MUFFPick: Pick

“I am making this film to give young black girls a protagonist they can finally relate to, while reminding everyone else, that we are NOT our hair.”

The MUFF Society
Apr 7, 2017 · 8 min read

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with filmmaking.

AH: When I was in high school, my twin sister Venessa and I also used to make videos together—everything from SNL recreations, to elaborate tributes for our friend’s birthdays, to our own original sketches. I’m not saying we were celebrities… but the first episode of our sketch comedy show was soooo hyped; every time we tried to come up with ideas to top it, we couldn’t. So… we never made a second episode. There’s still time though. Twin Time forever!

Tell us about this project! Where did the idea come from?

AH: Pick is a short, fictional drama about a young girl who wears her afro to school on picture day, and has to deal with microaggressions and racism.

What excites you about using crowdfunding?

AH: I like crowdfunding because it gives filmmakers the chance to have full creative freedom of our work. It is validating to know that people are confident in you, and believe in your project enough to invest in you. I crowdfunded for my last film, Love Stinks, and we were able to raise $7000, with over 100 backers. Having their support allowed the film to reach it’s full potential, but most importantly, boosted our confidence. Even though we are telling stories that the industry has been overlooking, the support from private investors reminds us that our work is innovative, important, and relatable.

Love Stinks — Behind the Scenes | Photo by Filip Funk

If you were reincarnated as an ice cream flavour, what would it be?

Green tea.

Tell us about some/all of the other amazing women who worked on this film!

AH: My team is made up of many amazing, talented women! I could write essays on each of their talents and accomplishments… but instead I’ll tell you why I love them so much.

Tell us about why you are a feminist and why it’s important to your filmmaking.

AH: Feminism taught me I was strong in a world that constantly told me otherwise. I’m a feminist because I believe that women deserve the same rights, respect and opportunities as men.

Maybe if it were a nice room — Film Stills | Cinematography by Meaghan Gable

You’ve also worked in the industry as a production design. Do you feel you approach directing differently because of this?

AH: Being a production designer has made me a better director, and vice versa. I recently directed and production designed a film called Maybe if it were a nice room. The story is told through intricate, symbolic production design, without actors. Filmmakers underestimate how much production design can enhance a film. I think every single detail in every single frame is important, when I’m directing and production designing. A lot of directors think of production design as an afterthought, whereas it’s something I’m constantly thinking about as I’m developing my stories. I plan on making many more films where the story is rooted mainly in the production design.

Who are your favourite women working in the industry?

AH: Karen Harnisch, Tiffany Hsiung, and Min Sook Lee, Danielle Sahota. I’m constantly inspired by their hustle, talent, and innovative work.

What 3 people, living or dead, would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

Viola Davis, Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey.

What’s the best advice about filmmaking you’ve ever received?

AH: Never let a deadline pass. Chelsea McMullan said this at a panel I attended. As an emerging director, you have to create opportunities for yourself. I spend a ridiculous amount of time researching grants, contests, and mentorships. If there is a deadline coming up, and I don’t have a project that fits, I’ll try to come up with a new idea for it. I’m producing a short right now called Abuela. Rebeca Ortiz, who will be directing the film, wrote the script in record time—specifically so we could submit to WIFT/BravoFact’s pitch competition, because we didn’t want to miss such an incredible opportunity. We are currently finalists and pitching for a chance to win $50K on March 30th!

Unplugged — Film Still | Cinematography by Simon Downey

You have a documentary short (“Unplugged”) in post production. How is that going? Do you plan on doing more documentaries?

AH: I made Unplugged in my third year of film school. It’s about my younger brother and his obsession with League of Legends. My whole family is in this film (including me), so I was definitely more careful and particular about the edit. So careful, that I’m not done editing it two years later. It’s hard for me to go back to old projects while developing new ones. But I will definitely finish it… eventually.

What’s your go-to jam?

“Nights” by Frank Ocean.

Recommend one #MUFFApproved film for our blog readers!

LoveTrue by Alma Har’el.



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The MUFF Society

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a community that celebrates women in film & TV

MUFF Blog

MUFF Blog

We are a community that celebrates women in film and TV. High five!