Kristine Hipps

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.