Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Anita Ross, 'Cloud Piercer', & Film Fatales

I 'met' Anita Ross five years ago, through her blog, Ophelia Thinks Hard. This is how she introduces herself there–
I'm an actress, a writer, mum to a gorgeous, funny and exceedingly clever little boy, and a proud Wellingtonian. I am inching my way closer to being a working actress. This is my journey.
Soon, she'll take her feature project about climber Freda Du Faur, Cloud Piercer, to the Stowe Story Labs, where mentors include Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell and Elizabeth Kaiden of Tangerine Entertainment, casting director Ellen Parks and Anne Rosellini, co-writer of Winter's Bone.

And she's just founded Wellington's Film Fatales, modelled on the New York Film Fatales.

So I asked her: And. And. And. How did you come so far so fast? You have a masters law degree, in human rights. When and why did you shift from law to acting and then to writing? 

Pure stubbornness? I had spent about six years studying law but I was never particularly passionate about it. When I did my Masters I loved researching and writing about human rights, indigenous and women’s rights in particular but at the end of my degree I felt burnt out. A friend sat me down, told me to stop complaining and imagine a world where you could be whatever you wanted to be with nothing and no one holding you back. She asked me what I wanted to be and an old, familiar voice at the back of my mind piped up and said ‘an actress of course!’

I’d also always enjoyed writing but had never written with much focus unless someone told me to. Once I had made the decision to pursue acting, the writing started sort of accidentally with my blog as a sort of sounding board to sort through my scattered and often contradictory thoughts on the industry. Eventually, I got frustrated by the dearth of roles for women and wrote to make my own work.

Once I gave myself permission to do the work, I had to finish. Through all the creative ups and downs, I realized that I had found something that I actually felt passionate about.