Interview: Dir. Lissette Feliciano talks film at Cannes
24 Jul, 2017
Lissette Feliciano, a director, writer and actress from San Francisco, CA, who is currently based in Los Angeles, CA is successfully making her way in the Hollywood film industry. Having graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Feliciano recently completed her fourth short film in 2017 entitled, WITH CHILDREN. The film was featured as part of the prestigious 2017 Cinequest Film & VR Festival shorts program, which took place February 28, 2017 – March 12, 2017 in San Jose, CA. The film will be featured next at the L.A. Shorts International Film Festival on Friday, August 4th at 7:45pm, Laemmle NoHo 7.
Dig In Magazine Editor-in-chief Cindy Maram had the unique opportunity to catch up with the multi-faceted filmmaker and actress during this past May’s 2017 Cannes Film Festival in the South of France. See what Lissette had to say about her short, WITH CHILDREN and her upcoming feature film, THE HAND OF GOD, which is currently under development and was one of the top five scripts chosen out of 50 by “AT&T Presents: Untold Stories” at last April’s 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Lissette also discusses how she became interested in filmmaking, as well as describes her experiences as a minority filmmaker making her way in the film industry. Watch our exclusive interview with Lissette Feliciano from Cannes:WITH CHILDREN Movie Review:
WITH CHILDREN is a dramatic short based on the life and experiences of the filmmaker’s mother. In the ‘70s, Feliciano’s mother, was a courageous entrepreneur wading her way through the challenges she faced as a woman of color in the business world and society at large during that time period. Feliciano explains that her mother always told her to “persist always, never quit…and resist…stand your ground when you get pushed out of the way. And speak up and not be afraid to speak up.” The picture takes the viewer through the struggles of a single mother, Cecilia, played by the talented Feliciano, who faces barriers of discrimination on the basis of race and gender. Attempting to purchase a home, she is turned away due to her status as a young, single, pregnant female, who is viewed by upper class society as a disgrace. She is saddened as she is not accepted by the older “more respectable” generation and those who consider themselves to be “better off” than her. Further, to add to her dismay, in the workplace her employer refuses to give her equal pay for the same level of work as her male counterpart.
Feliciano’s WITH CHILDREN isn’t a story meant to merely entertain audiences, but was developed in an effort to give those in similarly difficult situations—female minorities fighting for equal pay in the workforce and equal rights—a representative voice in a world governed by narrow perspectives on women and racial minorities.
Feliciano provides an emotional performance, effectively drawing audiences into her character’s mindset and troubled world. However, at the same time, we can clearly see Cecilia’s strong sense of hope and ambition as she strives to overcome the difficulties she faces as a single-mother and Latino woman living in San Francisco during the mid-1970s.
[Photos courtesy of Lissette Feliciano]
Watch additional film talent interviews on our Dig In Magazine YouTube Channel.