1) Why did you decide to get into this industry?
I’m a Third Culture Kid, born in Paris to Turkish and Italian parents, but raised in NYC, and now living in London. Through feelings of displacement and lack of a consistent home growing up, I’ve found solace in other people’s narratives. Through creating films often related to family life, I can give meaning to lonely situations, and connect more deeply with the big, wide world.
2) What’s a defining moment in your life?
After NYU film school, I decided to leave New York City & good job prospects behind. This was to pursue studies for myself, rather than for my career, in the UK. Through these years when I was rebuilding myself, my person, I was able to come back to directing with a more focused and wholesome approach. I still wonder today whether not taking the obvious path will pay off, as returning to film presented real challenges that I’m still grappling with today. But, as an adult I feel good inside and I believe this strength will guide me moving forward.
3) What is your biggest concern with the future?
My biggest concern is that the creative fuel I have in me dies down as new priorities and responsibilities in life arise. I am concerned that if I don’t put my career first – at all costs – I will not make it as a director, but I would like to think that arriving to a directing career does not mean having to give up a personal life. Are good film careers only reserved to those know play the game right? Or have connections? Or dismiss the work-life balance? Or think selfishly about their success? These are questions that I wonder as I navigate my own path.
4) What is a successful moment in your career so far?
One important moment was hustling to be chosen as the camera assistant on Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Birdman”, where I learned immense amounts from the cinematographer. It wasn’t so much successful as it was a rich experience. I developed a wealth of knowledge on the art of cinema, being a good collaborator, and what drives you creatively, which I took with me on the journey of directing my first feature film.
5) What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
Think of your filmmaking path in the long term. We are not in a straight “climbing the ladder” job setting, but rather in a deeply personal and intuitive career, where twists and turns define your next steps. We never “arrive” to be content, and always strive for more. So, trust yourself, embrace the unexpected, and make things that feel right for you. It’s not a race, and it’s okay to take your time.
6) What, if anything, do you collect?
Since moving to the UK, I don’t have all of my books with me, they are in storage in NYC. But I used to collect books, and more specifically the same book: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Each time I saw the book in a new cover, I would buy it. I loved looking at my Kundera shelf, and reading passages that I highlighted in different editions. I can’t wait to rediscover them one day. Reading, really, was my path into filmmaking.
7) What are you working on next? In addition, if people want to find out more about you, where can they find you on social media?
My first feature film, Beautiful in the Morning, is about to world premiere and open LA Femme International Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 17th at Regal LA Live, 6pm. Following this it is premiering in the UK, in collaboration with Hackney Picturehouse, on 30th October and 7th November, 7pm. You can buy tickets for London screenings at www.caritasfilms.com/bitm. It’s a coming-of-age drama about Marielle, a girl who reconnects with the women in her family by a British seaside town, only to find her loyalties tested by the arrival of a sexy yet mysterious stranger. The film, which exposes the inner desires and contradictions that women face today, has won 3 Awards (Best UK Actor for Jack Loy, Best UK Actress for Janine Birkett, Best Supporting Actor for Mark Wingett) and earned another 3 Nominations (Best Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Music). We are currently seeking distribution.
Twitter & IG: @caritas_films