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The Other 50% - a herstory of hollywood
57 minutes | 4 months ago
EP 220: Donna: Stronger than Pretty
This episode is very special and very bittersweet. You may remember when I spoke with Jaret Martino and Pat Branch when they made the short called Stronger than Pretty. Well, they are back because the feature film version, Donna: Stronger than Pretty is about to have its worldwide release on February 23rd, after a great festival run. I also had the honor to talk to Donna Martino herself, Jaret’s mom, who’s story the film tells. We recorded this last February on the weekend of its festival premiere, where it won basically all the awards. It was impossible to know at the time that Donna would be diagnosed with cancer very shortly afterward, and she passed away on September 3rd of 2020. As you will hear, Donna was a remarkable woman and mother and Jaret’s tribute to her in the form of this film will inspire you, as it has inspired me. Pat and Jaret co-wrote the script, and Jaret directed it. I start out talking with Jaret and Donna, and Pat joins later on, fresh from an awards ceremony where she was collecting all the trophies. I’m so happy for them for the success of this film and what a beautiful tribute it is to Donna and her story of strength and perseverance.
63 minutes | 5 months ago
EP 219 Sista Brunch
For this episode, I got to meet the brilliant hosts of the Sista Brunch podcast. Sista Brunch is a podcast about black women+ thriving in entertainment & media careers. My two guests are Fanshen Cox and Anya Adams. Fanshen is an Award-winning playwright, actor, producer & educator She just wrapped up seven years of touring her one-woman show: One Drop of Love and she is also a Producer and Development Executive at Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films. She serves on the board of The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and on the Kennedy Center’s Turnaround Arts Equity Advisory Committee. And Fanshen is also a co-author of the Inclusion Rider which was announced at the 2018 Oscar awards by Frances McDormand. Anya Adams is an award-winning director, most recently taking home the NAACP Image Award for Best Director in Comedy for 2020. Anya’s career skyrocketed after directing an episode of Blackish in 2017. Since then she has gone on to direct the Netflix pilot Ginny and Georgia, episodes of The Good Place, Single Parents, G.L.O.W., Charmed, Fresh off the Boat, Speechless and many more. This is juicy, and it is real talk. The f-bombs fly. You’ve been warned. And go subscribe to Sista Brunch. Although I don’t even need to tell you that. You are about to fall in love.
55 minutes | 5 months ago
EP 218 Sienna Beckman
Today I got to speak with Sienna Beckman from all the way across the pond. Sienna is the Co-founder & Creative Director of Emergence Films (based in London & LA). Living and working in Los Angeles for 10 years, Sienna has produced for NBC Universal, Scott Free Productions, Verizon go90, Fullscreen Media, Esquire TV, Refinery29, Prettybird Entertainment, and Disney’s Maker Studios, among others. Emergence Films is a film and television development and production company dedicated to championing female filmmakers and committed to creating more opportunities for underrepresented voices in storytelling around the world. In addition to producing, Sienna is an active member of Women in Film & TV UK and Times Up UK, and she hosts a speed-networking event series with WFTV to promote the hiring of more female crew members, creatives, and technicians. We talked all about her finding her place in London and growing her company.
46 minutes | 5 months ago
EP 217 Sujata Day
Today, I got to catch up with previous guest, Sujata Day. With her infectious personality and unique sense of humor, Pittsburgh native Sujata Day has firmly established herself in Hollywood as a performer, creator, writer, and director. She regularly performs in Upright Citizen Brigade's hit Asian AF show. Sujata is known for her starring role as CeCe in Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. She's recurred for three seasons on HBO's Insecure. Sujata is a Sundance Lab fellow, Sundance Film Festival influencer, and Sundance Collab advisor. Her short film, Cowboy and Indian, sold to a major studio for series development with Sujata writing, producing and starring. She served as HBO Visionaries Ambassador in 2019. She directs This Is My Story, a series in which beloved storyteller LeVar Burton narrates real life personal experiences of everyday racism. Sujata's debut feature film, Definition Please, is currently screening on the virtual film festival circuit, starting with its World Premiere at Bentonville Film Festival in August 2020.
36 minutes | 6 months ago
EP 216 Cecilia Escobar
For this episode, I sat with Cecilia Escobar, Founder and President of Smart Accounting Solutions. With more than 30 years of Entertainment Payroll and Accounting Expertise Cecilia has held executive and senior management roles for multiple entertainment payroll companies like Media Services and Axium, and most recently, she was the Vice President of Payroll Operations at Entertainment Partners. In between these positions, she freelanced as a payroll and production accountant on major motion pictures and studios for over 18 years. Cecilia is a Multi-Cultural Client Business Partner, leading efforts for Multi-Cultural Diversity in the Industry. She has hosted many Diversity Client events as well as sponsorships to Diversity Production Summits and Trade Shows. One of her latest pet-projects is bridging Latin American Film Productions with their US counterparts. Cecilia is currently a member of multiple entertainment industry associations including N.A.L.I.P., Women In Film, and Hispanic Professionals. She has just started a non-profit called Sandbar Sanctuary – a Horse Rescue and Equine Therapy for Abused Women. With her love of horses, she hopes to help women bond and find a way to heal through therapeutic equine experiences.
55 minutes | 6 months ago
EP 215 Kim Gruenenfelder
For this episode I got to catch up with my friend Kim Gruenenfelder. You may remember her from the podcast when her book, Hangovers and Hotflashes came out. Well she has a brand-new book that I have bought and will be reading over Thanksgiving called, My Ex’s Wedding. I was a fan of Kim’s long before I ever met her, so this is a real treat for me. And also, she’s hilarious. Some of her other titles include A Total Waste of Makeup, Misery Loves Cabernet, There’s Cake in My Future, Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink, and Love the Wine You’re With. I mean, come on. Give yourself a treat. Heads up, our kids went to high school together so we may refer to them a bit as they are both navigating college online.
63 minutes | 6 months ago
EP 214 Jennifer Aurianne Dare
Jennifer Aurianne DaRe is the founder and CEO of ATN Entertainment, a premiere talent management company in Los Angeles that specializes in the representation of artists in entertainment from film, television, music, literature and more. Since founding ATN in 2015, she has grown the roster to over 100 clients under her leadership, including a strong presence of women and the LGBTQ community. Now in her fifth year of running the company, DaRe’s tenure has resulted in tremendous success with previously unknown clients achieving acclaim. Her accomplishments led to the launch of the production and development division of the company, ATN Productions. The debut project for the banner will be a TV adaptation of the YouTube comedy series “PANIC,” which is slated for release in Q2 of 2021. Prior to the founding of ATN Entertainment, DaRe was an executive vice president at a then reputable management company that she transitioned to from her time as an independent music manager for bands, record producers and solo artists. Her music connections developed as the singer and manager of the successful folk-rock band, The Extinct. For 12 years, The Extinct shared stages with artists such as Stone Temple Pilots, No Doubt, Incubus, Maroon 5 (Kara’s Flowers), Alien Ant Farm as well as many other successful acts of the 90’s. Jennifer was also sole producer and curator of The ATN Showcase from 2005 - 2013 that featured musical artists from all over the globe at the SXSW music festival. It was the largest and longest-running independent showcase in SXSW history at the time. Jennifer’s experience, expertise and work ethic make her one of the most respected and sought after talent managers in the business, and after hearing this, you will know why.
46 minutes | 6 months ago
EP 213 Finnerty Steeves
For this episode I got to sit with Finnerty Steeves. Now, you know Finnerty as an actor from the shows, Orange is the New Black, Half Life, Louie, House of Cards, Smash, Sopranos – basically everything, including a lot of Broadway credits. What you may not yet know is that she just wrote, produced and starred in her own feature film called Before/During/After. This sharp-witted dramedy studies a middle-aged NYC theatre actress suddenly forced to figure out the kind of person she wants to portray in real life when her marriage comes to an end after she catches her husband cheating. We had a delicious talk about acting, the craft, the journey of making a movie and of going through one of those life experiences that really makes you who you are.
56 minutes | 7 months ago
EP 212 Chloë Thomas
For this episode, I spoke with BAFTA and RTS nominated Chloë Thomas who is in the UK and most recently directed all episodes of the psychological thriller The Deceived, created by Lisa McGee of Derry Girls fame and Tobias Beer. Just before that Chloë directed episodes of Harlots and Victoria and she is attached to direct the feature film Making Babies - a rom-fertility-com by Deborah Frances-White, with Redwave Films. Previously, Chloë was known for comedy directing; Sharon Horgan’s early sitcom Angelo's, followed by being BAFTA nominated for directing the first ever series of Horrible Histories. Chloë also develops her own pilots through her company One Glove Films. We had a good chat about directing, both as a woman and an introvert, and exploring new models of power.
47 minutes | 7 months ago
EP 211 Austin School of Film
For this episode, I got to meet Faiza Kracheni and Carrie Cates of Austin School of Film, which for nearly two decades has provided alternative education programs and workshops for all ages interested in the arts & film. Faiza Kracheni is the Programs & Education Director, and Carrie Cates is the Artist & Community Director. These women have taken their passion for filmmaking and created a completely accessible space for a growing community of creators, breaking down barriers inherent in our society. They launched their newest program Play At Home as a direct response to the ongoing pandemic. Play At Home is an online/offline interactive experience featuring live workshops, events, screenings, and talks by artists and filmmakers from around the globe. Since the launch of Play At Home in April 2020, it has hosted 40 workshops and events with over 900 participants in 14+ countries.
44 minutes | 7 months ago
EP210 Kelli Miller
Kelli is the co-founder of creative studio And/Or, and has worked in motion design and branding for 15 years with brands like MTV, Netflix, and Amazon. She is a graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art and has taught and lectured at the College for Creative Studies, Pratt, NYU, SVA, Yale, and RISD. Kelli has directed show titles for FX, HBO and Paramount’s Lip Sync Battle, as well as designing title sequences for a number of films and documentaries including The Assistant, Certain Women and critically acclaimed drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always.
44 minutes | 7 months ago
EP 209 The Wolf of Snow Hollow
For this episode, I spoke with a producer and two stars of Jim Cummings’ much anticipated new film The Wolf of Snow Hollow, which opens October 9th in theatres around the country and streaming in the comfort of your living room. Natalie Metzger, whom you will remember from an earlier episode of this podcast, Produced this movie under her shingle Vanishing Angle where she also produced Jim Cummings’ Thunder Road that won the SXSW Grand Jury Award along with about a million other awards. Riki Lindhome plays Officer Julia Robson in the film. You may also know her from Duncanville, Knives Out, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and the comedy musical duo Garfunkel and Oates, just to name a few. And finally, we also have Chloe East who played the role of Jenna Marshall in the film. Chloe made her TV debut in True Blood, playing Sheriff Andy’s daughter. Lately, she has been shooting Generation for HBO, Next Level, and Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. Natalie, Riki and Chloe joined me from three different locations in this time of covid, so the audio is what it is, but have a listen to what it takes to actually make a film in tricky conditions, and how it is to work with Jim Cummings, then go out or order in and see this film tomorrow.
40 minutes | 7 months ago
EP 208 Stephanie Sanditz
Stephanie Sanditz is a writer, director, actress and producer from BROKEN HEART, MO - the name of her feature screenplay that won a Tribeca Film Festival All Access Award for New Voices in Screenwriting. She recently optioned feature film DANCE PARTY, a body-positive dance comedy she co-wrote, with Queen Latifah set to star. Recently, Stephanie wrote, starred and produced her pilot, THE HIGH LIFE pilot, starring opposite Amy Landecker, Linda Purl, Ron Perkins and Jesse Garcia then won BEST PILOT and BEST ACTRESS in the IMDB Independent Shorts festival, and the We Make Movies International and Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festivals and Dances With Films. She has just been hired to adapt an edgy female boxing feature, the PERFECT ADDICTION, with Constantin Films. As an actress she is currently co-starring in 37 PROBLEMS, which you may remember from when I interviewed the writer Lisa Ebersole. It was just bought by Amazon Prime, Xfiniti, and Elizabeth Banks, Whohaha, and was accepted in the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival New Media category. She has her hands in too many things to even list here, but a quick google search will lead you to many articles about her work. Stephanie is prolific and busy, adapting to quarantine, and made some time to talk to me.
35 minutes | 7 months ago
EP 207 Deborah Sullivan
As The-Artery’s Managing Director and Executive Producer, Deborah Sullivan channels her extensive background in advertising, production, design, and visual effects into each and every project that she brings to life. Formerly at DDB New York, FCB New York, Berlin Cameron & Partners, RadicalMedia, as well as PeepShow Post Productions (to name a few), her global body of work spans throughout feature films, television programs, commercials/branded content, and music videos. Since joining The-Artery and helping to lead their team of artists, Deborah has partnered with some of the world’s leading brands including Pepsi, Under Armour, Verizon, Skyworth, AppGallery, Johnnie Walker, Mercedes-Benz, Stella Artois, and more. She has also garnered an impressive roster of accolades across the Cannes Lions, Effie, Clio, AICE, AICP, D&AD, and The London International Awards.
47 minutes | 8 months ago
EP 206 Prathi Srinivasan
For this episode, I spoke with Prathi Srinivasan. Prathi is a talented writer and actress, known for “iZombie,” “A Girl's Guide to Her Early 20s,” and “Wasted.” As an immigrant who grew up in the bustling city of Chennai, India, moving to America was a culture shock for Prathi that resulted in her passion for characters who are stuck between where they come from and where they are going. She is the co-creator of “Bollyweird” as both an immigrant story and as a complex and rich LGBTQ story, and, alongside frequent writing partner Joshua Levy, their credits include “Titans” (DCUniverse/Netflix), “iZombie” (CW), and the HBO pilot presentation “F**ked Up” (HBOGO, HBONOW). She graduated with a B.A. in literature from The University of Texas at Dallas, and she now resides in sunny California. Despite that, we still recorded this remotely, because pandemic.
81 minutes | 8 months ago
EP 205 Michelle Amor
Michelle Amor is a screenwriter and professor and last year she sold her show called THE HONORABLE to CBS. A one-hour drama about the city’s third elected Black mayor, a family woman of integrity, and a novice to politics, who rises from childhood poverty to the most powerful seat in the most politically corrupt city in the nation. Her other credits include PLAYIN’ FOR LOVE, OF BOYS & MEN, and TUPAC SHAKUR: BEFORE I WAKE, and this was all before finishing her degree. She is also a passionate Clinical Assistant Professor of screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University, and she was honored in Variety’s Entertainment Education Impact Issue as a “top educator around the world”. She is also serving her fourth elected term as co-chair of the Committee of Black Writers in the WGA, whose mission is to empower, increase visibility, and create career and networking opportunities for Black writers in Hollywood. In June 2020, Michelle penned an open letter titled Dear Hollywood addressing systemic racism that went viral. We will talk about that too. We talk all about her decision to move west to pursue her dream, raising a family while doing it, and what it means to be black in Hollywood and how the system needs to change.
57 minutes | 8 months ago
EP 204 Dr. Nidhi Gupta
For this episode, I spoke with Dr. Nidhi Gupta. Nidhi is a medical doctor with England’s NHS service and a filmmaker. After working in the covid unit, she contracted covid herself and she is still recovering. At the same time, she is a filmmaker and is directing a documentary for which she is currently crowdfunding with the backing of funding platform Greenlit, which will examine the history of pandemics in interviews with scholars, activists and political figures. You have a few more days to contribute so go https://greenlit.fund/project/start-stop-repeat and chip in.
57 minutes | 8 months ago
EP 203 Sonya JF Barnett
For this episode, sat down with Sonya JF Barnett, Canada’s only IPA-Certified Intimacy Coordinator. Sonya has been working in the field of sexuality for over ten years. She founded Toronto’s esteemed Keyhole Sessions as a safe and welcoming community for artists to experience the union between sex and art. In early 2011, she co-founded SlutWalk as a way to combat victim-blaming and sexual profiling, for which she was named one of UTNE Reader’s Top Visionaries. She recently completed a specialist degree in Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, with a focus on sex therapy. She is also a feminist erotic filmmaker, with her short films touring world festivals and each winning multiple awards. A certified sexual health educator, Sonya is also part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and is kink-friendly. She is currently working as the intimacy coordinator on Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming feature film Nightmare Alley and SEE (Season 2) for Apple TV+. I met Sonya on the live series Catch a Break podcast produced with GreenSlate called The Way Back where we talked about getting back to production in the time of Covid. You can see that series at Catchabreakpodcast.com or gslate.com. It is worth the watch or listen. As you might suspect, we are going to be having a grown up talk about sex and sex education and some porn and you can decide whether or not to listen in your car if your kids are there. But, here’s your warning. Also, a pre-emptive correction, I referenced a piece Dan Savage gave talking about porn and the internet, but I called him Fred Savage. To my knowledge, Fred Savage hasn’t talked about porn on the internet publicly. Although we might be interested in what he has to say about it, that was a mistake. It was Dan Savage. And in a wonderful full circle moment, Sonya talked about how hearing Amanda Blumenthal on this podcast, led her to seek her out and take her training. I love it when a plan comes together and this world is made a little smaller and more connected.
54 minutes | 8 months ago
EP 202 Felischa Marye
For this episode, I got to meet Felischa Marye, a graduate of the MFA screenwriting program at UCLA, who transitioned into the film industry after a successful career in public relations/integrated marketing in Chicago, where she was born and raised. While still in film school, she sold her first comedy pilot to HBO. She most recently created and produced a raunchy friends comedy series, set in Atlanta, called “Bigger,” for BET’s new streaming service, BET+, with Will Packer producing. Bigger Season 2 is currently in development. Felischa also wrote on two seasons of the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” Felischa currently resides in Los Angeles, and is proud to have made LA her home, largely because of Chicago’s whether and its indiscriminate cruelty.
55 minutes | 9 months ago
EP 201 Lesli Linka Glatter
For this episode, I was lucky enough to meet Lesli Linka Glatter. Lesli is a director of film, network, and premium cable television drama, with both pilots and episodes to her credit. Lesli’s TV work includes Homeland, The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, Justified, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, True Blood, Mad Men, The Leftovers, The Good Wife, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, ER, Freaks and Geeks and Twin Peaks. Lesli has also directed numerous pilots including Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars and SIX. Her films include Now and Then, The Proposition and for HBO, State of Emergency. Lesli is currently the Executive Producer/Director of the award winning series Homeland. Lesli has received eight Emmy nominations, seven Directors Guild Award nominations, winning twice for Mad Men and Homeland, as well as a Humanitas Award nomination for HBO’s State of Emergency. Lesli is currently developing projects for Netflix, Amazon, Showtime, Epix and her next project is The Bankers Wife , an eight-part mini series for Amazon. Lesli serves as the First Vice President of the Directors Guild of America, is on the DGA’s Western Directors Council, serves on the Executive Committee of the Directors Branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is also an advisor at the Sundance Institute’s Director’s Lab. Lesli has been committed to mentoring for many years and most recently help develop the successful NBC program, Female Forward. Lesli has received the Caucus Foundation Award, the Dorothy Arzner Directing Award from Women in Film and the Franklin Schaffner Award from the American Film Institute and most recently, an Honorary Degree from the American Film Institute. Prior to her work as a director, Lesli was a modern dance choreographer who worked throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S.
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