Interview with Filmmaker Susan Hillary (The PRATT in the HAT)

The PRATT in the HAT was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the March 2022 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

When I saw Frances across a room of grey I was drawn to her brightly color hats and outfit – after she agreed to allow me to photographer I was inspired by her wisdom to make this short film.

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

About a year through COVID

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

Entertaining Activism

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

Resistance by others of the stylized documentary I envisioned

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

Absolutely loved it – thank you for such warm responses, so glad people seem to really enjoy my short.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

When I was a freshman at an liberal arts school in the 1970’s

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

The Wizard of Oz

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Looking for a manager or agent

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?


10. What is your favorite meal?


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

I recently started working on a feature narrative/documentary about a young woman in a religious cult who is befriended by a journalist and indigenous community leader as they discovered the theft of New York City’s water supply.

And I have a few Web Series ready for production including a re-purposed of a mockumentary I directed at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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