Last week, I was granted the wonderful opportunity to volunteer as a KCFF Film Ambassador for the 21st Kansas City Film Fest. This experience allowed me to meet several inspiring filmmakers as well as view their phenomenal work.
The Women Making Movies Panel, composed of guest speakers Nnegest Likké (Director: Everything But a Man), Deborah Dion (Casting Director: The Scent of Raining and Lightning), and Morgan Dameron (Director: Different Flowers), encouraged conversations regarding some of the difficulties one encounters as a woman in the industry. From this event, the panel of female filmmakers offered these notable pieces of advice:
Make your own opportunities: Don’t wait for work, just keep creating
Know what you want to say; Know how to articulate it
Allow actors to evolve the script
Maintain authenticity: This is what makes film magical
Don’t compare your work to others: Make your film your own
After the panel, I was able to speak more with Morgan Dameron, her co-producer, Alisa Naso, and her script supervisor, Dana Naso. They are the friendliest people you could meet! As a discouraged film studies graduate, they all offered me encouraging advice to kickstart my career regarding graduate school, extension courses, and moving to a better filmmaking community. Following this inspiring discussion, I finally began developing a short documentary for a summer project and found the courage to apply for a film grant. I am so thankful to have my creative motivation back. I also had the opportunity to speak with Shan Jabara of the Tallgrass Film Festival. This film festival is now offering a women-driven documentary competition called “DoXX Spotlight” for this year’s event. So for all you fellow female documentary filmmakers, you must submit!
As a KCFF Film Ambassador, I assisted Morgan Dameron throughout the day for the Kansas City premiere of her film, Different Flowers. Morgan is a Kansas City native, who last summer directed her first full-length feature in the area. The film illustrates (with gorgeous cinematography) the wonderful bond of sisterhood and finding the courage to choose your own path in life. Dameron’s witty and authentic script created a genuine familiarity with characters you just met. If Different Flowers is screening at a film festival in your area, you need to see it!