I wanted to make it emotionally-driven: Kelly Cox on “Big Dreams”
Kelly Cox recently released her first film “Big Dreams” on women in STEM. Based on the lives and careers of seven women from seven different places, Cox goes around the villages in northern Zambia, the jungles of Peru, ancient cities in Algeria, guarded communities in Haiti, and neighbourhoods up and down the vastness of Thailand following women who chose to take up STEM as their profession.
In a conversation with Cox, she shared that all these women from different parts of the world had more similarities in the challenges they faced than differences. “I found more similarities than differences when I was working with these girls. Obviously what Martha’s life like is in Nairobi is different from Cassandra’s in Arizona, but they were all passionate, self-possessed, insecure, curious, confident and afraid. All of these emotions that women have, we are all very similar. And I don’t think that we exchange enough with each other as much as we should for whatever reason,” Cox told ShethePeople.tv.
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On differences among the women she interviewed, she said that the biggest were religious-barriers, immigration, status, access to education and that was important for her to show in story-telling.
I had to keep the emotion and the integrity at the forefront and not make it policy-driven but emotionally driven.
Cox has always been a writer. It was only when there was enough access to technology and as it became more affordable, she thought of venturing into filmmaking. But it has its own challenges, she says, “Making documentaries is always challenging as there is a small budget. There was only I and my partner in the crew. And while my partner really believed in my instincts, we had several round-table discussions. And I had to keep the emotion and the integrity at the forefront and not make it policy-driven but emotionally driven.”
While selecting the girls, she scrutinized over the challenges that these women had. The women are at the age when they are transitioning out of high school to college to their career thought process which she feels is “tumultuous”. “You are second guessing every career choice you make and I knew that as long as I can create a bond with them and earn their trust then we would be able to get them to speak up.”
Big Dreams has come to India as part of the American Film Showcase (AFS) program which is a collaborative project of the U.S. State Department and the University of South California’s School of Cinematic Arts (USC-SCA).