Week 35: Mathilde Dratwa and Christy Lamb
About Mathilde Dratwa & Christy Lamb
We are both filmmakers and, of course, moms. We work together even though we live on opposite coasts. This dynamic duo is telling the story of motherhood and advocating for rights of moms in the film industry: Christy: Christy produces films, festivals, and nonprofit programs.
Christy's film credits include: THESE C*CKSUCKING TEARS (dir. Dan Taberski, SXSW Jury Award 2016), BAD AT DANCING (dir. Joanna Arnow, NYFF), AMERICAN DRESSER (dir. Carmine Cangialosi), HOV (dir. Kamala Seals), LAST NIGHT (dir. Whitney Meers), WHEN THE NIGHT FALLS (dir. Ed Bergtold), WINDOW DRESSING (dir. Stephen Girouard), and TOE TO TOE (dir. Emily Abt, Sundance 2009). Previously, Christy served as Executive Director of Dance Films Association and as Development Director for the NYC Screenwriters Collective. During her 9 years in NYC, Christy developed CUNNINGHAM 3D (dir. Alla Kovgan), LIMINAL SPACES (dir. Lucas Smith) and ANOTHER TELEPATHIC THING (dir. Jonathan Demme) as well as film/tv/commercial production for Scripps Network, Rain Media, and National Headquarters. Mathilde: Mathilde has been a Sundance Channel Shorts Contest finalist, a co-leader of the FilmShop collective and a member of the Independent Film School's writer-director lab. Her latest short film PETA PAN stars Independent Spirit Award nominee Nisreen Faour. She co-created ALMOST ANONYMOUS, a web series about a support group for celebrity lookalikes (Best Original Concept, NYC Web Fest 2016). Mathilde also produces animation videos; she has received two Pulitzer Center grants and has had her work featured in a number of publications, including French newspaper Le Monde. Mathilde is a Teaching Artist for the New Victory Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company as well as an Instructor of Film for the School of the New York Times.
What is your Hustle (Business)?
We are the duo behind Moms-in-Film, a nonprofit organization dedicated to energizing the careers of mothers in the film and television industries. Our organization provides community, funding and advocacy in support of mothers - and more widely, in support of all parents in entertainment. Membership is free and children are always welcome at our events
Who/What inspired Your Hustle?
Moms-in-Film grew organically out of our experiences and the experiences of our members. A film that Christy produced won the Jury Award at SXSW and she wasn't able to attend because she had a newborn.
It was a strange feeling - to be both completely in love and in awe of her first daughter, and at the same time, to be sad not to parttake in the success of a film she had worked hard on. It was shortly afterwards that Christy read an article Mathilde had written, which described the reasons that the entertainment industry is particularly challenging for parents. After hosting very successful events in both LA and NYC, it became obvious that childcare was the number one challenge for mothers in film and television, due to the long and irregular hours, and changing locations. That quickly became Moms-in-Film's first main focus.
How are you “Hustling up” Mamapreneurs to the next level?
We decided to begin by focusing on festivals, because festivals are where crucial networking opportunities happen. It's where filmmakers find collaborators, partners, and distribution for their films. Parents have a particularly tough time attending festivals - should they spend weeks away from their children, or bring them along, adding to their travel and accommodation costs? If so, should they trust a stranger to care for them as they take meetings? Most can't afford to travel with a babysitter or nanny.
As a recipient of the 2017 SXSW Community Grant, Moms-in-Film piloted the industry's first mobile childcare unit, and provided free childcare to filmmakers attending the festivals. Some filmmakers were able to attend solely thanks to what we call the Wee Wagon Project. Our Wee Wagon shows that quality care can be provided in a unit on wheels - a unit which could therefore be utilized on film sets
What strategies worked or are working for your business?
We derive great strength from our members. The great thing about working to make the film industry more diverse is that our members are incredibly creative and resourceful. They're used to collaborating and thinking outside the box. We are so grateful for the support and help we have received from filmmakers across the country
Connect with Mathilde and Christy
Instagram: @momsinfilm Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/momsinfilm Twitter: @momsinfilm @mathildedratwa @christaaypk