Sara Starr

Meet the Filmmaker: Sara Starr, “Last Call”

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.

Meet the Filmmaker: Sara Starr, “The Journey Back”

CIWF Filmmaker Interview with Sara Starr
Writer, Co-Director and Actress, The Journey Back
West of Midnight Films, LLC | West of Midnight Films on Facebook

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Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?

A: I’ve always been captivated by film. It has the ability to evoke emotions like no other art form. Film makes people feel, it inspires, it has the power to change lives and I have an overwhelming desire to be a part of it. Film is what I am passionate about and I think it’s one of the biggest human tragedies when people don’t or can’t pursue their passion. As a mother to a wonderful son, I want him to pursue whatever it is in life that fulfills him, and in order to teach him that, I must do it in my own life, no matter how challenging it can be.

Q: What are we going to see at CIWF? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

A: You will be seeing the short film, The Journey Back. This is a film that explores the struggle of a woman whose addiction is hurting those who love her most. So far, it has screened at the Unity Film Festival and the Front Range Film Festival. I plan to continue to submit the film to as many local film festivals as I can. I am grateful for each opportunity I have to screen the film, because each opportunity is a way to showcase the talent of each cast and crew member that dedicated hours of hard work to the project. Without this collection of talented people, The Journey Back would not have been made and I am forever grateful to everyone involved.

Q: How do you feel about being selected to participate in Colorado Independent Women of Film?

A: I am truly honored to have my work selected with so many talented women. Honestly, I have to pinch myself every time The Journey Back is selected for a screening. This festival is special because it celebrates the women that are kicking ass in the industry.

Q: How important is it to focus on regional women filmmakers?

A: That is a big question. It is important that there is a balance between male and female filmmakers and I think festivals like this one help to restore that balance. Women have a very important voice and energy and it’s important that our community demonstrates that we value that voice and energy by providing opportunities to inspire future generations of female 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?

A: Art has the power to change lives, so I would say anyone and everyone should attend the film festival.

Q: Tell us one unique thing about you and/or your movies?

A: I am not sure how unique it is, but my creative mode is often triggered by the combination of song and nature. Red Rocks is a perfect example of how the two elements work so well together. I always create a playlist that evokes the emotion in me that I want to portray in a scene. Music is so transcending, it allows me to live in the space that I am creating on the page.

Q: What else are you working on?

A: I am currently writing a feature length film. This next film is very honest, raw and gritty and may be the most emotionally challenging piece I will ever write, but it’s a story I have to tell.

I am also working on sharpening my skills as an actress, so I am taking classes and working on other independent and student film projects when the opportunity comes.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

A: They can check me out on Facebook by searching for West of Midnight Films.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Colorado Independent Women of Film?

A: Yes, I am very grateful for this opportunity to show The Journey Back. I am excited to be surrounded by passionate, talented people and to learn from other women who are paving the way for the future generations of filmmakers.

The Journey Back will screen Saturday August 17th at 7:30pm at The Bug Theatre.