Female filmmakers, Dionne van den Berg and Pooja Tripathi’s presentation at Montclair State University’s Film Forum left audience members inspired and motivated. The filmmakers are currently touring universities all around, marketing their new web series, “Amsterdam Ave.” The duo wrote their series, while also acting as the leading characters in the storyline. Berg and Tripathi streamed episodes for students and followed them by a Q & A session. They hoped to answer any questions young filmmakers had about their experience.
“Amsterdam Ave.” invokes both drama and comedy, about two young girls who switch places to follow their dreams. Berg’s character traveled to New York to attend acting school, while Tripathi’s character left the states to attend a DJing competition in Amsterdam. Leaving family, societal norms and gendered expectations behind; the two characters decide to take the fate of their life into their own hands. This wasn’t the case only on the screen, but also reflected Berg and Tripathi’s real-life experience as well. Originally, business students, they felt no fulfillment in their field and decided to leave it to pursue filmmaking and acting. Therefore, they hope to inspire young people to chase their dreams and to put their fears aside. The duo also empowers all female filmmakers of color. Tripathi states, “Almost 90% of our team is made up of strong female filmmakers.”
With only sixty thousand dollars available for funds, the young filmmakers shocked the audience as they noted they were able to complete the full six episodes with that budget. The audience was left in admiration as they went through the Q & A and reflected on the duo’s hard work.
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