March is nearly over, but we’re still trying to make the most of the remainder of Women’s History Month! Despite the uncertain times we are all going through right now, we want to remain positive, keep moving forward, and continue celebrating the women in our lives.
P.S. Did you see that we launched a Women’s History Month Flash Open Project?
At Zooppa, we have always committed to doing everything we can to bring equality to the industry and beyond. That’s why we launched Peggy in 2018. Moreover, it’s why we continue to celebrate and highlight the multifaceted, multicultural, and underrepresented filmmakers and creatives in our community.
Therefore, in celebration of Women’s History Month and the amazing, powerful ladies of our community, we’re bringing you a series of features and interviews with Zooppers just like yourself. These ladies are Zooppa veterans, award winning filmmakers, community leaders, innovative artists and directors, and more.
Nina Reyes Rosenberg of Mala Forever is a newer member of the Zooppa Community! We selected her for an interview because we admire the community that she has built around her work and between her peers. She exemplifies what we strive to achieve by connecting Zooppers, supporting underrepresented creators, and making space for them in our community and in our work. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
How did you find yourself in your creative field?
I’ve always been drawn to visual mediums; self-expression through art and aesthetics, fashion, and getting lost in someone else’s story. Creativity has always been my way of documenting and processing my emotions, experiences, and relationships—I’ve always done this through video, painting, photography, and poetry.
I was always obsessed with movies and decided to devote my life to filmmaking at 14 years old after seeing Pulp Fiction for the first time. I got into NYU film school and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve worked as a producer, director, video editor, educator, and videographer, culminating with co-founding Mala Forever: a radical feminist film and digital studio.
Can you tell us a little more about Mala Forever and Mala Forever Presents?
Mala Forever is a radical feminist film and digital studio, grounded in community and inclusion. It’s a hybrid model. We produce short and feature films, new media content, and commissioned work such as music videos and nonprofit promo videos. Our mission is to empower diverse audiences and creators alike through representation and putting resources into our community through employment and mentorship.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
As a creator and storyteller, powerful womxn – mujeres poderosas – are my greatest inspiration. Women’s History Month is a reminder to stand in solidarity with women’s liberation movements globally.
What challenges have you faced as a female/female-identifying creative and how do you address them?
I’ve dealt with being paid less than men for the same job, being tokenized, underestimated, ignored, sexualized…and a lot of mansplaining. Oh, the mansplaining! However, I want to acknowledge that as a light-skinned person from an upper middle class background who had the opportunity to go to a prestigious film school, I still benefit from a system that makes it even harder for Black, Brown and Indigenous women to succeed.
To face my personal challenges, which include chronic mental and physical illnesses, I just keep doing the work. Additionally, connecting with other womxn creatives has been my lifeblood. Especially in recent times, since moving to Los Angeles in 2018, I’ve found the community of my dreams in solidarity with fellow radical women in film, largely thanks to Color Film (ig: @letscolorfilm). Together, we are renouncing toxic masculine culture in the industry and supporting one another with an abundance and community-driven mindset.
What has been your proudest moment thus far as a creative/filmmaker?
The community response to Mala Forever and the work we are doing has been a dream come true. Just scrolling through instagram and seeing how each one of our followers is a badass feminist makes me so proud. Being able to get talented people in our network paid—that’s what keeps me going. I’m really proud of the community and company we’re building and excited for the future.
Can you recommend a must-have/read/see/check out for fellow female (and non female!) creatives?
“Writing the 21st Century Screenplay” by Linda Aronson is a really great manual on how to write feature-length scripts. The podcasts “Write Your Screenplay” and “ScriptNotes” bring me lots of joy and inspiration. Additionally, I highly recommend Insight Timer for meditation. When I’m feeling blocked, I’ll search “creative” and listen to a guided meditation to help get the juices flowing.
What is your Personality Type? 🙂
These tests were not invented with bipolar scorpio artists in mind. I find them impossible to complete. I’d say my personality is: eccentric, fierce, shy, passionate, empathetic, and bossy. 🙂
We love sharing and bragging about all the incredible things that our community members are doing out there in the world. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing and brag about you too!
Share your news, your passion projects, your award winning films, and your works in progress with us by email firstname.lastname@example.org!
We <3 you. Happy Women’s History Month!
Stay safe and thank you for being here with us.
Zooppa Community Team