NYWIFT Blog

New Member Spotlight: Erica Fae

image

Photo by Alexander Berg.

 

A prolific and acclaimed artist, Erica Fae joins New York Women in Film & Television as an actor, director, writer, producer and teacher of movement at Yale School of Drama and The New School. She was encouraged to join NYWIFT by her producing partner Jane Applegate, whom she met while developing her current project, a feature film about a woman lighthouse keeper, with a four-week shooting schedule in Maine this summer. The drama blends suspense, passion and feminist revelation in a time before feminism existed.

On what attracted her to the material, Fae said that she had stumbled upon it while researching American women of the nineteenth century, research inspired by her play, Take What is Yours, co-written with Jill A. Samuels, about suffragist Alice Paul.

“At the time, lighthouse keeping was the only job that women were allowed to do for the government, except clerical work,” Fae explained. “These were remote areas. If the men couldn’t do it, the women did. The lighthouses had to work.”

Fae found her lighthouse, located on Mistake Island in the Bay of Fundy, on an October location scout in northeastern Maine, and fell in love with it. “It was aesthetically perfect, like casting a beautiful lead,” she said. Fae met with a town selectman and experienced a grassroots uprising of support from the inhabitants, who convened a town meeting to unanimously approve the use of the town’s name in the film. A local farmer stepped forward to provide fresh produce for the shoot, and boat owners will operate a ferry service to the island. The Bangor Daily News described Fae as a “New York City woman.” She laughed: “I am a New York City woman.”

Drawn to the bold, radical women of history, Fae also wrote and performed a solo play about Joan of Arc, A Girl Joan. She made the initial leap from stage to film in 2007 while attempting to create a play about writer Christine de Pizan, but ran into limitations on her vision and turned to film to bring the allegorical imagery she wanted to life.

Fae continues to be actively involved in theater work, which began in her childhood, and influenced her multihyphenate approach to art. “People talk about wearing hats. I’m wearing my producer’s hat, my writer’s hat, my director’s hat,” she said. “To me, it’s all one hat. All one effort to tell the story.”

Her feature film work includes Synecdoche, New York, The Savages, Little Children, and others, and she has just been cast in a popular period cable drama. On the rewards of performing in someone else’s work, Fae said, “It is a delight to luxuriate in acting. Just to concentrate on that. It’s wonderful.”

Of her students, she said that the biggest change she has seen in them as artists is their interest in and willingness to create work for themselves. Technological advances have opened the door for them to do what Fae has done: Pursue their own passions rather than wait for a job.

Fae confirmed that she has two more projects on her agenda about historical American women who claim their own power. “Two juicy, juicy stories,” she said, with conviction. She is currently developing a miniseries.

— ANNIE LABARBA

PUBLISHED BY

nywift

nywift New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media.

View all posts by nywift

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

*

*

Related Posts

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker Sascha Just

NYWIFT member Sascha Just directed and produced Ellis, the first feature-length documentary about the late legendary New Orleans pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Marsalis composed and performed major works of modern jazz infused with a uniquely New Orleans touch. Just spoke to us about all the ways in which jazz has influenced her work, getting to know a creative legend, and her DOC NYC premiere.

READ MORE

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Filmmaker Fredgy Noël

In the documentary short The House of LaBeija, directed and produced by NYWIFT member Fredgy Noël, we meet the eponymous prominent ballroom family and safe haven for transgender women, queer people, and those in need of community. Over the course of 10 minutes, several members of the house dance, vogue, and celebrate their identities across a strikingly glamorous mansion that seems to be an embodiment of their safe harbor. Fredgy Noël spoke to us about ballroom culture, creative inspirations, and what’s next on her horizon.

READ MORE

NYWIFT at DOC NYC: In Conversation with Editor Jill Woodward

NYWIFT member Jill Woodward edited the documentary 1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted a Culture, which won the Audience Award at DOC NYC 2022. In this deeply personal tale, a gay seminary scholar and a straight activist, seeking to uncover the origins of the rabid homophobia of the conservative church, make a shocking discovery: an erroneous translation of the term “homosexual” in the Bible in 1946 that has been weaponized against the LGBTQIA+ community ever since. Woodward spoke to us about the editing process, what she learned along the way, and which types of projects excite her the most.

READ MORE

WIFT Around the World: Postcard from MIPCOM Cannes

NYWIFT member Panayiota Pagoulatos returned to Cannes a second time this year to attend MIPCOM, where she was pleased to find celebrations of women and diversity in entertainment, and to preview several exciting new TV series.

READ MORE
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php