Kathryn Taccone – WIFVNE Member
Co-Founder of Open Pixel Studios
What do you love about your work?
I love creating relationships with clients, and seeing or hearing their reactions to a completed project. Animation is a universal medium that can translate your message to a wide audience, and I love animating characters that help bring that message to life. It’s a wonderful feeling to have the opportunity to explore, imagine, and create every day.
What is your vision for yourself, female filmmakers, or the media industry in 2020?
Within my company, I have big plans for this year! I aim to have our first internship opportunity, and provide more educational engagements with students. Being in the five college area of Massachusetts, I want to give back to the area as much as I put into the business. I am a UMass alumni and would love to help inspire others who are interested in pursuing animation as a career!
What’s one way you would suggest people “Change the Lens”?
I think change will come as more men and women are informed of the problems and come up with ideas together on how to solve them. The way I try to inform is through teaching, as I want young women to be aware of what to expect in the industry. We can give talks that include stories of our past experiences, as a way to empower, not discourage. Opening the door to productive conversations will help to create a better future for everyone!
What advice would you give to a new female filmmaker?
Be kind to yourself! Too often I hear artists talk negatively about their own work, as if the piece had no value. In reality, every piece you work on will teach you something new, whether it’s about yourself, the industry, or the tools you use. Forgive yourself for the mistake you think you made, as it’s what teaches us how to be better. Let’s start appreciating the mistakes we think we make more often!
Which women in the New England region inspire you?
There are so many wonderful small, women led businesses and organizations in this region like Yahaira of Baked Cakes 413. She and many other women are helping to shape a more inclusive future and are incredibly open to conversations around making our workplaces better for all. They inspire me every day to work hard, give back, and care for myself as much as others.
What film or series are looking forward to watching this year? Why?
I’d love to see more honest and grounding films directed by women, like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood directed by the incredibly talented Marielle Heller. In a time where the world feels a little more chaotic and tense, it’s great to have films and series that allow people of any age to give conscious thought to their emotions, to understand themselves and the people around them more clearly.
How can your fans find you!?
Lyria Garcia – WIFVNE Member
Lyria Garcia Photography
I came from a family of strong women and it shows in my photography and the characters I write. Empowering and encouraging women is a mission for me and I love that.
I really like to make a short film I wrote about undocumented Brazilian immigrants here in Massachusetts.
There’s a lot of competent filmmakers out there, some doing great work, some taking baby steps inside of the boys club. I say keep going, we are here to stay, let’s promote each other by spreading the news of your project, let’s support each other anyway we can.
This is our time. Let’s hold hands and go.
Wonder Woman 1984 directed by Patty Jenkins. Because it’s a empowering story made by a director I respect and performed by an actress I admire.
Attending any film festivals or events, and why you are attending them.
I attend any chance I have. It’s a great way to meet people with the same interest and be inspired by their stories and creativity.
IG = Lyriagarciaphotography
Site = Lyriagarcia.com
KATHLEEN O’HERON – WIFVNE Member
MEDIA MOGUL IN TRAINING
CEO, JYNX PRODUCTIONS
The thing I love most about my work is working with the great team at Jynx Productions. They firmly believe if we can imagine it, we can make it. And I am so on board with that spirit.
I’d like to see many more women wielding the purse strings and using that power to actively support more women in the industry.
Women who own their power and know how to wield it will create a jet stream that will pull other women along. Find the women who wield the power in your own circles and support her! Raise her up, put her forward, introduce her to everyone. Listen to her speak, buy what she is selling… be loyal and she will lift you up with her. Then, when you rise, you will carry even more with you! It’s a chain reaction.
Speak loudly with your most confident voice. People will listen. If they don’t SPEAK LOUDER
Heroine du jour: Janet Mills, 75th Governor of Maine
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog. It’s slated for release in 2021, but the longer the wait, the sweeter the fruit.
Attending any film festivals or events?
We are working on a labor of love documentary that we hope to see spinning in the festival circuit, and I’m making the content market rounds. We have a bouquet of shows we are pitching and we are all over it.
@jynxproductions on the usual sites
Director / Writer / Editor
Director, Broadcast/production at (add)ventures
Collaborating with creative talents across many disciplines to create impactful, texture-rich stories that celebrate the combined efforts of all.
To work together, creating an environment that fosters everyone’s best effort, inclusivity, and calculated risk-taking. To recognize and build upon strengths while forming partnerships to offset the weak points. To learn more about the craft every day, be aware of what inspires you and lean into those things. Whatever level you’re at, find a mentor and be a mentor to others.
Most importantly, know where you want to go then start walking, running, or hobbling in that direction. My hope for the media industry is that we continue to focus and work on our efforts to be more inclusive towards women and POC. In many cases, that means giving someone with less experience a chance. At one point, someone gave Ava DuVernay a chance, Kathryn Bigelow, Melina Matsoukas, Rachel Morrison, and as that list grows and widens it’s reach the work gets more exciting and authentic.
If you’re in a hiring position, make the decision to actively search for women and POC in production. Invite them to meet you, get to know them and their skillset. Give people a chance to impress you, focus on individual strengths versus perceived weaknesses, and be generous with your own knowledge and expertise.
You do not need to be the expert in everything. Filmmaking is about the team. Find and retain the most skilled and talented team you possibly can. Then be kind and generous to everyone. You will be asking for a lot of favors.
Margie Sullivan, EP at Conductor Productions for being an incredible advocate and mentor in the film industry, and true leader. Maria Sheehan, producer, for her radiance, charm and grit. She makes production an absolute pleasure. Deb Luchini, editor, for her story craft, editorial talents, and humor.
Emma, directed by Autumn de Wilde. Every frame is a fu*king treat.
@extremelongshot on IG www.nikkimcmorrow.com
Carina Chavda – WIFVNE Member – Board
Producer, The Grommet
Producing is like putting pieces of a puzzle together to create a truly wonderful work of art. For me, the best part of producing is the weeks of planning finally coming together on set and shooting. I love bringing talented people together to work on a project and see the result of that in the final edit.
The most important thing for me is finding opportunities that help me grow as a producer. I love putting myself out of my comfort zone and seeing what I can do and how I can push my limits. I am very excited about the future of filmmaking for women, because having spent my entire career surrounded by men in the industry it is such a refreshing change to work alongside talented women and let them bring their perspective to the team.
Support, Hire, Share work from female filmmakers. Join organizations such as WIFVNE to meet and be surrounded by some incredible filmmakers in your area.
Find a group of likeminded filmmakers and go out and make something – make anything! It’s the best way to meet people you can work with in the future and network with – it also helps you build a reel of work.
Handmaid’s Tale – It’s one of my favorite series!
Kristin Holodak – WIFVNE
Writer | Director | Professor
Being a professor allows me to be a filmmaker and also help the next generation find their voices as filmmakers.
What is your vision for yourself, female filmmakers, or the media
industry in 2020?
My vision for myself in 2020 is to get my feature shot. My hope for all the women filmmakers is that we get our work off the ground. It probably won’t happen as quickly as 2020, but my vision for the industry is that we stop being able to count the number of women-led films in a year.
People can Change the Lens by supporting independent filmmakers and the cinemas that showcase their work. If we only go to see the stuff that Hollywood makes then Hollywood will never have a reason to make something new and different.
My best advice is to find the people you like to work with. Cultivate your creative community. It’s so much easier to make it when you’re not trying to make it alone.
I always try to get to Woods Hole. I’ve screened there a couple of times, but even when I’m not it’s such a great community vibe. It’s really easy to meet and mingle with other filmmakers all while seeing a lot of great films.
Lea-Ann W. Berst
Producer, Pioneers in Skirts
I love that with story I can make an impact
What is your vision for yourself, female filmmakers, or the media industry in 2020? To elevate and advance female filmmakers so that they get the jobs they deserve.
Create a directors reel compilation that showcases films directed by women. Make it a teaser.
Don’t rely on the filmmaking programs to advance your career. Use your network. It’s all about who knows you.
Joan Darling. She lives in Maine and is featured in our film. Joan was one of the first paid female directors in Hollywood. She had to fight for her career. Now in her 80’s, she is still fighting, and very supportive of women coming up behind her.
Wonder Woman, The Quiet Place 2 — because of the entertainment
Please let us know if you are attending any film festivals or events, and why you are attending them.
Yes, to screen Pioneers in Skirts / to see other films that inspire our future work / to support other filmmakers
https://www.pioneersinskirts.com | https://www.facebook.com/PioneersinSkirts | https://twitter.com/pioneersnskirts | https://www.instagram.com/pioneersinskirts/
Satoko Saito – WIFVNE Member
Filmmaker / NewTV
A lens of camera is my another eye. It reveals a depth beyond what my eyes catch. In addition. as a Japanese TV director and producer I had the tremendous opportunity to collaborate on projects across twenty countries.
Through my experience as a Japanese tv director for 25 years and my college life in U.S.,I got various perspective as a filmmaker. Now I hope to create a documentary in U.S.A. However it is not easy for people from abroad because I need to get a new visa to bring this vision.
Sometimes we need to get out of our familiar or comfort zones if the way is uncertain and risky.
“Show up! Look up! Never give up! Lift each other up!” This is a message by Liz Cheng, General Manager for Television, WGBH.
Various documentary about indigenous. Their right as human are infringed and each structure of a human rights violation is very similar. I’d like to learn their culture and life style to take a global view of the environment.
Attending any film festivals or events, and why you are attending them?
I had just joined film festival on campus. It was worthwhile experience because young students works really inspired me and we critic of each other’s finished works.
Find me on Facebook!
TV Producer, Filmmaker
News Director (at CMN) & founder of Joan of ART Productions
I love that I have a day job that allows me to connect with people and tell their stories for CMN; but my true passion is my after-hour job: filmmaking. Writing, directing, and producing original stories for film is what I live for. I love the timelessness of film–it will be here long after I’m gone, and so I take every project seriously, because I want people to enjoy my work for years to come!
I’d love to see women filmmakers be accepted on an equal playing ground. I was very sad that none of the amazing female filmmakers that put out films in 2020 were nominated for the Oscars. It seems like we keep saying the same thing, both men and women, keep discussing the disparity of women in the industry–yet very little changes. My dream is to work with an exclusively female cast and crew one day to create a film that will really stand out. I also want to inspire others and make films for the rest of my life– to keep creating–and I truly hope that someday a woman will look at my work and say “because she did it, I can, too.”
In some ways I want to live in a world where people don’t think about a film directors gender at all. But because the industry is so dominated by men, and because women really don’t seem to get the credit they deserve, I’d like to see more opportunities for women to create within the industry. Let’s have an all woman awards ceremony, for example. Or let’s create a month of awareness and celebrate the women who have really thrived. Or let’s create a category just for best women director. (Like we do for male and female actors, for example).
Believe in yourself. Find your voice and amplify it. I got a lot of pushback when I started out that fed on my insecurities. The minute I chose to trust my vision, others did, too. It’s ok to be strong and know what you want–go for it!
Michele Meek really inspires me. She teaches film, she writes and directs, and manages NewEnglandFilm.com. She is my greatest inspiration and my former teacher. I owe her everything in a way.
I’m looking forward to Sofia Coppola’s next film On the Rocks. She’s my favorite female director and a huge inspiration. Other than that, I am obsessed with A24 movies and really looking forward to making more of my own films, too haha!
I am having a film premiere of my own on 3/13 at the Chatham Orpheum. I am also supporting my friends at Major Independent Films at their Uncanny Harbor film premiere on 2/22. On 3/5 I’m showing a trailer of mine and supporting other local filmmakers at Cocktails and Screens in Providence RI, and I plan on attending the Maryland International Film Festival on 3/28 and Shawna Shea Film Festival in May! I am also attending Mike Hansens test screen of The Light You Follow on 3/27 and I try to go to as many local film events as I can. I believe it is SO important to attend these events and support local indy filmmakers. I call everyone I work with (or want to work with in the local industry) my Film Fam, and I mean it. We have to be there for each other.
I’m on Facebook and IG. My IG handle is @Gabbymuse7. I also run several social media accounts for films I have made: Get Up Eight and Salvation and soon Cleaner on fb, if people want to stay up-to-date on my current projects! I’m always open to making new film fam friends, so don’t be shy!
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