Meet the Filmmaker

Meet the Filmmaker: Katie Anhalt, “Crack, Skip, Scar”

Crack, Skip, Scarhttps://www.instagram.com/666medianaranja666/

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KA: It’s really exciting! This project took me a very long time to make and it’s nice to have my work recognized.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
KA: I think this will be a great chance for the Colorado filmmaking community to come together and celebrate our accomplishments.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
KA: I am an educator, photographer, and dancer who makes weird video art. My project began as a novel and I accidentally made a film while procrastinating writing.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
KA: As far as I know no one else makes films using the process I’ve developed. I start by creating still images with ink, watercolor, and Polaroid emulsion transfers, then I use a combination of softwares to create motion and visual effects.

Q: What else are you working on?
KA: I’m currently working on another non-narrative project involving dance on video.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
KA: Follow me on Instagram – 666medianaranja666

Crack, Skip, Scar will screen Friday, May 18th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Julie Engle, “The Most Wonderful Time in the West”

The Most Wonderful Time in the West

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
JE: Very excited to be in the company of so many talented and creative women.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
JE: To see great storytelling.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
JE: A focus on regional women filmmakers gives us that are new to making movies a chance to shine on a stage that might not otherwise be available to us.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
JE: Anyone who enjoys original stories should attend.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
JE: The Most Wonderful Time in the West was born out of tradition that my husband and I make a holiday video each year. This is the largest production we have ever done.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
JE: We work with a VERY small crew. When shooting this movie the most people on set at any time was three.

Q: What else are you working on?
JE: Concepts for X-mas 2018.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
JE: Thank you for providing a place for first time filmmakers to showcase their work.

The Most Wonderful Time in the West will screen Saturday, May 19th at 4:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Stacy Farrar, “Collision”

Stacy Farrar was born in Southern California but grew up in Colorado. She was drawn to the performing arts at an early age, but chose to pursue other interests in college. She received a B.A. in Physics and an M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. After working for more than a decade as an aerospace engineer with Ball Aerospace, she decided to pursue a career in acting. In 2012, she and her husband welcomed their only child, Ian. Stacy has been described as “Strength and intelligence with a soft underbelly of tenderness and wry humor.”

Stacy and her son Ian tragically passed away on May 20, 2017, one day into filming on Collision. Offers Henry Cavalier, Director of Collision, “The cast and crew of Collision are over the moon that the film has been accepted into the CIWF 2018! Stacy would have been so proud. This film was her final film project which we all pitched in to help complete after her and her son’s tragic passing. The screening date of May 19th also coincidentally marks the 1 year anniversary of when we filmed her final scene that you will see in the film. Through Collision we hope to cherish and remember Stacy’s passion for film and acting, as well as honor her memorable impact on our local film community.”

Collision will screen Saturday, May 19th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Nancy Fingerhood, “Mile High Nancy Episode 5”

Mile High Nancy Episode 5 | Mile High Nancy YouTube Channel

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
NF: I am honored to be part of the film community and grateful to be in the presence of so many talented women in film.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
NF: I hope it inspires other women to get behind the camera and brings publicity to the projects we are working on.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
NF: I think it’s great to showcase the best of the western region.

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’m always amazed at the originality and creativity of filmmakers here and think it’s for everyone to attend.

Q: This is the 8th year of CIWF. Do you have a favorite memory of the festival (or screening at The Bug Theatre) in years past?
NF: I enjoy Scoop Nemeth’s comments after he watches the films.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
NF: I’m a storyteller, originally from New Jersey, who has been in Colorado for 13 years. The project is an episode of my web series Mile High Nancy.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
NF: I’ve teamed up with the US Weed Channel and did a 420 promo for them for a BOGO annual subscription to their Roku channel.

Q: What else are you working on?
NF: I just finished as a PA on a music video and I’ll be shooting episode six in June.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
NF: They can see my work at my YouTube channel, Mile High Nancy.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
NF: Thank you for letting me be a part of this festival. It’s important to showcase film from a woman’s point of view.

Mile High Nancy Episode 5 will screen Friday, May 18th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Eva MeiLing Pollitt, “Tenny”

Tennyhttps://www.seedandspark.com/fund/high#updates/16501

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
EP: Honored and grateful.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
EP: I hope it will be a great celebration full of amazing work and amazing artists! I hope the vibe is supportive and people grow new connections.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
EP: Very important! We will never be able to smash the patriarchy and the sexism ingrained in our psyches unless the stories we tell and hear come from a diverse array of genders and backgrounds. Also, it is important to focus on regional women filmmakers because it opens doors for filmmakers in communities other than NYC and LA, also improving the industry opportunities available in those communities.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
EP: Non-filmmakers should attend too because they will be supporting Colorado women in film AND they will get the chance to see some great work they might not have access to otherwise.

Q: This is the 8th year of CIWF. Do you have a favorite memory of the festival (or screening at The Bug Theatre) in years past?
EP: Yes – I screened in March at the Emerging Filmmaker’s Project and that was magical. It was my first time seeing Tenny on a full-sized theatre screen, and it was inspiring to hear from so many other Colorado filmmakers.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
EP: I was born and raised in Colorado, attended DSA in Denver, and then went to SMU in Dallas to get my BFA in theatre. I moved to NYC in August of 2017 to pursue theatre arts, but happenstance landed on some film projects. I loved working on them and was inspired to make my first film – this is Tenny! With friends and borrowed equipment (the brunette actress in the film is also from Colorado), we filmed around all of our day jobs. It was a life-changing experience and got me into filmmaking for the rest of my life!

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
EP: I also have an obsession with foreign languages.

Q: What else are you working on?
EP: Currently, I am in post for High, a short film set in my hometown of Tabernash, CO.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
EP: Find out about High here: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/high#updates/16501
Or follow me on instagram @meimeimeimeimeimei – I’m working on getting a website soon!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
EP: Thank you so much for including Tenny in this year’s festival!

Tenny will screen Saturday, May 19th at 4:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Megan MacGrath, “Fifty Shades of Kilroy”

Fifty Shades of Kilroy | http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3244485/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
MM: I am so honored and excited this film was selected to be a part of the festival.

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
MM: My hopes are for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
MM: I think it’s pretty important to focus on regional women filmmakers because often we can get overlooked.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
MM: I think friends, cast, crew members who worked on the project, who may not have been able to see it and just anyone in general who wants to see the scope of what we, as women filmmakers, can do.

Q: This is the 7th year of CIWF. Do you have a favorite memory of the festival (or screening at The Bug Theatre) in years past?
MM: Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to attend the festival in the past, so I’m pretty excited for this opportunity this year.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
MM: I’ve been working in the film industry for over 10 years and have met amazing people along my journey. The project is a fun one that the writer couldn’t escape hearing about Fifty Shades of Grey and took a fun, little twist to it.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
MM: I have held many different crew roles throughout my career and it’s fun to change up the genre and work on different projects and with different people. You never know where it might lead you or who you’ll meet.

Q: What else are you working on?
MM: I’m currently in pre-production for a sci-fi, fantasy film called Monster Force Zero. We start filming this month and have a few other projects lined up as well, like a Ghostbusters fan film.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
MM: IMDb – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3244485/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 or even just find me on Facebook: Megan PM AD MacGrath – I post projects I’ve worked on, as well as new information.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
MM: Looking forward to meeting new filmmakers and connecting with more women filmmakers.

Fifty Shades of Kilroy will screen Friday, February 10th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Ashley Matkowsky, “Partners”

Partnershttp://jackash.virb.com/

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
AM: I feel incredibly honored be to have been given the opportunity to see my film shown on the big screen side-by-side with other local women filmmakers.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
AM: Anyone who enjoys watching films should come and support our local filmmakers. It’s a chance to see filmmaking in its rawest, purest form before it can be corrupted by Hollywood budgets and box office quotas.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
AM: I started out as a percussionist, then a painter and now a filmmaker, something I wanted to do since I was a kid. I’m a big fan of/inspired by Buster Keaton, Harmony Korine, Shawn Christensen, Matt Johnson, Wes Anderson and Mike Mills. I am currently studying at Colorado Film School to become a writer and director.

My project Partners came from the idea of a female Robin Hood and the concept of Cinema Verite. I had an incredible cast and crew to help turn some paper into a film as well as having the opportunity to use a song by UK artist MadColour. This is my first production created while studying at CFS under some truly phenomenal instructors and I hope to show many more in the future.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
AM: I lived in Queens, NY until 2000, lived in Orange County, CA until 2006 and I’ve been in Colorado ever since. Growing up on two major coasts of the country really helped mold my mindset and those experiences I had continuously give me ideas for my films.

Q: What else are you working on?
AM: I am currently working on a few different scripts, two short films and one feature-length adaptation script of one of the shorts. I have been thinking about this feature-length for years so it feels great to be getting started on such an important project to me.

I also do some local political video projects when I’m not working or schooling as I try to stay as politically active as I can, especially in times like these.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
AM: You can check out my website here: http://jackash.virb.com/
My Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AMatkowskyArt/
My Youtube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpq3cR6adbGvENIiveKbAPw

I post my new work immediately and keep the community updated on everything art related that I’m up to!

Please contact me via email: ashley.m.1992@gmail.com

Thank you all for your continuous support of local filmmaking!

Partners will screen Friday, February 10th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Kelsey Opel, “Anonymous: Story of a Coke Addict”

Anonymous: Story of a Coke Addict

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KO: I’m really excited to participate in a women’s film festival in Colorado! It’s also awesome to be able to represent our minority that calls for change and growth in the film industry. It’s wonderful to be a part of a generation that aims to improve the lives of women in any workplace.
Q: What are your hopes for the event?
KO: I’m hoping to meet more strong female filmmakers who strive to create equality in the film industry.
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 anyone outside of the film community would love this film festival. Everyone loves movies. And the women who made these films have powerful stories to share that anyone could relate to.
Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
KO: I made Anonymous: Story of a Coke Addict for my second project at The Colorado Film School. This was the first time I wrote, produced, and directed a really big project with a larger crew, and I loved it! The movie was inspired by my mom, who is also a Coca Cola addict, though she’s not as severe as the characters in my film.
Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
KO: I see movies as a kind of escapism. I aspire to make quirky, comedy films, or any movie that makes people think about things.
Q: What else are you working on?
KO: I’m currently drafting both another short and feature film for sometime in the future. I also work as a production assistant locally on features and commercials. I just finished working on the Netflix film Our Souls At Night that filmed in Colorado Springs in the fall.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
KO: I think this is a great festival to promote female filmmakers in Colorado, and I look forward to collaborating with many of these wonderful women in the future!
Anonymous: Story of a Coke Addict will screen Saturday, February 11th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Olivia Abtahi, “The Reason I Jump”, “Father Sun”

The Reason I Jump, Father Sunwww.oliviaabtahi.com

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
OA: It’s a total honor to be selected– any festival that supports independent female filmmakers is such an important part of the industry. Thank you for selecting me!

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
OA: I hope to meet other amazing filmmakers and see some wonderful films done by women like myself.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
OA: It’s incredibly important to focus on regional women filmmakers– how else would we see these hidden points of view in our communities? The more perspectives we experience the more we understand each other.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
OA: Anyone who loves being transported should definitely attend– doesn’t matter if you’re a filmmaker or someone who’s never been to a film festival before. These are stories that we might not see on the big screen that still speak to our daily experiences of living in this region.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
OA: Father Sun is the story of a Navajo community getting solar energy on their community building. In Navajo/Diné culture, the sun is the father of creation, and powers our spiritual and physical lives. With solar energy, we see a community’s God powering their daily lives in a very tangible way.

The Reason I Jump is an adaptation of the same novel, giving us a glimpse into the life of someone with Autism. It’s an opportunity to understand and empathize, and see a world that so much of our population inhabits every day.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
OA: Before I plan a movie, I think of the resources I have. Then I build the story around that.

Q: What else are you working on?
OA: I’m working on a new short film called Female Character.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
OA: www.oliviaabtahi.com

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
OA: Can’t wait to see everyone’s work 🙂

The Reason I Jump will screen Saturday, February 10th at 4:00pm and Father Sun will screen Saturday at 6:00p.m. at The Bug Theatre.

Meet the Filmmaker: Natalie Villa, “Sins of the Father”, “With the Power of a Thousand Suns”

Sins of the Father, With the Power of a Thousand Sunsyoutube.com/MsVilla09

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
NV: I feel honored to be recognized alongside women filmmakers who are doing the work! It looks to be a great festival!

Q: What are your hopes for the event?
NV: I’m hoping to connect with passionate women filmmakers who I can work with in the future. It’s always encouraging and inspiring to see the great work being done here in Colorado.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
NV: By highlighting regional women filmmakers, the community can see a different, non-male-dominated perspective — a voice from within the community that they live and work in.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
NV: I think everyone would enjoy the festival – everyone enjoys a good film. Right now, there is a lot of discussion of the women’s movement and I think people could find empowerment seeing all women films.

Q: This is the 7th year of CIWF. Do you have a favorite memory of the festival (or screening at The Bug Theatre) in years past?
NV: My favorite memory is seeing people really enjoying the film and connecting with the filmmakers. It’s great to have a chance to meet people behind the films.

Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
NV: I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I have been making films since 2008 and recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in film and television. I currently work at WESTAF, a regional nonprofit arts organization, where I recently produced and filmed WESTAF’s National Endowment for the Arts 50th Anniversary promotional video.

Sins of the Father was written by my younger sister and we adapted it for my senior thesis film in 2016. Sins of the Father is a short film that explores family, grief, anger, forgiveness and pain. Once Andrea learns of a family secret, her relationship is tested with her father.

With the Power of a Thousand Suns is an award winning short documentary that follows Roxanne Mena as she deals with her recent Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and her newly changed life. Roxanne Mena is a friend of mine and when I learned of her diagnosis, I wanted to help and this was one of the ways I knew how. It is a deeply personal story and I am honored to tell it.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
NV: I went to Ethiopia in 2008 after winning a film competition. It was an amazing experience and was my first time leaving the country!

Q: What else are you working on?
NV: I am currently doing research for a documentary that explores the stigma behind abortion, some controversial laws and the stories behind the act.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
NV: People can find some of my work on YouTube at youtube.com/MsVilla09

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
NV: Thank you for the opportunity and I can’t wait for the festival!

Sins of the Father will screen Friday, February 10th at 8:00pm and With the Power of a Thousand Suns will screen Saturday at 4:00p.m. at The Bug Theatre.