Louise Brix Andersen is a multilingual writer and film director. She is an advocate for women's rights and a member of several organizations working towards gender balance in the film industry. She is also co-founder and host of the group THE LEADING LADIES where she organizes monthly online meetings for the group’s female members with inspiring guests from the film industry.
Her most recent short film, THE PILL, was made remotely during the pandemic with the collaboration of 9 different countries. Subsequently, Louise wrote and published the book: REMOTE FILMMAKING, now available on Amazon.
Louise is also the creator and host of the channel: CHANGING THE NARRATIVE, a series of video conversations showcasing inspiring women from around the world.
Currently, Louise is in development for the feature documentary film, NOAH, the fiction series HE SAID SHE SAID and looking for a producer for her fiction feature film SISTERHOOD.
What prompted you as a filmmaker to write a book on Remote Filmmaking
My reason for writing this book is because I know how lonely, confusing and exhausted you can feel as a filmmaker trying to break into the film industry. There are a ton of workshops, tutorials, books, master classes, mentors, coaches, guides, other filmmakers (and the list goes on), all trying to sell you on the “secret” of how to break into the industry. The truth is, there is no recipe and no one way to go about it. You do not go to film school and automatically become a film director. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. There are a million different ways for you to get your film made. I had been making indie films for many years but the pandemic opened my eyes to a new way of collaborating and working remotely with people across the globe.
The book is called Remote Filmmaking, and it takes you through the entire filmmaking process focusing on short films or smaller indie productions with specific attention to how it can be done remotely. As such, it can be read as a general filmmaking guide for people who are in the early stages of their filmmaking career. Or, by filmmakers who seek specific ideas, suggestions, examples and inspiration related to remote filmmaking processes. It is available on Amazon as paperback and e-book.
Your experience as a remote filmmaker
During the pandemic and lock-down, I got involved with an online filmmaker community on Facebook called The Entertainment Industry Collaborators Group. I ended up writing and directing the short film The Pill which was produced by the production companies EXIT 44 Entertainment in Hollywood and Limmat Films in Barcelona. We collaborated remotely with a crew and cast of 45 industry professionals from 9 different countries based in Miami, Hollywood, Barcelona, India, Germany, Uruguay to mention just a few – dealing with 7 different time zones. The unique thing about this production team, crew and cast is that almost none of us knew each other from before, and we have never met each other in real life. The film premiered in 2021 at the San José International Short Film Festival which, ironically, I was unable to attend due to a US travel ban on European citizens because of Covid. This ban was raised just one week after the premiere.
How did you apply for the Cannes event
To attend the Festival de Cannes you must go to their website: www.festival-cannes.com and apply for a festival badge. The festival badge is only 20 euros but if you are interested in attending and accessing the market, you will have to pay around 320 euros. The market is primarily for producers, distributors and sales agents so if you are a filmmaker with no film to sell you should not purchase the market badge.
When applying for the festival badge you will have to provide the festival with your credentials: CV, IMDB profile, personal website, etc. You will be evaluated, and if approved, you will receive your festival badge. With this badge, you have access to the festival and can enter the International Village, various different parties, events and film screenings (which are free – but not always easy to get a ticket for).
How can first-time filmmakers grace the red carpet at Cannes? Any criteria
The only criteria are: a festival badge, a ticket and complying with the dress code (on the website you can get more information). To get a ticket you must reserve it through the festival’s online ticket system. However, be aware that it is not so easy to get tickets to the very popular premieres.
How important is networking for filmmakers
In my opinion, it is probably the most important thing in filmmaking. You are very unlikely to go anywhere in your filmmaking career unless you dedicate a lot of time and energy to networking. The Festival de Cannes is the perfect place to network. Everyone is there to meet and connect with people so it is much easier to get in contact with some of those people who otherwise are surrounded by gatekeepers. I went to Cannes specifically to network – not to watch films (that was just an added bonus).
What are the major events at Cannes that you attended?
I don’t know if I can specify any major events. There are so many of them, and it all depends what your goal is. If your goal is to walk the red carpet then obviously any of the big film premieres at the Grand Théâtre Lumière will be a major event. If your goal is to meet and connect with people it could be any of the parties, panels, and networking meetings. The most challenging thing about Cannes is to choose what event or party to go to, and you constantly have the feeling that you are missing out on something. You just have to accept you can only be in one place at a time and then choose the event according to your goal. Since I was there to network, I choose those types of events over the film premieres. This is also why I recommend you decide WHY you are going to Cannes and then get structured and organized about your goals before going to the festival.
How was the atmosphere? Since it was right after the pandemic and the global lockdown.
People were clearly eager to connect and excited to be out again. I have met and connected with so many people online for the past two years, and one of the reasons, why I went to the festival, was to finally have a chance to meet those people in person.
What is the American pavilion? or Film pavilions?
Most countries have a pavilion at the International Village where they present their films and promote the country’s industry. During the festival they offer a program of panels, meetings, gatherings, parties and other activities. You can walk into these pavilions and get to know the industry of the countries by talking to them or attending their events.
The American Pavilion is the only pavilion that requires a paid membership. You can purchase a daily ticket or pay for a full membership in advance which gives you access during the entire festival. The membership gives you access to panels with filmmakers, actors, producers etc. It is also the only pavilion with a fully functioning café where you can order food and enjoy a free cup of coffee. I saw Emily Watson and Scott Speedman talk. Unfortunately, I missed Viggo Mortensen who spoke at a panel after I had left. You can find more information at: www.ampav.com
How did you feel connecting with fellow filmmakers with whom you were earlier associated only online
This was truly amazing. I met several people in person for the first time with whom I have only spoken online for the past two years. Even if working and collaborating remotely is convenient in many ways, we can’t forget how important real human contact is.
Is the scene changing for female filmmakers
I think it is changing, though very slowly. To change the film industry, you must change a whole society and that doesn’t happen over-night. We are definitely in a transition period which is a very difficult place to be in and to navigate. There are many incredible women and female promoting organizations that are doing amazing work to improve equality and diversity in our industry. Things are definitely changing, however, when you attend a festival like the Festival de Cannes, you realize how long a way we still have to go. The festival is not taking any real and serious measures to improve the underrepresentation of female directors in their competition. Only two female directors have won the Golden Palm award in the entire history of the Festival De Cannes: Jane Campion in 1993 and Julia Ducournau (and Jane Campion actually shared the award with male director Chen Kaige). This year the Festival de Cannes invited 8 male directors to a panel to discuss The Future of Cinema – not a single woman had a seat at that table. I think the message is clear.
Important takeaway points from Cannes 2022
I think one of the important points is exactly what I have talked about in the previous question. We are many people (both women and men) working hard to change our industry to be more inclusive and diverse, but unfortunately, women still seem to be excluded from where the real power is, and although things are changing, we can’t sit back and relax. We have to keep fighting and pushing for that change.
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