Before joining Friends in Film, the journey of working in the film and entertainment industry was daunting to the point where it made me immobile. I was good at doing the homework but when it would come time to leave the house and take ACTION, I would stop short.

Friends in Film has helped me understand the power of connecting with like-minded people and DOING. I am now the social bee at all the events I can find and people see me as a DOER! I am getting work on sets as a PA and learning something new every time. And now I can’t stop taking action!

I made myself a team leader for the 48 hour film project. This action alone has opened the door for me to working on other projects by the sheer fact that I have completed something! I have befriended festival coordinators, producers, artistic directors. I’m learning proper script format and how to recognize a good script. I am also working at a talent agency which has helped me learn how to recognize when an actor is bringing it or not for an audition and what sets one talent apart from another. I have become a member of two organizations here in Chicago – IFP & Women in Film.

I started the Friends in Film program during a very chaotic time in my life. I was actively looking for something to help me grow as a person and set goals to try something new. It’s strange to say, but I feel like FIF was very therapeutic for me. It gave me the right mindset and I firmly believe that is everything. I have my bad days but taking that mindset and placing yourself in a like-minded community helps you realize that you are part of something bigger than yourself. It’s the mindset and relationships and the skills I learned to do that which have been most helpful!

Thanks, Janet!!

Maria M.
(Chicago, Illinois)