As a writer, director and producer, Anna Axster has been making films and music videos for more than 10 years, many of which have screened in festivals around the world and been viewed more than three million times online. Axster graduated with a master’s degree in directing from the London Film School. After working in film production in both the UK and Spain, Axster moved to Los Angeles in 2007 where she continued work as a writer and director. Shortly after moving to LA, Axster started collaborating with Ryan Bingham, directing all his music videos, in addition to her other projects. In 2012 she formed Axster Bingham Records. (Press materials)
AA: After the death of her estranged alcoholic father, a young woman travels to small-town America to confront what happens when the structures we build for ourselves come undone. The cultural and personal circumstances she finds herself in challenge her to [face] the blurry lines between being an adult and actually growing up.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
AA: It started with the characters. I was inspired by traveling all over the U.S. while touring with my husband, who is a musician. There seemed to be so many countries combined into this one large country, and how these cultural differences challenge stereotypes was interesting to me. This provided the context for the personal story of this young woman dealing with loss and family and the idea of home.
It was a great pleasure working with Jim Beggarly, who co-wrote the script with me. I brought the story to him, and he added so much and filled in this world we wanted to create.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
AA: Getting it financed was definitely a big challenge, but we got there eventually through great people who simply believed in the project.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theatre?
AA: I simply want them to feel something, either about the characters they just watched or about situations in their lives or the lives around them that the story might remind them of.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
AA: Pick a project you truly believe in and then never give up on it, no matter how hard it seems to get it made.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
AA: It was a combination of private equity, an investment from Arc Entertainment and crowdsourcing.
W&H: Name your
favorite woman-directed film and why.
AA: There are many for many different reasons. I love Claire
Denis’ “Beau Travail,” which invokes such a strong atmosphere and
feeling through its use of camera and sound design. And in a completely
different direction, I recently re-watched Jane Campion’s “Bright
Star,” which is such a beautiful film in the way it tells the story and
the way it is shot.