Could you talk about the impact and influence that women have in documentary filmmaking? How have women affected the field of documentary filmmaking?
I think that it’s important to hear the different voices and stories. That’s what I believe the power of documentary is - to get stories told and get voices heard that might not have ordinarily been heard or seen and to hear various perspectives.
How do you want students to engage with your films, to take from these films (Romeo, Romeo & Sunset Story)?
Romeo, Romeo could be part of curricula in Social Work School, in Nursing School, Medical School; if there’s curriculum about fertility and also in LGBT curricula. We want viewers to take away a sense of what others are going through, a sense of not being alone in their struggle to create a family, what ever that may end up looking like for them. And for students not looking to create a family at this time in their lives, I’d hope they’d gain understanding and compassion for the issues that arise for all couples (LGBT or straight) going through this.
How do you think Romeo addresses the needs of the LGBT community?
One of the things that I really love about the film is that they are just a couple - their being a lesbian couple is just part of the fabric of what you see and there’s not really commentary about their sexuality per se.
What motivates you in your choices of subjects for your documentaries?
The important thing is that I connect with a character that is compelling and a story that is moving and needs to be told. I am not genre or subject driven. I respond to something, fall in love with it and then I feel that I have to push that rock up the mountain.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a documentary called The Last Go Round about a friendship between an aging hippie civil rights activist and the filmmaker and what happens when the subject tells him that he is going to end his life. And I’m working on two feature films, fiction films. One called Uncle Jack, which is a family comedy that also deals with some gay themes and a feature called Snowball, which tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a lawyer and his Guantanamo detainee client.