We had the good fortune of connecting with Lana Lekarinou and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lana, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk-taking is part of being an artist and the central theme of my award-winning film, “The Sparkle.” I think in general it is part of the execution in the creative process. What I had not realized is that creativity can also become a liability. It is something that can not be purchased and therefore a direct threat to those who can’t possess it. At times they will even go to great lengths to suppress it in another. This was the situation I found myself in and it was this journey I wanted to document in my film. I think many creative women find themselves in circumstances where their talents are squandered, overlooked, and underutilized. Unfortunately, it can take a long time to find the courage and the strength to extricate oneself from certain relationships that are detrimental to the well being of the artist within. The decision to make the film also called for my taking a big financial risk. My father had passed away and left me some money. I was thinking the thing to do was to use it as a downpayment on a house. But inside I started painting a picture of what it would look if I were to use it instead to finance the making of the semi-autobiographical script I had just written. This was by no means an easy decision. The thought of owning a home was certainly welcoming and comforting while the thought of directing and producing a movie was altogether scary and exhilarating. Owning a home would be nice but it wasn’t what my lifelong dreams were about – making films is what filled my imagination and fueled my passion. I suppose ultimately it came down to the very essence of what my life and “The Sparkle” is all about, and that’s that sometimes you have to risk your life in order to save it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I had just turned 40 when I finally got the opportunity to make my film. As a child, I use to make “films” in my head before falling asleep. Some of these were completed in days, others took months to complete. I created the stories I wanted to tell, picked my wardrobe from the pages of magazines, and my leading characters from among my friends and acquaintances. My budget being as limitless as my imagination. This was my reality and it was thrilling. In college, however, I was discouraged from going into filmmaking and ended up with a degree in interior design instead. For years after that, I found myself working in a variety of fields, often far from my filmmaking aspirations. Still, somehow, someway I knew that someday I was going to make films. I know that many of us often find ourselves in situations that appear to be heading in the opposite direction of where we want to be. However, what I found is that it’s all part of the journey and that you will end up using every one of those obstacles in a way that will benefit your art and ultimately build your faith. Your childhood aspiration and dreams will materialize and be realized as long as you never stop believing in them, yourself, and the supernatural forces that are in place to help us when we take those risks.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I like to introduce people to L.A. with a hike in the canyons. Out-of-towners are always amazed by the natural beauty of the city and the countless spots where one can enjoy nature walks and hikes. This is a good way to set up the views and point out the spots we will be visiting. Like Malibu with its beautiful beaches and canyon drives. Downtown L.A. boasts such beautiful architecture of historical interest and fantastic restaurants making it an all-time favorite place to explore. But my absolute favorite thing is to go to the desert. As far as I’m concerned anything in or around Palm Springs is perfection. I don’t care what time of year it is. I love the dry heat and the cobalt blue skies after the sunsets. The cool evening breezes, and the way the stars shine in those endless skies.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am profoundly grateful for my cinematographer John Honore. An extremely talented and knowledgeable cinematographer it was very generous of him to agree to work with someone who was so green.