Fusion Finalists Spotlight: Web Series
By Editorial Co-Heads Rachel Lambert & Siena Richardson.
Many incredible artists will be featured in this year’s Fusion Film Festival screening and competition. We reached out to the finalists from all 12 categories to get to know more about who they are, what inspires them, and how they feel about being a part of Fusion.
Film Production, MFA – Tisch School of the Arts
Class of 2014
Hometown: Troy, Michigan
Web Series: “Mr. Right”
Major in Filmmaking, MFA – Tisch School of the Arts
Web Series: “My Life in Sourdough – I’m a Man”
Major in Acting, Minors in BEMT (Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology) and Producing – Tisch School of the Arts
Class of Spring 2016
Hometown: Syosset, New York
Web Series: “My Life As Morgan”
How did you decide to become a writer/filmmaker/animator/etc.?
Joyce: I was an actress and the only parts I ever auditioned for were massage parlor workers and illegal immigrants. It was selfishness, really, because I wanted to create better roles for myself and see someone like me on screen in a complex, nuanced, completely human way.
Marie: By going to the cinema and wanting to jump in the screen.
Katherine: Coming from a family with a background in sports, I surprisingly found my love for writing and filmmaking through an introduction to theater. I knew how much I wanted to be an actor the second I got a one-line role as Angie the Ox in a middle school production of “Guys and Dolls.” This allowed me to pursue more opportunities in acting and made me become infatuated with storytelling. Back to the Future is ultimately the movie that made me fall in love with the art form when I was a kid, and it made me realize how much I not only wanted to make movies, but needed to.
What inspires you?
Joyce: I’m a very excitable person so it could really be anything. Sometimes it’s a great piece of cinema or a brave humanitarian, or sometimes I just see a pug eating a piece of cantaloupe and I’m ready to start writing and making stuff, or at least laugh really hard, which is just as important, I think.
Marie: Revolutions, farmers’ markets, bread, political chefs, daylight, Roman Holidays, and Thelma and Louise.
Katherine: I am honestly, consistently inspired by my parents. My mom and dad are such a powerful example of hard work and success. They started from the bottom in life, struggled, and never gave up on going after the things that they wanted. They constantly encourage me to be my best self and to go after my dreams. Sometimes I even feel as though they believe in me more than I believe in myself– what more can you ask for from a parent? Without their support and inspiration I would not be the artist nor the person I am today. I attribute so much of my success and happiness to them. My mom and dad are part of the reason I keep doing what I love, and for that I am forever grateful.
Why did you submit to Fusion?
Joyce: If there’s indeed a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women, Fusion is heaven. Each year, I’m so impressed by the incredible programs and panels and the wonderful community of female filmmakers and allies that Fusion fosters and celebrates.
Marie: Because Fusion Film Festival celebrates cinema and women directors.
Katherine: Fusion Film Festival is an incredible organization celebrating the work of empowering and pioneering women. My series, “My Life as Morgan,” is one that is focusing to put a spotlight on women in comedy. Throughout the years, comedy has been a genre dominated by some fantastically talented men. While we have seen such a rise and celebration of female comedians over the years, I feel as though we cannot stop and settle for only a few powerful female voices. We must continue to push the boundaries to continue having different voices heard on and off screen. I want to move past classic tropes and stereotypes put on women in comedy. The goal is for women to be seen as equals in a comedic world. The producers, directors, writers, and leads of this series are women. We submitted to Fusion because it celebrates the very idea that this story and project was built on.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
Joyce: I’m double-jointed in both arms and legs and was runner-up in my sixth grade spelling bee.
Katherine: “My Life as Morgan” is a webseries that is intended to be eventually produced as a television series. We currently have two episodes on YouTube, with our third episode premiering at 10:00 pm on Monday, February 29th. The producers of this project are myself, Grace Gao, and Sahar Helmy. The director of episodes one and two are Madeline Mahoney and the director of episodes three and four are Pati Amoroso. I am so grateful this show has been given such a distinguished honor to be a part of this extraordinary festival this year. I am so thankful to be working with an incredible team, without whom I could not have put together such an incredible and fun project. Thank you!
The screening of Fusion Film Festival finalists and the awards ceremony will take place at 6:30pm at Cantor Film Center on Saturday, March 5th.