Mischajakupcak's picture
I was born in Missoula, Montana and grew up on a small goat farm where my parents were dedicated to educational reform, predominantly in the field of inclusion and special education. I have always loved writing and got my undergraduate degree in creative writing and philosophy from the University of Arizona. A few years after I graduated I moved to Seattle and realized film was the perfect collaborative art, requiring photography, music, writing, acting, wardrobe, etc. I went to a matinee by myself at a cheap theatre in Lynnwood one rainy afternoon and saw Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’. It was so beautiful and compelling, as I watched the credits roll, I saw lists of individuals who had somehow managed to work in the film industry and I thought to myself, why couldn’t I find a way to do this as well? Is it possible? Having grown up on a goat farm down the Bitterroot, it seemed a bit far fetched. But for the next few years I committed to myself to do one thing towards that goal each day. I began volunteering at the Northwest Film Forum delivering their newspapers. Then after a few months, the volunteer coordinator told me there was a directing workshop no one wanted to attend and that since I’d volunteered so many hours, I could go for free. So I went and the guy giving the class had graduated from the London Film School in the 60s. I eventually attended LFS as well, getting an MA in filmmaking. After I graduated I moved back to Seattle and (from Craigslist) got a job working on a low budget horror film starring Tori Spelling, called Cthulhu. I worked as an unpaid intern, and then got promoted to production coordinator and took whatever job in film that I could for the next six years, working back to back on whatever came into town. I was fortunate that I fell in with a great independent film community in Seattle and stayed employed the whole time. I worked my way up from production assistant, to the AD department and into the role of UPM (Unit Production Manager). Then I was hired as a Line Producer at North By Northwest, which brought me to Spokane. I left NXNW four years ago to produce independently. The first film I produced with a group of friends from Seattle was called The Off Hours, directed by Megan Griffiths and it premiered at Sundance in 2011. I have since produced or co-produced several features. I have worked on over thirty films in my career, ranging from budgets of 100,000 to 7 million. I produced my husband, Robyn Miller's first film, The Immortal Augustus Gladstone. We self distributed and the film is now available for free on Vimeo and You tube https://vimeo.com/96945067. Robyn comes from a video game background (co-created Myst & Riven). The experience of self distribution with Augustus has piqued my interest in alternative modes of distribution and learning ways to combine the creative art of film in a way that is sustainable(financially). The Hero Pose is my first attempt at writing and directing, (since I was in school nine years ago.) It is a twelve minute short film starring Chaske Spencer and Nikki Hahn and has played at over thirty festivals around the world and is now available in English, Spanish & Italian subtitles. Its success has humbled me, inspired me and ultimately let me a bit lost as to which direction to take professionally from here. So I have spent the past six-nine months rooting myself in community minded service and work here in Spokane, while I figure out what to do next. The non-profit arts organization I have been a part of starting in Spokane, is called Ink Art Space. It has been a fulfilling project for me to pour myself into. We are dedicated to bringing workshops and to youth and to help create a more vital, vibrant art community for youth and adults as well. Next week we are holding a Girls Rock Lab, where girls will learn different instruments, singing and songwriting with female musicians in the community.I've been writing grants and working to get technology and workshops that combine technology and the arts to all youth in this region, centering on neighborhoods that have less resources. I am interested in the intersection between social activism, storytelling and an art of filmmaking that focusses on the process as much as the product. Collaborative pieces that have a ripple effect from the subjects to the collaborators to the audience. Stories that heighten humanity and spirit. I am especially interested in films that ride the line between non-fiction and fiction, such as Kiarostami's Close-Up. Also investigating projects which blend theatre and live performance with art, film and music.

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