Laina Barakat of New Hampshire – Writer/Director/Producer
What’s the best part of your work?
I love storytelling. It’s magic. The power of story is everything. I also love the community that gathers around filmmaking. As an art form, it is completely depending on so many individuals getting behind a vision. I get the privilege of the talents, time, and sweat of those masses, all for the sake of my vision. That is something I will never be worthy of but am grateful for every day.
What challenges have you’ve faced in this industry as a woman?
It is difficult to be taken seriously at times. I also have to censor my emotions to an extreme degree so I give no opportunity for people to fixate on them. On the flip side, but equally as disappointing, sometimes it is only after someone sees me in person or speaks with me that I am able to get discounts or other assistance that is so necessary for micro-budget filmmaking, but I don’t want unsolicited favors or pity.
In the age of #MeToo & #TimesUp, what do you hope to see happening in the future for women in our industry?
I would like to see the concept of “female filmmaking” and “women’s issues” disappear. We are filmmakers, and our issues are just that. I don’t want to be segregated to a genre.
What’s one way you would suggest people “Change the Lens”?
Keys demanding to work on gender balanced shoots. Investors caring enough to support female filmmakers and their voices.
What advice would you give to a new female filmmaker?
Work hard, don’t let the rest get in the way. Be confident and believe in your vision. Be strong enough in your vision that you can ask others for advice and their perspective without appearing indecisive or weak.
What goals do you have for this year?
My first feature film will be coming out this year and my second will be in pre-production. My goal is to take my career to the next level and break into a higher level festival tier.
What women in the region (New England) inspire you?
Karlina Lyons in Portsmouth has supported me and helped challenge me from my very first day on set.
Upcoming Events or Announcements? What are you working on?
My feature film, Light Attaching to a Girl will hit the festival circuit later this year and my short, Somewhere In July, is currently touring festivals.
How can your fans find you!?