Filmmaker and Fort Wayne-born Lisa Maydwell graduated Wayne High School before her peers at the age of 16. She was the owner of Lisa’s Fashions, located on Oxford Street, for over 12 years. The mother of two daughters, Brittney and Symone (and grandmother of two, Kamiya and Mark Jr.), teaches sixth grade in Indianapolis.
One of her up and coming projects, the short film “Cooper’s Plantation,” will be screened at the 2018 Circle City Film Festival on Saturday night, September 29, 2018 at 5:30 P.M. at Georgetown Cinemas in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Maydwell spoke with Fort Wayne Ink Spot about her film and being an independent filmmaker.
Fort Wayne Ink Spot (FWIS): How did you start making films?
Maydwell: I have always written material but never knew how to turn it into film. I met James Eric Smith, a filmmaker, who resides in Fort Wayne, and he showed me how to bring my first project to life: “Cooking with Munchies” featuring Tawj Monroe and Tia Morse. I then went on to do my first feature: My Brother’s Shadow and a short called “Cooper’s Plantation.”
“Cooper’s Plantation” is a period piece filmed on location in Russellville, Kentucky.
The story is the pilot episode from my Trees series. It is about a young man TJ who loves the house slave Sissy, but she thinks that she is living her best life as the personal slave of Mrs. Cooper. TJ has to convince Sissy to leave before it’s too late. I was assisted in this project by Dr. Nancy Dawson, a resident of Russellville; she provided the costumes and helped me scout out locations. Tina Frankl was the producer on “Cooper’s Plantation.” She and I taught fifth grade together. Tina has a long history in filmmaking and owns her own theatre in Franklin, Indiana.
I heard about the Circle City Film Festival from Facebook posts. I am familiar with the creator of this event; her resume is quite extensive.
I asked this question of festival organizer Rasheda Randle as well, but how can film festival retain relevancy in 2018 with all the emphasis placed on direct distribution through streaming sites like Amazon or Netflix?
Maydwell: Film festivals are relevant because they offer networking opportunities for filmmakers, actors, and investors. These connections lead to bigger opportunities for local talent. Film festivals also offer exposure of your talent to your community which makes them more likely to support your projects.
For festival information, hit up CircleCityFilmFestival.com