CFVA Member Profile
By Tammy Brislin, CFVA Board Member
CFVA Member: Windy Borman - Executive Producer/Director MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED; Founding Board Chair, Women in Film and Media Colorado
Windy Borman is a multi-award-winning director/producer, who moved to Colorado in 2014 and now calls Denver home. Her current project MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED follows female “ganjaprenerus” in the budding marijuana industry.
Windy founded DVA Productions in 2006 and uses her gift of storytelling to produce multimedia projects that give a voice to the voiceless and promote peace, justice, and equality. Some of her past projects are – the award-winning documentary, THE EYES OF THAILAND, narrated by Ashley Judd and THE BIG PICTURE: RETHINKING DYSLEXIA, which premiered at Sundance 2012 and on HBO. You can also find her writing for Takepart.com and IndieWire: Women and Hollywood.
CFVA member Tammy Brislin caught up with Windy for a quick chat about her latest project and how she is leading the charge to organize women mediamakers in Colorado.
TB: What has been the focus or the "driving force" behind your film projects?
WB: The average length of a documentary (from Development through Distribution) is 5-7 years. Consequently, I select film topics that I don’t mind dedicating blood, sweat and tears to for several years.
Common themes in my work are: education, empowerment, peace, justice, and equality. When I can find a project that combines several of these core values (such as gender parity, social justice and environmental sustainability) into one project and learn about something new (like cannabis), then I know I have a winner. In fact, these are the core values of MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED.
TB: Tell us about the #PuffragetteMovement and your current project: MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED.
WB: It’s a groundbreaking, feature-length documentary that follows female “ganjapreneurs” as they navigate the budding US marijuana industry. Their experience with the medical, legal, technical, scientific and business aspects of cannabis paint a multidimensional portrait of what it takes to be the “Women of Weed”. We plan to premiere MARY JANES at film festivals in spring 2017.
That said, MARY JANES isn’t just a film; it’s a movement to change the national cannabis conversation by showcasing the real women building a socially responsible cannabis industry.
We began filming MARY JANES in February 2016 and production is already 65% complete. We’ve filmed in Colorado, DC, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California. Oregon, Washington and Alaska are next on our list to round out all the states where adult (aka “recreational”) use of marijuana is legal.
To date we’ve interviewed 35 female ganjapreneurs, who we call “Puffragettes™” which is a combination of Pot and Suffragette. We’re gearing up for the film’s climax on Election Night 2016 when we’ll film in California and Massachusetts to document the results of the marijuana legalization initiatives and the presidential race, as all of these could be game changers for the budding cannabis industry.
TB: CFVA is all about promoting and supporting Colorado production resources; we were elated to see your crew includes a number of locals, thumbs up to you!
WB: It’s been great to work with Colorado Field Producers, Cinematographers, Audio Techs and Hair/Makeup Artists on our local shoots. I’m also working with Denver companies for Post-Production, Motion Graphics and Animation. I appreciate the excitement, dedication and resourcefulness of the Denver film community, as well as how proud they are to work on a locally produced documentary with me.
Since I’m producing and directing a documentary about gender parity, it would be irresponsible if I didn’t strive for inclusiveness behind the cameras, too. I’m pleased to report we’ve had 10 women and 5 men on our film crews, or a 2:1 ratio of women to men. I also try to include as many people of color as I can to add diverse perspectives on set. We know that diverse companies and productions are the most successful—and it’s the right thing to do—so diversity and inclusivity are huge goals of mine on both sides of the lens.
TB: A shout out to Windy’s Colorado crew: Jill Brooke- Associate Producer, Cynthia Wilson – Social Media Producer, Meryem Ersoz – Field Producer, Kimman Harmon – Cinematographer, Djuna Zupancic – Cinematographer, Doug Gritzmacher – Cinematographer, Angelique Dagger – Hair/Makeup Artist, Gregg Stouffer – Editor, Tammy Botkin – Post-Production Supervisor.
TB: You are one of the founding members of WIFMCO, please tell us more!
WB: At the 2015 CFVA “State of the State”, I met several other female filmmakers (Kathryn Gould, Meryem Ersoz, Trai Cartwright, and Tricia Mentor to name a few) and casually asked, “Where is the Women in Film chapter?” In March 2016, the 12 Founding Board Members hosted the Women in Film and Media Colorado (WIFMCO) Premiere Launch Event at The Lot, where over 100 women (and men) attended.
The mission of WIFMCO is to unite, educate and empower women mediamakers. We offer creative and professional support to our members through monthly meetings, special events and a very active on-line community. To date we have over 120 paid members. We have big plans for bolstering the Colorado film community—and women’s roles in the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking—across the state, not just in Denver, so the next time out-of-state directors film in Colorado, they feel comfortable hiring more local crew. Learn more about WIFMCO at Facebook.com/wifmco
Windy will be releasing her fundraising teaser for MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED mid-September. Please check her website for doc info and updates. You will also be able to meet Windy and learn more about WIFMCO in October when they co-host our 4th Qtr Schmoozer.