Spring Showcase Director #2: Leah Anova

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Leah's Headshot

Our second director for the Spring Showcase is Leah Anova, a cinematographer extraordinaire who came to us as she was looking to expand into directing. Leah is the epitome of a professional, an enthusiastic creator who’s been a Film Independent Project Involve Fellow and who’s earned a spot in the American Society of Cinematographers’ Master Class Workshop. When she emailed us, she said she was interested in stories that revealed the ugliness of life but reaffirmed hope does exist. Her email sign-off read, “Let’s do it!” Obviously, we wrote within 40 minutes and paired her up with Anastasia Kousakis’ script for “The Day After the Day After You Were Born,” which has turned out to be a perfect match. This performance is going to be GORGEOUS.

1. What are the top 3 movies/plays that have inspired you?

Three Colors:Blue by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Raise the Red Lantern by Yimou Zhang
Chungking Express by Kai Wai Wong
2. Did you go to film school? What led you to being a director?
Yes, I attend the American Film Institute and completed an MFA in cinematography. Directing is something I’ve always wanted to explore. The opportunity presented itself. I jumped!
3. Why do you personally want to collaborate with other women through One Axe?
There’s nothing more powerful than the creative force of women. We speak with grace! [Editor’s note: …well…at least Leah speaks with grace. The rest of us…]
4. “Where are you going, where have you been?”
I’m a Cinematographer by profession. Currently, I exist within the Indie World and hope to move into mainstream features. I want to shoot the next Avengers. It’s time for a GURL to do so!
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Spring Showcase Writer #2: Anastasia Kousakis

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ak_headshot

Anastasia’s script for “The Day After the Day After You Were Born” sneaked up on us. For the first few pages, we read it as a solid scene between two disparate people, but we were soon mistaken. With a nuanced approach that hints at an almost science-fiction construction and a focus on two humans thrust together in a tense moment, the story was elevated to a gorgeous reflection on personhood, motherhood, and the future. And did we mention humor? We’re very excited about this piece, which will star Katie Wharton, Nick Rapp, and Rasheda Den’e, directed by the talented Leah Anova.

1. What are the top 3 movies/plays that have inspired you? 

Nowadays I’m more inspired by TV. But, full disclosure, I’ve seen SwingersOffice Space, and Clueless more times than I can count. Shout-outs to Scenes from a Marriage, a handful of Cassavetes filmsand Stephen Belber’s play Tape. I have mixed feelings about watching it now, but it’s hard not to acknowledge the impact of Manhattan, which I’ve also seen countless times.

2. Did you go to film school? What led you to being a writer?

I never went to film school; but I grew up in Los Angeles and Vancouver, and started working in TV in high school. I didn’t start writing seriously until I got to college and took my first fiction workshop. Short stories were my focus for most of college and my early adulthood. I’ve written all kinds of stuff since then, but spend most of my time writing for TV these days–or writing anything but TV when I’m avoiding a new pilot like I’m doing right this very moment.

3. Why do you personally want to collaborate with other women through One Axe?

At work—and, I suspect, other places—people like me are often referred to as “female writers.” The more we do stuff like this, the closer we are to everyone dropping that “female” part.

4. “Where are you going, where have you been?”

Wherever there’s ice cream.