Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?
SS: I am absolutely honored! This festival is so meaningful for me as it was the first festival to screen my very first short film back in 2013. Although it has been a few years, I am thrilled to be coming back with a second project. This event is very important as it showcases the talent that we have in Denver and it helps to provide balance in the industry.
Q: What are your hopes for the event?
SS: This event has already had a big impact on the local film community. I hope that it continues to grow its audience and be a source of inspiration for upcoming generations of female filmmakers.
Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?
SS: I think it is crucial. As many of us who have worked in or studied the film industry know, the number of women working in behind-the-camera leadership roles is still painfully low. The latest Celluloid Report tells us that in the top 250 films in 2018, only 8% were directed by women. (I have linked the report here for anyone who wants to check it out). We may see a lot of celebration around women in film, but when we look at the cold hard facts, the numbers still aren’t great. Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting the progress that has been made, I just know it’s important to look at the actual facts over what is being hyped in the media. The good news is, we do see more of a balance within the independent film world and this film festival is a reflection of that. Big changes can happen in small places. The more women we have working in Denver and the more opportunities for career growth and skill development we can provide, the more women we can send off ready to slay the larger markets.
Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
SS: This event is for everyone. We all benefit from watching films where women have had a leadership role in the creative process. It brings balance to the stories that influence our lives and it creates more opportunity to see realistic, powerful, and multi-dimensional female characters on screen
Q: This is the 9th year of CIWF. Do you have a favorite memory of the festival (or screening at The Bug Theatre) in years past?
SS: As I mentioned earlier, the Colorado Independent Women of Film Festival was one of the first to screen my original short film, The Journey Back. As a very nervous, new-to-the-scene filmmaker, CIWFF created an inviting and unintimidating experience. I will always appreciate that.
Q: Tell me briefly about yourself and your film/project.
SS: I wear a lot of hats in my life, as many of us do. I am a mother, teacher, actor, filmmaker, nature lover, and dog-mom. The short film that will be screened is a product of the CFVA Film Jam from last July. Film Jam is an awesome opportunity for filmmakers to work on projects and to sharpen their skills. It was an amazing experience and I was grateful to be able to connect with like-minded people. The film, Last Call, is a story that explores how two people can create two very different meanings from the same encounter at a bar.
Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?
SS: I live my life out of order. I will be an “empty nester” next year at the age of 36. I became a mother at the age of 18 and my experiences since then have greatly shaped who I am today. As far as my movies go, I am still tuning my cinematic voice, but what I do know for sure is that I want the films that I create to spark conversation, to be very human, to bring value to the lives of the audience.
Q: What else are you working on?
SS: I currently just signed with W-Talent as an actor. I love all parts of being a filmmaker, but I want to really dig into the craft of acting. I believe that by honing my skills as an actor, it will help me to become a better director. The actor/director relationship is so important, they need to understand each other.
Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
SS: I have recently started a new Instagram page where I will be posting all things related to my film and acting work. I would like to invite anyone who wants to watch my journey to follow me on IG @sara.starr.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?
SS: I have so much appreciation for Colorado Independent Women of Film and I am truly honored to be a part of this year’s festival. I think the work that Eileen Agosta has done is incredible and this festival provides a guiding light for women who want to create in the cinematic world.
Last Call will screen Saturday, May 11th at 6:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre.