Interviews

Interview with Twinsters executive producer Jenna Ushkowitz at SXSW 2015

During the SXSW 2015 Film Festival with had the opportunity to interview actress Jenna Ushkowitz, who produced the documentary Twinsters. Twinsters had it’s world premiere on Sunday 15th March at SXSW 2015.

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In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance. After discovering they were born on the same day in Busan, Korea and both put up for adoption, Anaïs reached out to Samantha via Facebook. In Twinsters, we follow Samantha and Anaïs’ journey into sisterhood, witnessing everything from their first meeting, to their first trip back to Korea where their separation took place.

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Twinsters explores the meaning of family and connection through a story that would have been impossible just 10 years ago without the creation of YouTube and Facebook.

Do you plan on producing any more movies in the future, after having produced your first with Twinsters?

Yeah, I would love to, I have nothing in the works just yet but I am interested in getting into the whole producing, development and directing aspects of filmmaking.

Would you consider directing?

Yes, absolutely, it’s just a matter of making sure I’m well prepared for it because I’ve never done that before but it’s definitely something that has sparked an interest.

Is there be any particular genre of films you would want to work on?

Something I really enjoy is the dark comedy such as Diablo Cody’s work, for example Jennifers Body. You know something that is a little skewed and off, it’s interesting because I’m such a happy go lucky person so it’s the complete opposite of who I am.

Can you describe how you felt when Twinsters had it’s world premiere at SXSW 2015?

First of all, it was extremely exciting to finally have people to be able to see the story and see what we had been working on. It was nerve wracking as I didn’t know how the response was going to be. It’s really brave for Sam and Anais to share such a personal and intimate story with everybody. I commend them so much for doing this because it’s definitely something that needs to be shared.

Are you hoping this film will inspire others to use social media to find their potential siblings out there?

Absolutely, I think there has been a negative light on social media sometimes because we are always on our phones or computers but I think shining a positive light on it by showing people what it’s capable of doing. It’s really exciting and great if others can experience this sort of thing.

Do you think Kickstarter will continue to grow and become a driving force behind filmmaking or do you think it’s largely intended for smaller and independant projects?

I definitely think it’s for smaller and independant projects but I don’t think that it’s a bad thing. I don’t think crowdfunding is going to be a trend but I think it will allow people to do things they couldn’t normally do before. I think that’s a great way to fund the arts.

Is there any plans on releasing Twinsters nationwide? Have you found any interested parties?

We’d like to, it’s what we are hoping for. There has been interest, it’s just the matter of finding the right fit.

What do you hope viewers will feel or walk away with after watching a screening of Twinsters?

I hope they will work away inspired, you don’t need to be a twin or adopted as I think it will inspire the viewer about the possibilities. I also hope the viewer walks away with hope and for them to realise that anything is possible.

As a fan would you have the guts to stay in the Bates Motel?

No absolutely not, I did the Alfred Hitchcock tour when I was little, I didn’t know what I was getting into but my brother wanted to do it. It was at Universal Studios in Florida, they were reenacting the shower scene and I didn’t know what that was, they showed a clip of it first and it scarred me for life. If the showers have curtains on it then I won’t close the shower curtain completely.

With the success of Netflix making award winning shows such as House of Cards do you think the future of TV will consist of online productions only?

Absolutely, I think that they are revolutionising TV and I think that it’s smart and it’s creatively great for them to make it exclusive and also they are creating art that they know will be released all at once. It’s ingenious.

Speaking of House of Cards, if you could be in it what character would you play and why?

Oh my goodness, I mean if it was one of the existing characters I would obviously play Robin Wright…ah clearly. She runs that whole thing but I don’t know if I would want to play any other character other than Robin Wright’s character (Claire Underwood) because I would not want to be under Frank Underwood at all.

Do you think the Glee cast will reunite in about 20 years time for a special reunion like what Saved by the Bell did for Jimmy Fallon?

Yes absolutely and I think it would be sooner than that (laughs), I don’t think it will be 20 years, give it like five. I think it would be really really interesting and fun. It was really cool the way they did Saved by the Bell.

Do you have any adoption charities you would like our readers to be aware of and how they can help?

Yes, Sam Futerman and I founded Kindred Adoption and it’s basically the go to resource for adoption and that’s what we hope for to be. We would like to help with the sociol, emotional support as well as DNA testing, travel, reunions and just a place or community to make sure people know that they are not alone. You can help out by donating, volunteering or you can reach out. We also have blogs where you can share your stories such as your experiences of being adopted, being the adoptee, being a foster mum or anything like that as we would love to hear it.

For more information you can visit Kindredadoption.org

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Twinsters will be screening next at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on Saturday 25th April, 2015. Tickets and more info here:http://laapff.festpro.com/films/program/twinsters_2015

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The 2015 SXSW Film Festival was held from March 13 to March 21 in Austin, Texas.

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 About the Author

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Jenny Tang

Nerdgeist Editor

Contact me for any Press, Reviews, Advertising or General Enquiries.

Email: contactnerdgeist@gmail.com

Twitter: @NGeistofficial

I love food, films, TV, photography and technology.

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