Filmmaker Interview by Chris Olson
Lovely to speak with you. You have a new short documentary coming out, Hammers of Peace. How would you describe the plot to a new audience?
The film displays an incredible and moving story that follows three members of the Grady family who took action for what they believed to be right. We get a glimpse of Ellen Grady's personal story and her connection to the Plowshares movement, meeting her partner Peter De Mott and raising a family amidst their abnormal life. The film was just released on IndiePix Unlimited.
Why did you want to tell this story?
I always want to shine a light on social issues with my films. I believe that as a filmmaker, you have the responsibility to not only entertain viewers but also to start conversations. Nuclear Disarmament and the movements around it are not as often discussed in the media as they should be. It was a story that I felt was incredibly emotional and not only shows the power of this family but also the power of a self-organized movement.
What were the challenges in making the film?
For the first time in a while, I was almost fully a one-man crew shooting the film, except for help for one interview by a friend. This was, of course, difficult, but I made it work through lots of hours of preparation and many months of editing. I did get a chance to collaborate with many people along the way such as the photographer who was nice enough to license an image for free. And of course, my excellent professor was there to help me throughout the entire process, along with Ellen providing me with great materials and being incredibly helpful.
What has the reaction been like from audiences to Hammers of Peace? Or what do you hope it will be?
During the film festival circuit of the film, we were shocked by the reception and praise it received. It did exactly what I hoped it would and started conversations and research on the topic by its viewers. We have been waiting for the film to be public and for everyone to be able to see it, and now that it finally happened, we are excited to see the public reaction.
What's your plan for getting the film out there?
I hope that people share it with others, word of mouth is so important - not just for the film, but for the social issue in general.
Why do you make movies?
I first started making movies at the age of 9. I saw my brother editing a graduation video, and I was blown away by the magic of video editing. I had the chance to work with private film teachers, I attended a certification course at the age of 14 and directed an Amazon Prime short in 2019. My intentions have always been the same: making a movie that reflects on real-life issues and makes viewers think deeper.
What's next for you?
I hope to continue working within documentary filmmaking. Next year I aim to work together with local New York City charities which has long been a goal of mine.
What would you say if you were a dolphin?
I'm going to try and do a bad guy dolphin whistle!
Watch Hammers of Peace on Amazon Prime - Click Here.