Joining us in The Green Room today is filmmaker, actress, writer and Fusion Jury Member Lella Satie!
Firstly thanks so much for joining us!
Thank you very much for the invitation!
Now I understand that you are currently in Bali- tell us a little bit about the reason for your trip?
This is my fourth visit of the magical place called Bali -meaning the Island of Gods, which really feels like a world on its own. I am here doing an ancient healing practice of water fasting. This is my longest water fast. 20 days only on water. You can read about it on my blog at LemonHouseGlobal.com/blog.
As mentioned above you wear a few hats in the industry- we first met a few years ago when your film 'Father' was on the festival circuit. As you now work on new projects do you always refer to previous work to see where you can improve your skills?
I think I look at the future rather than my past work. I look at myself from here and see where I’d like to be rather than where I’ve come from… My past determined my prior work and I’d like to see my present as determined by my future.
Now you received some critical acclaim for a one-woman stage show you performed. Tell us how this came to be and how you took on the persona of Frida Kahlo and what it was like working alongside Susan Batson?
Thank you for asking. This is probably one of the most proud works I’ve done, for more then one reason. I worked on that show for two years before it got presented to the audience of New York’s Theatre District and show lights. I will be forever grateful for that experience and the direction of a great master, director and acting coach Susan Batson. She is one of the most revered secrets of show business, from Oscar winning actors to directors alike. Everyone would love to have Susan Batson on their team. Despite her imposing work she is a humble woman – a True and Truth Goddess. Working with Susan has been my life’s blessing in various ways and I am forever grateful to her. I still get to work at her studio whenever I am in New York. My journey of becoming the character Frida Kahlo is nothing short of magic and miracle. From the moment Susan offered me to do the play at her studio to meeting Frida’s family in Mexico City to receiving the comment from a lady of Mexican decent in the audience who had to see me after the show and ask if I was Mexican – to all the events that could only be described as spiritual singularity. I cannot tell you how many remarkable moments there were of pure an immense phenomenon: like being at the right place at the right time: when I was in Toronto Frida’s exhibition was at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario); or when I was in Los Angeles her paintings were at LACMA; when I went on my journey to discover her roots, her culture and her life and persona I met her family and the family of Diego Rivera (and that’s all without anyone’s introduction, pure guidance from spirit) and on it goes…
Can you tell us a little bit more about your latest project 'Illuminate'?
Illuminate is a documentary that I am still working on. It follows people’s passions. How do we discover our passion, how do we nurture it? I interview people of various careers, from investors to artists to alternative healers and look for the magic dust that made them successful. Depending on further funding and interests from producers I am contemplating on making it available online as series vs. a typical feature length documentary film.
I have asked this question to a few of our female guests. As a female in the independent film industry do you feel it is tougher to be seen and heard with your work?
I have many beautiful men in my life and extraordinary women, and I think it is a bit tougher to be a woman in any industry or any role. We just have more stereotypes to break and cultural norms to grow from. I am not a feminist and I don’t believe in that dogma but I am a humanist. Many years of men being in certain leadership roles has morphed the course of our history. It is time for more women to step into their power and create the balance – and we are doing it. Nothing about my life path and career choices has been by the book. I had to break many barriers and create my own work. One of my acting teachers from Prague Film School who is also a casting director -Nancy Bishop, has taught me to create my own work and she was right. Especially now, when actors are not only competing with brands but those new brands “influencers” and new media. I had to create work and I kept myself busy with acting, training, writing, directing and also working on self expression of various forms like dancing and all of my being. This includes certain healing modalities and spiritual work – which in 2020 is becoming more acceptable and relevant to everyone.
Now to the business side of film, what do you think the best future is for independent filmmakers when it comes to distribution and getting their projects seen?
Great question! Please let me know if you find a perfect answer. I think finding a great team who will help you is key. Perhaps making your work available on your own website or channel might be a good idea and reaching out to your audience and various communities and tribes to support it.
If budget wasn't an option and you could cast anyone- what would your next project be, give us a leading man and lady along with the movie tagline?
Haha, good one, I can’t say the title but the tagline is: They remembered their past life and became inseparable. With myself as a leading lady and if Adrien Brody is not available I will hold auditions 🙂 haha.
Lella thank you so much for supporting our festivals as a Jury Member and for taking the time to join us in The Green Room.
You are very welcome Dan! I look forward to seeing you at one of the next Fusion Film Festivals!