On Monday, Dec. 2, Examiner.com was on the scene at the 23rd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, presented by the The Independent Filmmaker Project at Cipriani Wall Street. This is the fourth year that euphoria Calvin Klein has sponsored the event. Director Gita Pullapilly won the "Euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers Live the Dream Grant" for her film "Beneath The Harvest Sky." Her award was presented by "The Spectacular Now" Best Actress nominee, Shailene Woodley.
We spoke with Gita Pullapilly exclusively right after she accepted her award in the green room. Check out what she had to say.
Tell me a little about your film that you just won for.
So, I made a film called "Beneath the Harvest Sky" with my co-writer, director, and husband Aron Gaudet. So it’s a coming-of-age film that’s set in a potato harvest in Van Buren, Maine.
And you wrote it and you directed it and you produced it? Tell me about that process.
Yes, I co-wrote, co-directed, and co-produced it with my husband and it was the most grueling process ever to try to make your first feature film. But we had an amazing support system and an unbelievable cast that came together to support the film and we had an amazing crew that said they would just come champion this film and believe in the story, and so we were able to get it out there.
Tell me how you got your start in the film world.
I was actually a television reporter and I really didn’t like television news. And so, my husband said, “Why don’t you try doing something else with your life? How about making movies?” And so, he actually told me that there was a way to make movies in the independent world that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and we worked on it together and ended up making a feature film.
Were you a reporter in New York?
No. I was a reporter in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That’s where my last job was at a local affiliate.
What's next for you?
Yeah, exactly, make the next film if we can and just keep pushing forward in bigger, more cinematic visions of storytelling.
"This year, euphoria Calvin Klein also sponsored the award for Best Actress, which was presented to Brie Larson, who was dressed in Calvin Klein Collection. The evening’s guests who were wardrobed by Calvin Klein Collection included Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Forest Whitaker, Michael B Jordan, Oscar Isaac, host for the evening Nick Kroll and IFP Executive Director Joana Vicente. Mr. Whitaker also received a career tribute for his contribution to independent film. It was also announced that top model Vanessa Axente will be the face of the endless euphoria global advertising as she walked the red carpet at The Gotham Awards. Ms Axente was also dressed in Calvin Klein Collection," CK said in a release. The evening was also sponsored by FIJI Water, Russian Standard Vodka and Mionetto Prosecco.