A BRIGHTER LENS is a podcast, hosted by Jennifer Zahlit and Larkin Bell, that aims to spotlight women, trans, and non-binary folx in film at different stages in their careers through thoughtful discussion. By holding a space for underrepresented creators to share their knowledge, experience, and creative inspiration, we hope to make the process of filmmaking more accessible and cultivate a community dedicated to collaboration and support in the film industry.
JESSIE BARR & Sophie Jones
This week, we check in with Jessie Barr, director of SOPHIE JONES. We talked to Jessie at the beginning of the pandemic and wanted to chat with her again now that her film is out in the world. The film tells the story of a teen who [ushes the boundaries of her newfound sexual awakening as she copes with the recent loss of her mother. Jessie discusses the distribution journey during a pandemic and what she’s looking forward to in 2021 (hint: lots of space to daydream). The film is now available on VOD. After our check-in, we re-air our first conversation with Jessie, who talks more about the process of making the film.
AMY WILLIAMS & The Wilds
This week we chat with Emmy award-winning production designer, Amy Williams. Amy has worked on over 40 films, including a number of Sundance selections, in addition to several TV shows. She won an Emmy for her scenic design work on A Crime To Remember, and some of her other work includes Master of None season 2, HBO’s Crashing, and the Apple+ series Little America. We chat specifically about Amy’s recent work on Amazon Prime’s new series, The Wilds. Enjoy!
ASHLEY O'SHAY and MORGAN JOHNSON & Unapologetic
This week, we chat with director Ashley O’Shay and producer Morgan Johnson about their film Unapologetic. They talked about collaborating, their love for Chicago, and why this doc following two fierce abolitionist leaders coming of age within the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago is a timely watch. The film most recently screened at TIFF Next Wave Festival and will be playing at the Black Lesbian Film Festival and Big Sky Documentary Film Festival this weekend. Check out unapologeticflm.com to see where you can watch. Enjoy our conversation!
GILLIAN WALLACE HORVAT & I Blame Society
This week, we chat with Gillian Wallace Horvat, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, writer, and film programmer about her new film I BLAME SOCIETY. I BLAME SOCIETY is Gillian’s feature film debut; previous projects include KISS KISS FINGERBANG, which was awarded the Jury Prize in the Midnight Shorts category at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival, and a Vimeo Staff Pick. She has also produced several documentaries and is a guest columnist for Filmmaker magazine. I BLAME SOCIETY is available to watch on demand February 12!
BEANDREA JULY & Sundance 2021 Roundup
It's a Sundance tradition! We welcome back friend of the pod + film critic Beandrea July to chat with us about her Sundance Film Festival 2021 virtual experience and her favorite films.
Beandrea July (@beandreadotcom) is a freelance film critic based in Los Angeles who works in print and audio. Her work has appeared in several publications including Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Time, The Hollywood Reporter, Hyperallergic, Level and NPR. She has also been a guest on the NPR shows 1A and The Takeaway as well as KPCC SoCal’s The Frame. Of the nine films that Sidney Poitier has directed the eighth one is still a favorite.
AMEY RENÉ & Marvelous and the Black Hole
Happy (virtual) Sundance Film Festival! We're warching films from our living rooms all week and bringing you interviews with Sundance filmmakers.
We chatted with a favorite past guest, Amey René, casting director of MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE, directed by Kate Tsang. She tells us about the casting process for the film and what special skills she brought to the table for this project!
MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Sammy is struggling to cope with the death of her mother. After she is caught vandalizing one of her school’s restrooms, her father, fed up with her wild behavior, enrolls her in a summer course—if she fails, she’ll be sent to a boot camp for delinquent youth. After storming out of her first class, Sammy meets Margot, a surly magician. Margot forces Sammy to be her assistant for a performance, and although Sammy seems uninterested, she seeks Margot out after the show and asks to become Margot’s pupil. Margot agrees, and as their unlikely friendship grows, we learn that she and Sammy understand each other more than they expected.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Such an inspiration
Love it! I am a student doing filmmaking in the UK and the amount of knowledge and inspiration is just beyond my expectations. Please keep doing what you are doing because the industry definitely needs more female voices.