A Recap of the NYWIFT Screening and Q&A for I Used to Go Here
By Kristin Reiber Harris
In early August, NYWIFT made Kris Rey’s new feature I Used to Go Here available for streaming and presented a conversation with the writer/director and lead actress Gillian Jacobs (Community, Girls, Love). I Used to Go Here is the story of a young woman in her mid-thirties, Kate Conklin, whose first novel has been released and the consequences of a lack-luster response to the book.
I enjoyed the film and the reminder that good writers can tell stories with such finesse that we can see ourselves in the narrative. Of particular interest to us as an organization of women media professionals, Rey is dedicated to telling stories about women’s lives and the importance and nuance of relationships with other women. I am also inspired as a media producer of very short films, by the dedication and perseverance required to make feature films. She spoke of her trials getting funding and the necessity of placing the project on hold for a year.
I Used to Go Here opens with the cancellation of Kate Conklin’s book tour because of a lack of interest in the book. However, she soon receives an invitation from a former professor to return to her alma mater and talk to his creative writing students. The professor had been a romantic interest. Kate’s engagement had just ended, making the trip even more enticing. The campus visit was a trip of self-discovery for Kate, including feeling undeserving of adoration for her success and a lack of confidence. She gets involved in lots of shenanigans with students she meets on the trip that are very entertaining. Kate returns inspired, intimidated, and reevaluating her definition of success.
Both Kris Rey and Gillian Jacobs emphasized the importance of the feeling of family among the crew and actors during the filming. Rey is based in Chicago and dedicated to Chicago’s creative community. In addition, Rey expressed her interest in intergenerational communication. When Rey was asked about her experience pitching the film she indicated she hated the question “What’s it about?” and used her script as her pitch document.
Life imitates art with a twist. I Used to Go Here was slated to premiere at SXSW this year but of course it was canceled due to COVID-19. However, Rey was pleased at the distribution deals in place and the reviews.
I was engaged by the film but especially enjoyed meeting the director and lead actress. They are smart, insightful and enthusiastic as they tackle future projects. Rey is working on a film about menopause and Jacobs, also a filmmaker is working on a film about Grace Hopper and women coders.
Watch the full talkback from August 10, 2020:
The AMC Networks Summit held at 74Wythe in Brooklyn, NY on September 28, 2022 brought together talent and network executives for moderated discussions centered around the company’s content and legacy from the past, present, and future — and to dissect the new and epic worlds coming to AMCN’s platforms, and introduce the next seminal characters that will capture the hearts and minds of viewers.READ MORE
We are thrilled to welcome new NYWIFT member Isi Laborde! Isi is a Brooklyn-based actor (AEA, SAG/AFTRA). Her film roles include Return to Montauk, directed by Academy Award-winner Volker Schlöndorff, and Jay-Z’s music video “Smile,” directed by Grammy-winner Miles Jay. She has had TV appearances in Facebook TV's Strangers and Paramount's Younger. Theater credits include The Bacchae at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and Skip to My Lou at Theater for the New City. Isi spoke to us about her craft, how she kept up her creativity during COVID, and her dream role!READ MORE
Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Brianna Seagraves, an actress, writer, and award-winning producer. Brianna shares her acting inspirations and her directorial debut at the Billie Holiday Theater.READ MORE
The feature length documentary, Olympia, celebrating the life and career of Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, will have a national LIVE streaming premiere in North America on July 9th at 8pm ET, followed by a Q&A, with a special premiere screening in Greece and Europe at 1pm ET on July 10th and an exclusive ‘virtual cinema’ release beginning Friday, July 10th.READ MORE