Interview with Filmmaker Monique Lola Berkley (I HATE THIS FKN JOB)

I HATE THIS FKN JOB played to rave reviews at the November 2020 FEEDBACK Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was motivated to make this film as a challenge to myself. As the film somewhat depicts pieces of my life I began to really take note that I wasn’t alone. I’d witness the disrespect of women of color throughout various business environments. It’s never cool and it was happening to me and I just decided to write about it and go the extra step and try filming it. I have a background in performing arts and so I am knowledgeable about producing a project. The challenge for me was getting actors/crew involved then securing locations and of course having the funds to pull it off.

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

The idea was born during the fall of 2017. I began to write the short and we began production in March of 2018. Post production was probably the biggest challenge but we got through during late fall of 2019.

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

Social comedy

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

The post period was the most difficult unit to this short film. There were constant actor requests, hard drive issues, editing problems, personal and financial matters. I have a running joke that I’d like to share…”If you want to know who is really 100% in your corner…just make a film. I guarantee everyone you thought would support you (not financially) but in the ways human beings need support in life, they will fail to show up.” It’s eye-opening.

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

I felt a sense of gratitude. Having the audience understand the author’s plea to see Naima as a human being seeking a warranted place within the real world and not that we were shaming folks. However, sadly the real world isn’t quite ready for Naima’s contributions or her individuality and what makes her the dynamic, articulate, professional being that she is. The piece isn’t to humiliate a culture but hopefully open up those long overdue discussions.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The idea came from my personal work experiences but also the experiences of so many other hard working women of color that are out there in the workforce. Also, with a growing number of women directors emerging, I wanted to try my hand at directing a short film.

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

So many of my faves such as: The Shining, Scarface, Carrie, The Color Purple and Purple Rain. No matter how many times I’ve seen them I always watch them every chance I get.

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

With this being my first go-round, I find FilmFreeway to be a pretty easy portal. It houses your work, provides up to date details as well as helps to keep you informed of upcoming openings/deadlines, etc all important details for filmmakers. It keeps you on track. So FilmFreeway from my perspective is pretty amazing.

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

Any music by Michael Jackson or Marvin Gaye.

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

I’m working on Jamilah Speaks. This is a short to encourage teen entrepreneurship. It is important to start building the minds of our youth and provide vision for their life’s trajectory.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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