Spotlight: Emily Andrews

The Chimaera Project spoke with Toronto Producer and Actor Emily Andrews to discover some of her struggles, successes and perspective on the industry. Her company Filmcoop in Toronto is a creative force for all artists.

TCP: Thanks so much for speaking with us. Like The Chimaera Project you are involved in Filmcoop, which is a leader in inclusion. Filmcoop is a filmmaking collective in Toronto whose focus is on process and risk-taking in the filmmaking and creative process.

EA: Our company is very inclusive and we remind our collaborators on the regular the importance of diversity, if it is racial, LGBQT, male female ratio etc.; getting people to think outside of the box. For instance in a casting session, we said, “Does this part have to be a white male? We are all just people living these types of experiences, why don’t we cast a pregnant black female for this role?” We couldn’t get that person for that, but we did get the collaborator to think differently and open up the world we were in. We do that a lot. Challenge the norm.

TCP: We love it! That is what we love embracing here as well. Challenging the norm and the artist themselves. How do you challenge yourself? Is there something you think people should do if they are struggling?

EA: Don’t be afraid to admit you need help, or talk about mistakes. Problem solving quickly and without ego makes such a difference in the entire process. Communicate what you need and want clearly and you will feel free.

TCP: Yes. Communication is essential as is opening up about difficulties to help move past them! You seem to have been able to navigate things really well. Is there something you are particularly proud of?

EA: I have been so lucky to have many proud moments. Completing anything is a moment in itself. One that really stands out to me was getting into TIFF. People know the festival, love it, it was a career goal and I look forward to more films being accepted there.

TCP: Wow! TIFF is amazing. Is that something that you believe has impacted your career the most?

EA:  I can think of so many things that have launched my career and mindset and served as an amazing catalyst. It is hard to pick just one. However, there was a film that I worked my butt off on, day and night, sacrificing so much to try and prove myself, regardless of doing that, I still, in my opinion, got screwed over. It really broke my spirit for a short time. However, after talking with many people about the project, the pros the cons, what could I have done to improve my journey, I found that lots of people struggled on that project and within their careers. It is always reassuring to meet and chat with other filmmakers to share stories. One of the best things about going to film festivals.

TCP: It can really be demoralizing to feel alone, which is why community is such an integral part of what we do at The Chimaera Project. We are glad you found your people through community and film festivals in particular! Thanks you again for taking the time to chat with us and our community. And we can’t wait to see more of your productions and work, both individually and with Filmcoop! To learn more about Emily, please visit her online on twitter: @emilydandrews, @filmcoopto or instagram: emily_andrews and via the Filmcoop Website