Where is She Now?

Chainletter Filmmakers:

The Velvet Chainletter

Christine Kennedy, The Birth of My Baby
January 10, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I was 19 or 20 years old when I found out about Joanie4Jackie by seeing a flyer for it.

What interested you about the project?
First and foremost, it was an opportunity to have my work seen outside of my group of friends. You must understand that that was difficult to come by back then. You had to have a distribution deal or make a deal with an indie art house, as there was no streaming. It was just so completely exciting to be able to share my work! Beyond that, it was a cool, sisterhood thing. It was obvious as I watched the other chainletter films that we, as women filmmakers, bring up issues, topics, and ideas that reflect ourselves. It is a shame that women, people of color, lgbt, are still in the minority as directors because we can reflect back a fuller, more authentic reflection of humanity if included.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
At the time, I considered myself an aspiring filmmaker, as I really was just starting to learn all aspects of the medium.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
My video on the chainletter was probably the most personal one I ever made. In enduring a secret tubal pregnancy as a teenager, I firsthand experienced the difficulty of having access and power in healthcare decisions related to my own reproductive system. Then in 1994-1995 right before I made the video, there had been bombings and other kinds of attacks on Planned Parenthood and a strong campaign by the right against Roe vs Wade. It was tremendous to take all of that in, with my own personal experiences. Really, I distilled my own anger into that project.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I loved the access, I loved that Miranda July empowered others beyond herself, and I felt a bond in being a part. I still feel the same way but with a fondness of the time and a chuckle thinking of the technology.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I helped foster a screening at the New Freeway Hall in Columbia City, Seattle, WA, by introducing the work and then doing Q&A afterwards. It was part of a Riot Grrl Convention.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Maya Deren, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Luis Buñuel, Fugazi, Nirvana, Salvador Dali, Gus Van Sant, Robyn Cline, Twin Peaks, the Riot Grrl movement, all were inspirations at the time.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m currently a production manager for Pyramide Productions, a video production company in Washington State. I also used to freelance for film/video and served as an executive assistant for the California Council for the Humanities, a grantmaker for documentary films. Really, though, I’ve done a lot of different things, legal and environmental work, as well as teaching. In my spare time, I paint, write poetry, read, get outdoors, and try to cultivate strong friendships.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
I still have Miranda July’s flier and response letter to me. I’d love to share a scan of them.