Juliette is a freelance cinematographer, editor, and filmmaker from the United States. She studied documentary film and anthropology at Marlboro College in Vermont. She is an avid  traveler and curious explorer, always ready for a new adventure. She’s worked on documentaries in Nicaragua, Belize, Cuba, and India, co-produced a TV show in Vermont, worked on various short films while living in Paris and has worked with many different artists, non-profits, musicians, start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Her film, The Chocolate Garage: In Nicaragua, was selected for WIFTI 2018 Short Film Showcase.  This short documentary visits farmers and makers in Nicaragua who are trying to create a new system that values everyone involved, bringing back the value of cacao to the countries it originates and is grown in.

Did you know that cacao is grown on a tree, takes over a week of fermentation, then drying, roasting and grinding, to turn into chocolate? Did you also know that most chocolate is made possible by child labor in Africa?

WIFVNE is proud to announce Juliette serves as WIFVNE’s State Chair for Maine.  Juliette is volunteering her time to assist WIFVNE to foster collaboration, community and connection by acting as a primary contact for WIFVNE in Maine.  Photos in this newsletter provide some behind the scenes looks at her work.

How did you get started?
I took my first film class my senior year of high school. I took to filming everything around me with a small digital point and shoot camera and edited together small vignettes, like memories of periods of my life. This is basically the genesis of my style – the essence being personal, human at its core, and relating feelings and experiences.

Juliette Sutherland on location with her short film

What do you love about the work that you do?
What I love most is probably a more practical aspect of filmmaking. I love working for myself and the variability of the work. I edit from home, with my cat, and then get to change it up by going off on shoots, traveling, and working on different projects that always teach me something new.  I meet new people and challenge myself in my craft.

What is something interesting you are working on now?
For the past year or so I’ve been working on a documentary series about ethical chocolate all over the world. I film and edit everything, so I have a lot of creative control, and the collaboration is wonderful. We’ve been to Nicaragua, Cuba, Hawaii, Switzerland, and India. The next trip is planned for Brazil! We’ve gotten to screen our films as part of the WIFTI short films showcase and also at the Maui Film Festival.

What has your experience as a woman in the industry been like?
I will sometimes show up to a shoot and people will assume I don’t know what I am doing, even from people who know nothing about cameras or editing. I often feel underestimated.  People react with surprise that “hey, this was actually pretty good!” and I’m like “yes…I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years…” The most wonderful part is getting to collaborate with other women and work on fostering that supportive group. I love being the Maine state chair for WIFVNE because it puts me in a position to reach out to many local organizations and meet more wonderful women and bring us all together.

What are some things you wish could change/would help if more women were in the industry?
Continuing to show women in positions of power is a top priority. It has to become normalized for women to work in the industry and get them into more positions like cinematographer and editor. I feel it’s more common to find a female producer, or even director, but even less women in the more “tech” areas of cinematography and editing. Having more women will hopefully change the culture, but there should also be – and there are – incentives to help move this along.

Where are you hoping/aspiring to go/where would you like to go in your work?
I am actually loving where I am at! I hope to continue collaborating with makers, always learning and pushing my comfort zone and exploring. I have never worked at a production company and have often thought about it and how I could gain access to bigger, different projects I wouldn’t be able to secure as an individual, but I have not yet found the perfect place.

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