Yana Bille is a native of Cameroon and lived in France for over a decade before moving to the U.S. to further a career in filmmaking. She has written for the critically acclaimed Telesud TV Series, YaMa Afrika and is the head of eM1productions, an independent production company. On Wednesday August 11th The ANF Short Film Collective will be screening Bille’s short film “Waters” as part of our FRANTIC series. ActNow recently caught up with the director. Check out our interview below.
What lead you to create “Waters”?
It was time. I’d been thinking about it for a while so a couple of years ago I decided to come up with a self-contained idea that could be shot in a day or two with a limited budget.
What was the greatest lesson you learned while directing “Waters”?
The most important lesson I learned was that making a movie is a collaborative effort. So it’s important to choose your cast and crew wisely.
What impact do you think this film will have on audiences at the screening?
I believe this is a provocative movie and people react differently towards it. Some are uncomfortable, some find it very liberating. Once in a while after a screening some people come to me and thank me, in tears, for being their voice.
What sparks your creativity?
Creating is a very introspective process for me most of the time, daydreaming helps too…But I also get inspired by sounds, newspaper clips, delicious meals, and babies’ laughter. Pretty much anything has potential for a story for me.
What keeps you motivated?
I love movies and I don’t see myself doing anything else. Seeing amazing work by artists I respect keeps me going.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
I’m having a fundraiser on August 19th to finance my next film while I’m editing a feature film screenplay. The fundraiser promises a sensory overload of entertainment, including scenes performed from the film’s script on a live movie set, dancing to the hypnotic sounds of renowned DJ’s such DJ Dhundee and Ant Demby, and free drinks. It will take place at DCTV – 87 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013.
How would you describe your writing style?
Dark. I try to be as creative as I can possibly be by exploring obscure paths.
What advice can you give to writers struggling to complete a project?
Schedule your writing time and commit to it. Write an outline, it will get you through it. And never edit your work as you’re writing, you’ll have plenty of time to do it.
Finally, can you name a film that changed your life?
There are so many, but I would have to go with Holy Mountain. It’s a jewel that made me look at cinema and art differently. Alejandro Jodorowski is a genius, who uses spirituality, symbolism, incredibly striking images and unbelievable art to express his vivid depiction of the human condition. He makes me want to be good.