Meet Director Alicia Slimmer
by Annette Palmer
“Potential is a powerful thing…” ~ Alicia Slimmer
Alicia Slimmer has been writing since the young age of 5, because she “had to get the words on the page.” Inspired by SUPERMAN, STAR WARS and ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, she found that writing helped her make sense of the world.
Thinking that she wanted to be an actor, Slimmer auditioned in New York City for years until she wrote a feature play that was produced by her college. It wasn’t long before she found that “…the stage felt too limiting for the scenes [she] wanted to create.” So, she wrote “an ambitious screenplay” followed by a short called MY FIRST CAR that won the Best Comedy award at The New School’s Invitational Student Film Show. The short went on to play other festivals and win awards. Slimmer loved every moment realizing that “being at the helm of [her] own set was the greatest experience…”
However, as much as Slimmer enjoyed writing from an early age, she was also exposed to plenty of “manspeak” that she originally thought was dismissive and due to the fact that people liked to hear themselves speak. However, as they barreled over her ideas, she soon came to realize that the obstacles she was facing were inherent to PA jobs. Some of her experiences were so bad that she almost hurled as she had to clean up “pigeon poop, dead birds and evidence of squatters” all day in an abandoned warehouse in Vinegar Hill; or the time it was considered to be working for the “Art Department” when she had to take a subway to a location and was only checked on once in the morning and left alone the rest of the day, with a call time of dawn.
Slimmer strongly believes that women who go through a Director’s Training Program with a big network or TV show “should be guaranteed a spot directing on a future episode. Or, at least, co-directing…Why does one dude come off having his short play at Sundance to go on to direct a big budget action movie and an equally qualified female comes off of having her feature play at Sundance, find herself being offered (if she’s lucky) a Lifetime movie special or a movie for the Hallmark Channel?” Slimmer urges Hollywood to be gender blind and see a good movie with a female director for what it is – a good movie with a female director.
Her advice for up and coming and seasoned female filmmakers is to always have something ready to go. Practice pitching; sign up for classes or even for the dozens of Pitch contests. Slimmer encourages filmmakers that “content is key, so don’t rely on what you’ve done, push for the next project that has potential.” Making a great movie and then getting busy again with your next project is the best way to stay in the industry and keep working.
Slimmer’s feature, CREEDMORIA, is finishing up its NYC screenings at Cinema Village at the end of February and is set to premier in the UK at the Manchester Film Festival on March 4. She hopes to have it available on streaming devices by summer.
“…The film boasts an exuberant comic vitality that keeps the viewer engaged…It’s not surprising that…[it] has already won such accolades as the Brooklyn Film Festival’s Audience Award, Cinequest’s Best Comedy Feature Award and Dances With Film’s Industry Choice Award…” – Hollywood Reporter
Slimmer will also be shooting three episodes of an untitled comedy web series that she co-created, as well as, the teaser to a passion project in line with GAME OF THRONES that should be completed by the end of summer.
Overall, Slimmer thinks, “it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a woman director and woman filmmaker. Pressure to hire us is a good thing and I look forward to throwing my hat in the ring.”