Episode 29

What It Takes to Succeed as a Female Filmmaker with Emmy Award Winner – Janet Grillo


Are you passionate about filmmaking, or have you ever dreamed about becoming a part of the film industry? If so, then join me on today’s episode of the Mentors and Moguls Podcast featuring my guest Janet Grillo. Janet Grillo is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, Emmy Award-winning producer, and former studio executive. She’s most known for her work directing the award-winning film Jack of the Red Hearts; writing, directing, and producing the critically acclaimed film Fly Away; and for working as an executive producer for the Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, Autism: The Musical. She currently works as a full-time Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Be sure to listen in as together Janet and I discuss her career in the film industry, how the industry has evolved over time, and what the future looks like for women aspiring to go into filmmaking. 

Janet explains how she began her path into the film industry, discussing her beginnings at New Line Cinema when it was first starting out.

Janet begins our conversation today by explaining how she began her path into the film industry, discussing her beginnings at New Line Cinema when it was first starting out and how she was then able to grow along with the company. She explains to listeners that in the film industry, technology, form, and content are all closely linked together so that with the advent of video, an entirely new market opened up, creating a new revenue stream that then allowed for more movies, such as independent films, to be made. 

Because of cultural shifts, Janet finally sees change and is optimistic that the momentum will continue forward in the industry for women. 

In addition to talking about how technology has evolved over the last several decades, Janet also discusses how the environment for women within the film industry has changed over time. She explains that while she has always dedicated herself to promoting female-driven films and stories, for many years, their work just wasn’t being received because it was assumed there was no audience for such projects. Because of cultural shifts, however, she finally sees this change and is optimistic that the momentum will continue forward in the industry for women. 

Janet offers advice to any listeners who may want to enter the filmmaking industry and some tips on the best ways to begin this journey.

Janet ends our talk today by explaining the need for all of us to continue cultivating a cultural context that supports the dreams of girls aspiring to pursue film so as to offer them the support required for them to be successful. She also offers advice to any listeners who may want to enter the filmmaking industry and some tips on the best ways to begin this journey.

“Storytellers carry the genetic code of culture.” – Janet Grillo
You can learn more about Janet Grillo and her work and filmography at: 

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