Fany de la Chica is a filmmaker and singer based in New York who is from Andalusia. She has directed short films, documentaries, commercials and music videos. For Women’s History Month 2021, I had a chance to chat with Fany de la Chica about her experience a as a woman in the film industry and others she are inspired by!
You are a Filmmaker based in New York. How exciting! You said that you started your film career by making documentaries, short films, and commercials. What inspired you to start making films and how would you describe your style as a filmmaker?
I started to make films at the age of seventeen and I didn’t stop since then. I’m not sure why I started making films I think I wanted to express myself and I felt in love with filming and creating images.
What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
I think films from Pedro Almodovar, who is a well recognized Spanish film director. I love how he portrays passion on the screen as well as his style and aesthetic.
What’s been your overall experience as a woman in this industry, and what do you want other women to know about filmmaking and the industry?
I can summarize my experience saying that every time I’m going to a festival people ask me if I’m an actress and I always need to say “no”… I’m the director.
Do you think NY currently affects your work and process? Does living in New York influence how and what you make?
I moved to Los Angeles because New York gave me anxiety. I lived there five years and it was the most productive years in my life. But sometimes you need also time to reflect and NY doesn’t give you the space on mind to do it.
What inspiration or support are you gaining from the local artist community?
I used to get a lot of inspiration in my old neighborhood in Harlem as it’s full of jazz clubs and nice bars. I get support from friends who believe in me 🙂
If there was one thing you could change to make the film industry better, what would it be?
More women producers and more women directors!
You are also a Flamenco singer. Tell us more about your background as a singer. How did you get started and what inspired you to pursue music?
I wasn’t interested in flamenco before but when I emigrated from my country I felt I need this type of music to reaffirm my roots. Then I studied flamenco singing in Sevilla at Cristina Heeren academy.
You recently released an album where you mix Flamenco with jazz and pop. Can you tell us more about this project? (What inspired you, your favorite songs, etc.?)
I suffered a little depression after a broke up so I decided to take singing lessons at the jazz de- partment at Columbia University ( I was studying film there already) and to write songs in order to heal the pain. Together with other jazz musicians like Jake Chapman I produced the al- bum.The album describes the different stages of my relationship with my boyfriend, the story of a break up; in an emotional arc telling a story like in a film. From being together in the first song to suffer depression after he broke up with me, to have feelings for other men and be scared of being in love again at the end of the album.
For this reason, the album mixes different genres of music, depending on the part of the story and the feelings I’m expressing.
What do you do to get into your creative zone? Do you have a different creative process for your filmmaking versus writing and recording your music?
I don’t do anything special I normally write when i feel bad. So music comes from sometimes from sadness and sometimes unexceptionally with inspiration. Then film is different you need to work more towards a script and do a lot of rewrites in order to get something that is polished.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced being a woman in the music industry?
Doesn’t matter about being woman in music I think is more difficult to be a woman and being in film. The biggest obstacle always is to come from a humble family. A lot of artists come from wealthy families and from them everything is easier. I don’t think that nowadays music industry it’s about talent but more about promotion, and promotion cost a lot of money.
Who are some women artist(s) that are inspiring you right now?
Agnes Varda in film and in music Snoh Aalegra, and old flamenco singers like Rocio Jurado, Paquera de Jerez o Perlita de Huelva; jazz singers like Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone.
Do you have any advice for young women pursuing their dream career in film or music?
I will advise them to work professionally in other field. It’s very hard to make money out of film or music. You really need to be passionate about it.
What is the one film you’re most proud of creating? One song you’re most proud of creating?
The film I think the first documentary I did “Round Trip” I spent a lot of time creating this piece, more than one year for 20 mins. And I think I was a little naive and the film say more things visually than I expected.
The song would be “How can you forget” is my favorite song!
And, finally, besides creating, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? What makes you, you? 🙂
I like to go out and get drunk.