By Catherine Woo
Welcome to NYWIFT, Beatriz Barbieri!
Beatriz was born in Brazil, then moved to New York in 2015 to study film at NYU. Her roots in Brasilia are close to her heart and are at the core of her work, from her 35mm black and white photography series to her upcoming feature film script. She was director of photography for Murielle’s “Can You Get Me High” music video and directed Foreign’s “Commando (feat. Da $ilva)” music video. She has taken photos for Brooklyn-based clothing brand ByLiv and behind-the-scenes photos for New York Magazine.
Beatriz tells us about her artistic inspirations, her upcoming short film Shrapnel, and how her identity inspires her storytelling.
Describe yourself. Give us your elevator pitch!
Beatriz is a Brazilian artist, born in Brasilia, currently based in NYC. She moved here in 2015 from Sao Paulo to study film at NYU, and has lived and worked in NYC since. She started her career as a freelance assistant camera and archival researcher, and now she’s a full-time production coordinator at a production company called PROM Creative.
In her free time at home, you’ll find her in the dark room, writing, making claymation videos, creating small videos from super 8 footage… whatever comes to mind that she feels inspired to create. Feel free visit her if you ever want to make something together or print something in the dark room!
What brings you to NYWIFT?
I wanted to join a community that supports other women in film in New York and get to know more people who are also working in the same field and support their work. I’ve been to a few events that NYWIFT has hosted over the years, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to become a member!
You’ve worked on some stunning music videos and still photography series. Which projects have resonated most with you & why?
My most recent black and white photography series from Brazil is my personal favorite. The creative process and execution of that entire project was just so special in so many ways. I was going to spend a month traveling around Brazil, and I wanted to create something while I was traveling, I needed it to be affordable and compact which is why I chose infrared 35mm still photography, and I was going to places where I would be by the ocean so I brought an underwater rig as well. Because of the infrared aspect, the photos take a while to set up, which was very meditative.
When I got back home I built a dark room in my apartment for this project, and have been experimenting with new compositions ever since. It’s been very inspiring to come home and have a peaceful space where I can make my compositions, and to look at the final photographs which remind me of home.
What was your favorite moment working on any of your projects? And the biggest challenge?
I wrote and directed a short film that is still in the editing process but coming out very soon called Shrapnel. One of the shoot days for it was in a Russian bathhouse in Coney Island overnight. We faced many challenges on that shoot day (night).
All the extras in the scene were nude, and there were about 10 extras. Casting was a huge challenge since this was an ultra-low budget project and overnight, and the project was a LGBTQ+ story, so we wanted the cast to be representative of the community. Rebecca Novick, the casting and location director, haad the idea of reaching out to venues that threw queer sex parties and raves, to see if anyone would be interested. We figured there would be a crossover of people that would be down to be naked at night at a weird location, and a lot of people were.
Ada Mitchev, the production designer, did a great job of sourcing props and making the space look and feel like an 80s bathhouse which I know was challenging. We had scouted the location with our gaffer, Matt Foundoullis, we had to reconfigure all of our plans when we arrived as we couldn’t rig any lights to the ceiling. This caused the door to be a bit open and the pool to be cold, and the takes to be shorter. Even though there weren’t that many costumes for that day, Gabriella Saldanha, the costume designer, was amazing at making sure everyone felt comfortable and had bathrobes and clothes in between takes.
This was one of my favorite days directing. It was hard, but our team collaborated so well together and we were prepared for a lot of surprises that had risen throughout the day. Not only do the final shots look incredible but the energy on set was incredible!
What kinds of stories or subjects are exciting to you?
I find stories about the place where I’m from, Brasilia, and my culture to interest me the most. And to contrast that, I’m also as interested in stories about where I ended up as where I grew up, which was a very different place and environment.
When I was six, my parents and I moved from Brasilia to London. I didn’t know any English when I moved and it was a major cultural shock, and I questioned so many aspects about my life and identity. I plan to create work inspired on the feeling of being a young immigrant child in a very new and weird place.
What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m currently writing a feature that is based in Brasilia. For the next five years I plan to focus on writing and directing independent projects that are mostly all set in Brasilia. It’s such a crazy place and I guess it’s also an excuse to spend more time back home!
Welcome to NYWIFT, Hyonok Kim! Hyonok is an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer who creates innovative and experimental film. Hyonok was born in South Korea, then studied film and dance in Paris and New York. Rather than dialogue, her films use dance to express interactions, bringing the emotional experience to the viewer. She choreographed and directed 15 dance films including Weeping Water, For Sunrise, Dance with Horses, Ode on a Korean Urn, Isle of Waiting Souls, Passion & Rebirth, South Sea to Isang Yun and L’Heure de Coq. Her films were shown at international film festivals and broadcasted in France, Germany, Australia, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and the USA. Now, she lives and works in the Bronx. Hyonok shares her inspirations in nature, as a choreographer and as a storyteller here!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Tanis Parenteau! Tanis Parenteau is Métis/Cree from the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is an actor, producer, and casting director. Her work focuses on uplifting Native voices telling contemporary and futuristic Native stories. As an actor, she has appeared on Billions, House of Cards, Designated Survivor, FBI: Most Wanted, Gossip Girl, and Tribal, and she has performed at The Public Theater, Signature Theater, 59E59, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Tanis has produced eight short films, has a short form digital series in post-production, and is developing multiple Native-led features and series. She is an associate casting director at tbd casting co in NYC. Her latest project, the short film Glenburn 12 WP, is fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT. Tanis spoke to us about her dedication to uplifting Native voices, how working in casting has influenced her performing, and the best advice she’s ever received.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Gaelin Rosenwaks! Gaelin is a multitalented scientist, explorer, photographer, filmmaker, and author of Sperm Whales: The Gentle Goliaths of the Oceans. She founded Global Ocean Exploration Inc. in response to alarming changes to our oceans. Her aptitude for science and storytelling brought her on a journey that spans from appearing as an expert and host on many TV networks to being one of the few women featured on the cover of Outside Magazine. She is currently working on Finding Physty, a documentary about sperm whales. Gaelin shares more about her fascinating journey here!READ MORE
Please join us in welcoming new NYWIFT member Xochi Blymyer! Xochi was exposed to film from a young age by her parents, a movie hairstylist and gaffer. She found her first job with her dad as a stand-in. From there, she worked up the ranks of the Assistant Director department. She has been 1st AD for Animal Kingdom, Black Monday, and All American, to name a few. Her 2022 short film, Hey Alexa, won an Award of Merit at the Best Shorts Competition and Best Short Film at the New York International Film Awards.
Xochi told us about her life in film and tv, inspiration from her family, and her new documentary Red Dog & Bates.