Title: Steel Beings
Date: Friday, April 18
Time: 5 pm
Place: Nickelodeon Theatre
1.What is your connection to the South?
I was born and raised on a small farm in central Kentucky. My parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents—as far back as we know, have always lived in the area. In 2009 I moved to New York to attend Sarah Lawrence College, and then I moved back to Kentucky when I graduated in 2013.
2. Where did you get your inspiration for this work?
It was during college that I began making films as independent projects. Because I was initially very homesick for my family and hometown, I began focusing on Kentucky as the subject matter of my work. I began filming “Steel Beings” when I came home for winter break my senior year of college. There were a few films I had studied and really admired, “Junebug”, “Winter’s Bone”, and “A Separation”. The themes and styles of these films really resonated with me, and reminded me of what was happening within my own family. I knew my grandfather wasn’t going to be alive much longer, and I wanted to tell a part of my family’s story.
3. How did you start making films?
When I was little I was always making films—forcing my dog (the same one that appears in my films today) to take part. However, it was my first semester of college when I started seriously thinking about being a filmmaker. After taking an experimental film course I decided that the type of films I loved to make resided somewhere between the realm of experimental and documentary. Also after studying oral history, I became interested in exploring oral history’s relationship to the documentary form and aesthetic.
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
This film is particularly close to my heart because it allowed my family to talk about the things that no one had previously talked about. And because of this, my father was able to come to terms with his childhood and his past. Before my grandfather passed away they had resolved their differences. My father came to understand his father, and I also came to see my dad in a way I never had before.
Oh and my dog, Princess, singed her whiskers while biting the fire!
5. What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?
This is the first time any of my films has been accepted into a film festival, so I am beside myself excited. I have also never been to a film festival so I plan to go to as many events as I can because this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t wait to meet other filmmakers and spend a week completely immersed in film and southern culture! I’m also excited to explore South Carolina!
6. Why should someone see your film?
My film is one that can resonate with anyone. It unites disparate worlds—worlds of past and present, of young and old, of ignorance and insight, of resentment and reconciliation, of confinement of freedom.