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March 2 ,2017 – Lady Participate 010
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Filmmaker Caroline Conrad has worked behind the scenes for Vogue UK, Derek Lam, Petra Collins and, most recently, the band Ex Reyes. She is the co-founder of SRSLY, a production company focused on producing for and promoting female filmmakers. The still above is from the music video she produced for Ex Reyes' "Keeping U in Line," directed by Asli Baykal. 

Name: Caroline Prager Conrad   ::   Occupation: Filmmaker and Artist   ::  Age: 25   ::   City: Brooklyn, NY   ::   Astrological sign: Aquarius, Scorpio rising  
 
End of the day unwind: I love animals, but I don’t have any pets because my schedule is only predictable in its unpredictability, so I spend a lot of time at my friends’ apartments, playing with their pets and talking about our feelings and eating. I greatly value my alone time, but I’m renewed by spending time with people I love.
 
Best work environment: I alternate between working in film/video production and writing, so I operate between two polar extremes and have to create consistency through the chaos.   
When I’m on a production, I’m happiest on a collaborative set, where I contribute creatively and work with the director and crew between putting out fires. If I’m writing, I squirrel myself away in a nest of soft lighting with a soundtrack of classical film scores. I write in intense bursts of hyper-focus, chain-smoking spliffs and never drinking enough water — all of which I blame on my ADHD.
 
Personal masterpiece: I would say my undergraduate thesis, a cinematic analysis of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is my personal masterpiece. I just about killed myself during the year I spent researching and writing that monster, but it was worth it. I had no requirements from my department, only a final deadline— so that was my first experience in creating my own schedule, and routines to maintain that schedule, and it was baptism by fire. I learned a hell of a lot about Tolkien and theories of melodrama, but I learned just as much about my own tenacity and what I’m capable of when I really dedicate myself— and how rewarding it is to do so.
 
Current obsession: Honestly, taking care of myself. I’ve become very open about my experiences with mental illness and sexual assault because I spent so many years suffering in silence, isolating, blaming, and hating myself. I focus on mental illness and trauma in my work because I want to see better representation and discussion of those things, but also because these are things I’m thinking about and working through myself.
For women and femmes, especially, there’s an expectation from society that we put others ahead of ourselves, and I personally have struggled my entire life with seeing my own needs as secondary to or less valid than those of others. I’m finally working on making my well-being, myself, my first priority.
 
Most important failure: We read Paradise Lost in my 10th grade English class, and most of the class just used Cliff Notes, but in some act of integrity or pride, I toiled through reading it. Everyone who used Cliff Notes got high Bs or low As on our exam, and I failed. I learned a very valuable lesson that day: work smart, not hard.

Personal role model: My mom. She finds genuine joy in simple things, the way yoga teachers wax on about— except she prefers roller coasters to yoga. She and my dad taught my sister and I to stand up for ourselves and our beliefs, and they encouraged us to think independently. She taught me to be grateful, she taught me to be kind, and she always fucking knows when it’s just cold enough you’re going to need a jacket later.  
 
What's next: I have on a couple narrative short films on the horizon which I’m really excited about. I look forward to writing and directing more in the future; that’s what I’m working towards now.
  
Ladies we should know: Sam Escobar is gender-nonconforming writer whose personal essays and opinions pieces have been published on Good HousekeepingEsquire, and Observer. They are an advocate for LGBTQ rights, selfies, and dad jokes on Twitter.
Sydney Lowe is a producer and photographer and founder of the Art Girl Army, a bicoastal art collective with over 2,000 members. Her work has been featured in Vogue Italia (PhotoVogue), Refinery29, and the PhotoVogue Art + Commerce collection.
Amber Discko was on the digital organizing and social strategy team for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and founded Femsplain, a publication dedicated to amplifying the voices of trans/cis women and gender-nonconforming
individuals.
 

TONIGHT IN...
New York City: Cameraperson (2016, Kirsten Johnson) 6:30pm EST @ Videology [308 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211]

Philadelphia: Pints for Your Rights - A Planned Parenthood Fundraiser 6-9pm EST @ Smokin Betty's [116 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107]

Chicago: Harriet Reading Series: francine j. harris 7pm CTS @ The Poetry Foundation [61 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654]

Los Angeles: Workshop: Creating Content on Your Own Terms with Brittani Nichols 7pm PST @ BOOK SHOW [5503 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, California 90042]

San Francisco: Screening and discussion of This Was Home (2016, Dana Levy) 6:30pm PST @ The Contemporary Jewish Museum [736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103]
For you New Yorkers... 
Tickets go on sale TODAY at noon for New Directors/New Films, presented by MoMA and Film Society Lincoln Center.
 
Here's a list of all the LADY-MADE features that you can see during the festival:
 
9 out of 29 films
Thanks for participating! See you on Monday for artist Justine Williams!
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