NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Lynn Dow

By Maura Garnett

Welcome to NYWIFT, Lynn Dow!

From cherished advice on the joy of filmmaking to the heartwarming tale of transitioning from Wall Street to the silver screen, Lynn Dow offers a glimpse into her journey which has been fueled by passion and family support. Her Harlem cultural tapestry weaves its way into her captivating narratives, while insights from her time at Columbia University offer a unique approach to storytelling.

Explore Lynn’s intersection of finance and filmmaking through the lens of resilience and strategic thinking, as she shares her favorite projects and inspirations. Delve into her creative process, where personal experiences meet universal themes, and catch a glimpse of her debut feature, Bull Street, a story of loss, reflection, and the pursuit of generational wealth.

 

NYWIFT Member Lynn Dow

How would you describe yourself in a brief elevator pitch?

I would describe myself as unspoiled and humble. Talent is most impressive when tempered by humility. Then, the accolades are earned and not bought or coerced.

What is the best industry advice you received?

The most impactful advice I’ve ever received came from my screenwriting professor and mentor, who reminded me that filmmaking is a journey filled with joy and wonder. It’s about crafting moments of magic rather than striving for greatness or facing life-or-death situations. We’re here to enjoy the process and share stories that resonate deeply with audiences.

What brought you to NYWIFT?

What led me to NYWIFT was a deep longing for a supportive community in these times of inequality and the pursuit of family values. As they say, “Sisterhood is Powerful,” and I believe in the strength that comes from unity and mutual support.

 

Can you share with us the specific moment or experience that inspired you to leave Wall Street and pursue a career in filmmaking, focusing on matters of the heart?

The moment that prompted me to transition from Wall Street to filmmaking was a heartfelt conversation with my grandmother. Overwhelmed by a sense of emptiness in my life, I confided in her about my desire to pursue my true passion. Despite my fears of disappointing her and other family members, her unwavering support changed everything. She encouraged me to follow my heart to Los Angeles, with the assurance that if things didn’t work out as planned, I could always return home without fear. With her blessing, I found the courage to take the leap.

How has your upbringing in Harlem influenced the themes and stories you choose to explore in your films?

My upbringing in Harlem has deeply shaped the themes and narratives I explore in my films. The richness of its culture and the intricate details of everyday life provide a profound worldview that informs my storytelling. My films aim to capture the essence of Harlem’s culture while addressing contemporary global issues, offering a unique perspective that resonates with audiences from diverse backgrounds.

Being a Columbia University graduate, how has your education shaped your approach to storytelling and filmmaking?

My education at Columbia University profoundly influenced my approach to storytelling and filmmaking. While there was guidance along the way, the emphasis was on nurturing creative seeds rather than providing all the answers. Columbia encouraged me to cultivate my ideas into flourishing gardens of storytelling, teaching me to believe in the authenticity of my work and filter out distractions. It was there that I learned to merge raw creative talent with technical skills, shaping my filmmaking approach into a harmonious blend of artistry and technique.

 

Can you tell us about your favorite project so far and the story behind it, particularly how it relates to matters of the heart?

Each of my projects holds a special place in my heart, much like the four chambers of the human heart. My three short films and first feature each resonate deeply with me, as they were born from personal emotions and dedicated to my cherished family members. It’s challenging to pick a favorite because they all served as vessels for my healing journey. Each project allowed me to express and process different aspects of my innermost feelings, bringing solace and growth along the way.

How do you navigate the intersection of finance and filmmaking, considering your background in both Wall Street and the film industry?

Navigating the fields of finance and filmmaking has been an intriguing journey for me, as my experiences in both Wall Street and the film industry have surprisingly complemented each other. Despite their apparent differences, I’ve found similarities in the high-energy, intense, and relentless nature of both fields.

My tenure on Wall Street equipped me with the stamina and resilience needed for the fast-paced world of filmmaking. Starting my filmmaking career later in life allowed me to bring a matured perspective and a strategic mindset to the business aspect of the industry, drawing on the education and mindset cultivated in my earlier years.

In what ways do you think your unique perspective, growing up in Harlem, adds depth and authenticity to your storytelling?

Growing up in Harlem has undeniably shaped my perspective and infused my storytelling with depth and authenticity. Harlem is not just a neighborhood; it’s a symbol of resilience and cultural richness. Its legacy, from the Harlem Renaissance to its vibrant arts scene, speaks to a universal language that transcends boundaries.

While there are similar communities across America, Harlem holds a special allure that draws people from all walks of life. My upbringing in this unique environment has given me insights and experiences that inform my storytelling, allowing me to capture the essence of a culture with a universal resonance.

 

 

Are there specific filmmakers or storytellers who have inspired or influenced your work, and if so, how?

I find inspiration from various filmmakers and storytellers whose work resonates deeply with me. Before I embark on my own creative journey, I often turn to three films that never fail to uplift me: Inherit the Wind, Claudine, and Sophie’s Choice. These cinematic gems, with their powerful narratives and memorable lines, serve as guiding lights in my creative process.

Additionally, I draw inspiration from the trailblazing women filmmakers who have paved the way for artists like me, from the pioneering spirit of Lois Weber to the visionary work of Ava DuVernay. Their dedication to their craft and their commitment to keeping doors open for future generations continue to inspire me on my own filmmaking journey.

Can you share some insights into your creative process when developing stories that delve into matters of the heart?

My creative process stems from personal experiences, infused with the wisdom gained through life’s trials and blessings. I strive to intertwine these narratives with the broader human experience, often inspired by the profound events unfolding around us.

 

 

Can you share a bit about any films you’re currently working on or excited about?

Certainly. I’m currently immersed in the distribution of my debut feature film, Bull Street. It’s a project inspired by moments of profound loss and reflection. It’s a very personal story that dives into broader issues of building and retaining generational wealth.

 

Connect with Lynn Dow on Instagram at @officiallylynndow and on Twitter at @LynnDowTown.  

PUBLISHED BY

Maura Garnett

Maura Garnett Maura Garnett is an intern at NYWIFT and an aspiring Casting Director, Director, and producer She will graduate from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in film and a specialization in Directing in 2024. She has previously interned for Stephanie Klapper Casting, which has led her to pursue her own career in casting. As well, as directing her own films in her free time, Maura has worked on various indie feature films and short films as a Producer and Assistant Director.

View all posts by Maura Garnett

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