June 2015

Meet the Filmmaker: Meryem Ersoz, “Mind’s Eye”, “Teddy Boy” (trailer)

Meryem_Ersoz_Minds_EyeQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
ME: This is going to be huge fun. It’s wonderful to have a local festival focused on works by Colorado women. I’m also happy to be bringing a mind-bending sci-fi film to the event.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
ME: I’m looking forward to screening Mind’s Eye for the local Denver audience. It screened at last year’s Denver ComicCon and it screened to sold-out crowds in Boulder when I put together local screenings to aid in the Boulder flood relief effort, but I haven’t been able to pull myself together to get it circulating in Denver the way that I should have, so I’m excited to bring it to a different audience.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
ME: I recently joined a group of women filmmakers, and it has been very eye-opening to see exactly how important it is to support each other and to support bringing original films to life at the local level. I’m looking forward to doing more of it.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
ME: From what I have seen of the line-up, it’s going to be a fun and diverse show. I think everybody should attend this and tune into the fact that we have a vibrant filmmaking community in Denver.

Q: This is the 4th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
ME: This is my first time attending this event. I’ve been holed up in Boulder making movies, and it is time to get out of the hole and become more active in local events. I’ve been so swamped with production for the past four years. In addition to my usual commercial work, I’ve worked on major feature films for the past four years. This is the first summer in four years that I haven’t been involved in a big feature, so I’m pretty excited to relax and coast a bit and to see what everyone else has been working on.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
ME: The Bug seems to be where all the cool cats hang out and screen films. Now, after four years of working an insane schedule of feature production, I get to be one of the cool cats. So I guess I’ll find out the answer to this question this weekend.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
ME: My inspirations for Mind’s Eye are David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Chris Nolan’s Memento, and Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko. I like puzzle films – the types of films that force you to sit down with your friends over coffee and discuss. I like films that are visually interesting but also present a little mental challenge. Since I come to producing by way of cinematography, I shot about 5 minutes of b-roll and pickup shots myself for this film, and I think they integrate pretty seamlessly with DP Jon Firestone’s cinematography. I also edited the film. I even laid down one of the musical tracks myself. The great thing about independent film is that it lets you exercise all of your creative chops. On the downside, it’s also exhausting to wear too many hats while making a film – I won’t do that again. But it was a fantastic learning experience, to make such a hands’-on film.

This film is insanely complex. We shot underwater, timelapse, high-speed. We had tons of locations, a huge cast. I had to find a youth orchestra…a hospital. We lost one of our locations on the day we were supposed to shoot because the Boulder OSMP shut me down, due to a bald eagle nesting – only in Boulder, right?

I made my hardest film first, I think. Everything else should be easy after this one.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
ME: Only that I’m really looking forward to it and am grateful to Eileen for putting it together. Big productions like this take a ton of work!

Teddy Boy (trailer) and Mind’s Eye will screen Saturday, June 13th at 4:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Kasha Fauscett, “Inner Dimension”

StillQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KF: I’m very excited because it’s an amazing opportunity to share “Inner Dimension” because I know there are so many talented woman filmmakers in Colorado.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
KF: My hope is the audience will enjoy the show to continue watching.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
KF: Very important because they are a minority.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
KF: I think it’s great for anyone to attend. Non-filmmakers enjoy coming to watch and support the community.

Q: This is the 4th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
KF: This is my first year attending.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
KF: Yes, it’s a great location because it’s convenient, beautiful, great seating and awesome snacks/refreshments.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
KF: I’m a very passionate actress and producer who has a lot of perseverance. I’ve been mainly involved in other filmmakers productions as an actress or Co-Producer, but this is my first production that I created. It’s been an amazing journey watching it come into fruition. So proud of everyone who was part of it.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KF: It’s wonderful to have a safe and clean locations for filmmakers to share their content.

Inner Dimension will screen Friday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Lyndsay Lack, “Toilet Paper Romance”

Lyndsay_LackQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
LL: I’m incredibly excited and honored to have been selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
LL: I hope I can meet some other independent women filmmakers, learn from them, and have some great conversations. The opportunity that Colorado Independent Women of Film provides is so important because it makes space for women like me in an exclusive and inaccessible field. This festival is actively changing the climate of the film community, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
LL: Toilet Paper Romance is a story that pokes fun at several different film tropes, namely romantic comedy tropes. This film was completed by an all female crew, consisting of myself as writer and director, Kyna Moore as cinematographer and primary editor, Kaitlin Kunkler as sound design and assistant editing, Jessie Morgan as production assistant, and Lisa Taber as graphic designer.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
LL: Throughout the production process and long after, people have consistently been surprised that the crew was made entirely of women, and they shouldn’t be. It’s not amazing that women can do the same things men can do, it’s just science. Women can make movies and women can do comedy, and I look forward to continue proving that.

Toilet Paper Romance will screen Friday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Karen Onderdonk, “Peace Pass”

PP 1280HD 5.31Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KO: Acknowledged and honored to join the other filmmakers who have been chosen.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
KO: I hope audience members will be moved by Peace Pass. That it invokes conversation.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
KO: Focusing on regional women filmmakers is empowering them. It is important.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
KO: I think it is obvious that you don’t have to be a filmmaker to enjoy film. It is a great opportunity to see new approaches to story telling by diverse and talented people.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
KO: I can’t wait to experience the Bug for the 1st time.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
KO: I have been a video producer for nearly 30 years. After decades of commercial work, I started writing screenplays several years ago when stories began filling my head. They were relentless and had to be developed. I had not experienced that before. It is still going on today. I have 3 or 4 story ideas rattling around in my brain. So I’ll keep writing. My short film, Peace Pass, was a result of working out loss in my life.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film? Thanks for the opportunity.
KO: I hope to be involved with CWOF now and in the future so that others may have the opportunity I have been given this year.

Peace Pass will screen Saturday, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Darla Rae, “Broken Ties”

BrokenTiesPoster_DarlaRaeQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
DR: You know it’s an honor to be selected to screen alongside other hard working women in our industry in Colorado.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
DR: I hope that people will come out to see our work and enjoy a great opportunity to support Colorado filmmakers regardless of gender.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
DR: I think its extremely important because you always hear how women are behind the curve in the industry. At times I think that is a myth since I know more women filmmakers here in Colorado who are always working. Ultimately that should pay off if we continue to support each other’s work.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
DR: I think people of all ages and walks of life will enjoy the films at the festival. However I think its important to be sure the film you pick is age appropriate.

Q: This is the 4th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
DR: It’s always been about the networking and connecting with other females who are committed to their craft.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
DR: For me personally The Bug is special because they are always accepting and promoting local talent. I screened my first film ever at the bug first .So for me its home. It’s comfortable.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
DR: I started acting at the age of 8 on stage. My first film acting experience was in John Carpenter’s Halloween. It’s never too late to live your dream. I started out making my own films at 46. So I have been in this now as a producer, director, writer for ten years, and full time for 6 years. My first film as a Director and Producer was a feature film called The Goal it won numerous awards worldwide and received worldwide distribution. Until now I’ve only made narrative and documentary feature length films. Broken Ties is my first short film. Basically I had this story idea from personal experience kicking around in my head, so I teamed up with my screenwriter Karen Hemmerle who does a great job. I wanted this to be a piece where I could use it as a teaching piece for young girls and women and guys who had never worked on a set of even together previously. It was a way to impart my years of knowledge to younger women which is very important to me. My film Broken Ties is about broken relationships and how we struggle and fight to mend them or let them go. It’s a story close to my heart. There have been some requests to turn it into a feature but we will see.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
DR: I am grateful for Colorado Independent Women of Film. I hope it continues to grow into a larger presence and hopefully something that can be more active year round. At the end of the day Its about supporting some amazinglygifted and talented Women all whom work their butts off to do great work.

Broken Ties will screen Saturday, June 13th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Vivian Lie, “Something Better”

vivian051(1)Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
VL: I feel extremely excited and honored to show the film in this festival! The local film community in Denver is like an extended family for many of us who live and work here making films, so what better group to share it with than my acting and filmmaking colleagues.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
VL: Hopefully it will inspire more female actors to become involved in some of the other facets of filmmaking.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
VL: Because of the challenges that we all face in the Colorado film market, it’s in our best interest as female actors and filmmakers to “scratch one another’s backs” so to speak when an event like this comes along.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
VL: I feel this festival will be fun for everyone regardless whether or not they are members of the filmmaking community. I had a number of friends who attended the premiere of this film back in April at the Emerging Filmmakers Project. They all said they had a blast and would love to see more independent films, especially at the Bug because it’s such a fun place to go to watch films.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
VL: The Bug is the quintessential Indie film venue that exudes Indie spirit and soul, unlike the average cookie-cutter film venues that seem to be the norm these days.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
VL: I am originally from Brazil and have been living in Colorado for 9 years. I started out as an actress in plays when I was a teenager and got into film acting when I moved to Denver. This is my first effort at producing, co-writing and casting a film. Acting in films eventually led me to become interested in the other aspects of filmmaking.

Something Better is a comedic short about quirky and every day people who find themselves involved in a series of hilarious relationship mishaps. Our intention was to make a cute and innocent comedy that anyone could enjoy.

Meet the Filmmaker: Amanda Gostomski, “Graffiti Falls”

GraffitiFalls_AmandaGostomskiQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
AG: Super excited!

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
AG: To see some interesting films, and to meet other women who are part of the game.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
AG: So important. I’m writing this from California at the moment. First, time here since I was a kid. Funny thing is that I feel like I really recognize the area and the culture without ever living in the area. Same way I can feel nostalgic for New York City even though I’ve never been there. Many of the films I see are made by those that are fluent in those cultures. Most people don’t live in California or NYC though. There are untold filmic stories all through out the country that need space to be shown.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
AG: Non-filmmakers are tired of seeing the same stories and scenarios play out, along with filmmakers.

Q: This is the 4th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
AG: This will be my first year at CIWF.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
AG: I’ve actually never been to the Bug Theatre. This should be a great introduction for me.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
AG: I’ve lived in the Colorado area for a while now, and recently graduated from CU at Boulder with a BFA in Film/BA in Studio Arts. Graffiti Falls is a story of a girl trying to save her brother in a town that feels much like growing up in Colorado Springs, but with magic.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
AG: Thanks for showing my short! And I’m happy to meet you all!

Graffiti Falls will screen Saturday, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

CIWF Filmmaker Interview: Kristine Hipps, “Lenny C Rocks the Mic”

002Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KH: I am very happy to be participating in a festival celebrating pieces by women in a largely-male dominated field.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
KH: When I created Lenny C my main hope was for as many people as possible to see what a unique character Lenny was.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
KH: Any event that celebrates local talent is vital to the local art scene, especially with the rising cost of entry and travel fees. It is often difficult to attend out of town festivals – I was unable to attend a film fest in Toronto to promote a short of mine because I was only given 3 weeks notice, and flights were simply too expensive. And a fest with no entry fee is a rare and wonderful thing!

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
KH: Everyone should attend film festivals — the public needs to see that blockbusters and remakes aren’t the only thing out there, and that independent film is just as good if not better than the mainstream fare put out by Hollywood.

Q: This is the 5th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
KH: I enjoy the relaxed camaraderie of this fest.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
KH: The Bug is the only theater in Denver catering to local art, theater, film, comedy, music, and even a cat circus — the Bug has it all!

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
KH: As a filmmaker I’ve done horror features and comic shorts, and I wanted to do a documentary about an extraordinary person. While attending an open mic poetry slam at The Mercury Cafe, I discovered Lenny Chernila — he was bold, unapologetic, fiery, and over 70 — something you don’t often see among the mostly 20-somethings at slams. I knew that night I’d found my subject. Over the next year I got to know Lenny and realized he was not only a poet, but a dedicated activist, humanitarian, rabble-rouser, and generous soul. This project is especially close to my heart because Lenny passed away a week before the premiere screening — he was mourned by hundreds in three separate memorial services and countless open mics all over Denver.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KH: I hope the CWIF continues to get bigger and better year after year!

Lenny C Rocks the Mic will screen Saturday, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

CIWF Filmmaker Interview: Pamela Maass, “Real Funny”

10304975_691106944258105_2064697071389553276_nQ: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
PM: I feel very excited and honored to participate in CIWF. It’s incredibly wonderful that there is a festival in Colorado dedicated to women in film. It is so important to develop more pathways and opportunities to encourage current and future generations of women to explore and pursue film and storytelling.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
PM: To continue to expand the community of Colorado film.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
PM: The narrative around Colorado film and women in film often feels like a struggle. This festival is an excellent opportunity to break through barriers, and foster more opportunities for both women and men in regional film.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
PM: This is a festival for the community. What I love about Colorado is the support for local art and businesses. This festival is a great opportunity to support the local film community.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
PM: Real Funny, is an inspiring story about women taking the leap and performing stand up comedy on stage for the first time. If you have ever marveled at stand up comedy or dreamed of being a comedian yourself this a film for you.

Real Funny will screen Saturday, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

CIWF Filmmaker Interview: Nancy Fingerhood, “The Fubra”

TheFubraInfomercial_NancyFingerhood

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
NF: I am very honored because I am sure there are so many excellent filmmakers out there to choose from.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
NF: I just hope people enjoy everyone’s films and find mine funny!

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
NF: I think it allows people from our community to appreciate the work we do.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
NF: I think it is for everyone who loves movies.

Q: This is the 5th year of CIWF. What’s been the best part/a favorite memory of the festival in years past?
NF: I enjoy seeing other people’s work. I also enjoy learning from other filmmakers.

Q: We hold CIWF at The Bug Theatre. Why is The Bug a great home for this event?
NF: I have done stand up at the Bug and I love that the Bug supports local artists.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
NF: I started doing the 48 hour film project over ten years ago. About two years ago I began to make my own short videos. Now I love producing and directing. I used to be more into acting but I am finding behind the scenes more enjoyable. I like the creative part. I love to see my ideas come to life on the screen.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
NF: The CIWF is important to showcase the talents of women filmmakers in the area and give voice to what we want to share.

The Fubra will screen Friday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.