This week we’re joined by Chicago filmmaker & performer, Henry Hanson!
(This interview was edited and condensed for clarity)
CA: Hey Henry! Hit us with your bio.
HH: My name is Henry Hanson. I'm a director and producer and sometimes performer, here in Chicago. I use they/them/theirs pronouns and I am super excited to be here. Thanks to Camara Ambassador for inviting me and letting me ramble.
CA: Are you developing any projects in quarantine?
HH: I'm actually for using my first feature film at the moment. It's called Snow People. It's written and directed by Olivia Lilley and we're producing it through our nonprofit production company, Pop Magic productions– you can find out more at popmagic.org. This project is part of the inaugural class of the Chicago independent producers lab which I'm super excited about. Another project I'll talk about is a comedy short film called 'The Park.' In this one, I am a co-creator, co-writer, and acting in it. It's super fun, low budget and just scrappy.
CA: How do you see film distribution changing since theatres are closed?
HH: I'm not sure if I have a big picture prediction about the future of film distribution, but something that I've loved that I've seen pop up is the resurgence of drive-in movies, which I think is so cool. I think there's been a lot of cool live streams too. I really appreciate these sorts of creative solutions that allow there to still be this sort of like event aspect of film distribution, because I think that's something that's really important in like creating hype and getting people to feel the gravity of films is creating an event.
CA: As an artist and activist, how do you see those two roles supporting each other?
HH: There is always a place for art in different social movements. Whether that's catalyzing force that is resistance music or the way that it can be used for political education, whether that's propaganda or documentary or infographics. But I also think that there are a lot of things that need to be done in these movements. And you're not always going to get to bring your pre-existing skills to the table. And it's okay.
CA: Any organizations you'd like to shout out?
HH: I would like to shout out the abolitionists organizations that have been working over the years to lay the groundwork for the movement that we are seeing right now. Shout out to, Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis, Survived and Punished in New York, Critical Resistance– an amazing abolitionist organization, Black and Pink is a national organization supporting LGBTQ incarcerated people. Shout out to the mutual aid networks that have popped up in the wake of COVID or solidified or strengthened themselves and shout out to everyone doing jail support. I think that's so awesome. If you want to get involved in that, let me know.
CA: Thank you, Henry!HH: Thank you so much Camera Ambassador for having me on this Filmmaker Friday– it's been an absolute joy. Feel free to reach out on Instagram (@degeneracy_now), or you can email me at email@example.com. Have a great weekend.
Check out the video interview (and all our #filmmakerfriday videos on Youtube):