Interview with Filmmaker Kate Mitchell (GOLDEN)

GOLDEN played to rave reviews at the Music & Dance Festival in August 2020.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Kate Mitchell: As a choreographer, I’d been thinking about how I could bring an audience closer to the dance and dancer(s) to experience their performance(s) in the most intimate and visceral way possible.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

About two years.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

“Passionate self-discovery”

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Scheduling! Artists and crew took on the film as a passion project, which meant they were also juggling regular gigs. There were also unexpected setbacks, including injuries, making adjustments to our calendar necessary several times.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Actually, I was quite nervous about what the reactions might be. But the viewers’ comments were so positive that I felt that the film had been validated.
In fact, I was amazed and thrilled that their focus was so wide and incisive. It was such an uplift for me!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I wanted to tell the story of a woman who rediscovers her personal power in the face of ageism and sexism. For me, it’s the end of a trilogy of works I’ve created that focus on the complexities of growing up female in America. Fashioning Women, a fashion magazine parody and live faux fashion show, addressed how what women wear defines who we are- as in, above the skin. TERRAIN, a live performance and photography project, grappled with how the terrain of aging women’s skin- a surface usually reviled -is actually reflected in the various and admired terrains of nature. Finally, GOLDEN explores the feelings within the performer- under her skin -and portrays a woman finally in harmony with all aspects of her own self.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I love The English Patient, which I’ve seen in full or in part many times. But I have to add Casablanca and Notorious to the mix!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I’ve found FilmFreeway to be an excellent platform for submissions because your project file contains almost all the information a festival needs to review your submission and communicate directly with you if you’re a selected filmmaker. I also appreciate the tracking feature of the platform which keeps all submissions and selection status in one location. Finally, any time I’ve had a question for the platform managers, FF has always responded promptly.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Although the accurate answer would be the Happy Birthday song, I offer up “I’ll Take You There” (Staple Singers)!

10. What is next for you? A new film?

It’s been a fallow time for me during quarantine. Ideas are beginning to bubble up, but I’m not sure which one will take hold of me. The next project could be a film, a collection of sculptural couture, or something I can’t envision yet!

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