Artist, Animator, Filmmaker
Top 3 films of all time:
Kids, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Moonlight
How did you first get into filmmaking?
My work has always been in storytelling. My foundation is traditional painting and drawing and that process of telling a story in a still image means your framing and composition needs to be dynamic and represent the crux of the story. While studying illustration in college, that classroom setting temporarily caused me to lose the spark and passion for it. During that period of feeling directionless, I thought back on what I loved doing creatively as a kid besides illustrations and remembered the shoebox dioramas I used to make and my love of creating beyond the paper. I figured I’d be more well-rounded if I learned the technical side of film to better hone my different creative talents. While in school I also worked as an Illustrator’s Assistant for a small animation studio, giving me my first lessons in animation. All those experiences helped to build the intersection I’m in now in the arts, animation and filmmaking.
"I figured I’d be more well-rounded if I learned the technical side of film to better hone my different creative talents."
"As a queer, genderqueer first generation American of Haitian descent, seeking and finding folks who relate to my intersections has helped in my belonging."
What was one of your favorite filmmaking/creative moments you are most proud of that stuck with you?
I can’t think of any one thing, but I think it’s when I’m trial and error-ing an idea or visual and pushing myself rather than phoning it in.
The heart of the Film Pin Society is community and camaraderie. Can you talk a little about that as it relates to your identity and the LGBTQ+ community?
I think we all know it’s important to have community. We’re currently in such a privileged time where finding it as it relates to your identities is more accessible than it’s been. As a queer, genderqueer first generation American of Haitian descent, seeking and finding folks who relate to my intersections has helped in my belonging. I get to know folks who understand how work politics are different, self-worth feels different, the business of filmmaking is different due to the lens we see it from and how to build each other up.
"Find the community that resonates with your identities. "
What LGBTQ+ filmmaker or creator should we follow?
I’m really excited to see what’s next for Bilal Baig, co-creator and star of the show, Sort Of. We’re still building more non-binary representation on-screen, but what also resonated with me was the show’s depiction of a queer person wrestling with who they are and their relationship with their immigrant family and those two cultures. It’s those nuances and complexities that already exist and is told so honestly that speaks to me.
What is the best advice you would give to an LGBTQ+ person looking to get into your field?
It’s nothing that hasn’t been said before: Internally, learn who you are, sit and reflect on what you’ve experienced, observe who you surround yourself with and why, and what makes you tick because from there you get to know what stories you want to tell and be attached to. And above all, lean into your intuition. Externally, be persistent and be scrappy. Find the community that resonates with your identities, for me that has meant finding Facebook groups and Slack communities online, as well as going to meetups to get to know fellow creatives. Keep connections, be visible in these spaces, and check job boards pretty consistently. If you’re always checking in with yourself, you’ll learn what parts of filmmaking you enjoy - it may not be just one thing which makes for more opportunities for you.
What pin from our collection speaks to you and why?
The Director’s Chair Enamel Pin for sure. Because it signifies the intent I have for myself for upcoming projects. More self-initiated short films, animations and more docs.
How can we learn more about you?