TIFF Preview: Women Directors to Watch

Festivals
by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas
September 5, 2012 2:00 PM
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Ramaa Mosley has directed many short films and music videos many artists including Creed and Five For Fighting. The Brass Teapot is her first feature.

Mosley: The Brass Teapot is a magical comedy about Alice and John, young married and broke, who upon discovering a mysterious teapot, believe that it might be the answer to all of their dreams; until the teapot's 2000 year old history, and the people who want it back, come knocking on their door.

Mosley: This is my first feature film.  I've been directing commercials and music videos, as well as a few short films, since graduating college. This film has been different from my previous work in so many ways. My past work has been short form and I've made a career out of being able to tell short stories from: 30 seconds to 5 minutes.  My commercial work falls in the docu style/ real people category and has been focused on human, authentic stories. I have striven to make the mundane, everyday lives of average people heroic. 

Mosley: I was drawn to the idea of a magical teapot and the characters that might have possessed it.  I was amazed with how many young people were seeking out the Brass Teapot short story and comic book online.  The idea of a magical teapot captures people's attention, I believe, because everyone fantasizes about winning the lottery.  When I read the story and started working on creating the comic book, I felt that the heroes journey that Alice and John go on was one that I could see as a movie.  John and Alice are average people, not particularly special at the beginning of the story. They have desires and needs that they want to fulfill, especially to get out of debt and buy nice stuff.  I think the most interesting part of the story is their journey. They have a clear arc.  Where they start off and what they believe they want is very different than where they end up and what they ultimately get.  

Mosley: I think as more female directors have stories to tell that people want to see, there will be more female directors making movies. This is a business at the end of the day and having a strong hold on the stories that people want to see is key.  I suppose the flip side is that producers and financiers need to believe in female talent. I just have a hard time believing that there are people who don't want women to succeed in the industry.  I think men and women want female filmmakers to have a shot. I personally think that when a strong director pitches their project, industry people are looking at the merit of the film, not whether they are male or female. 

What is it going to take to get the number of female directors to rise? Women need to work a little harder to understand what the market wants and what the audience wants to see. Then, I think we need to all be blind to the sex of the filmmaker and instead focus on the stories the filmmaker has to share.  If the script is good enough and the director is passionate enough - and the stars are aligned - the movie will get made.

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