I returned to South Dakota in May. Found a dreamy apartment nestled above a used book store in a corner of the city. For a few months now, until my lease runs out, I can still hop in the car and visit with my siblings out in the country.
I’ve already been on a photography binge, taking in the beauty of the summer landscape. I secured a small writing gig, and today I got word that I am going to receive a small grant I applied for a few weeks ago.
The grant is the big news in this post. I was uneasy about applying for it because of course there is that monster within telling me I’m not good enough, clever enough, talented enough to consider myself an artist.
Fuck that monster.
I applied and I got the grant.
A government agency has recognized me as an artist.
I had the pleasure of attending a free session associated with the Florida Film Festival 2017 #FFF2017 taking place this week in Orlando.
Titled, “Indie Women: Grab’em by the Movies,” the panel included Jennifer Brea (Unrest), Dorie Barton (Girl Flu.), Julie Sokolow (Woman on Fire), and Valerie Weiss (The Archer). It was moderated by Anne Russell, Program Director—Film Production MFA from Full Sail University.
It was terrific listening to these filmmakers. It occurred to me that they all shared one common characteristic regardless of their experience or genre: confidence.* They all shared the will to pursue creating a film they cared about, regardless of the professional cost. I’m sure you could say the same for male directors, but after listening to the alarming stats– 5% of Hollywood film directors are female; only 20% of Indie film directors are female– you can see how it’s more laudable that these women pursued their art and are achieving recognition in a heavily male-dominated field.
One quote particularly spoke to me from Jennifer Brea:
Awesome: “When making art, only two questions: 1. What is my intention? 2. How close did I get to achieving my vision?” – J. Brea FFF2017 pic.twitter.com/le3fbRbvCy
Over the past two years, my two male partners and I have had some rocky ups and downs while bringing our film High Point 10-79 to life. But, in the end, we consistently focused on what we were out to achieve. When we show people the film preview, we always get the response we were after. I know that feeling of satisfaction she is talking about in this remark.
There is no other medium like film to stir one’s soul in ways that need to be stirred. I’m really looking forward to finishing our film. It will be a powerful piece of storytelling that stands to ignite a movement. Stay tuned.
*This phrase was always meant to be a catty put-down when I was in high school. But, I always liked it. I’ve always found if a girl has a lot of confidence, that’s about all she needs.