’80s actor Virginia Madsen, accompanied by her mother, documentarian, playwright, author and poet Elaine Madsen screened their film “I Know a Woman Like That” Nov. 5 at the Savannah Film Festival.
The mother and daughter duo seems to gain energy from each other, explaining the journey taken to give birth to their documentary exploration.
Virginia referred to Elaine as the only person who would be able to direct this documentary, because of her past experiences and close connection with the subject matter.
This film is about women from 60 to 95 years of age who consider themselves to be living vibrant lives, at a time when the world is telling them to go away and be old.
Being inspired by her mother’s youthful nature, exuberance and passion for life, Virginia wanted to find out what made her this way.
For Elaine, it started out as a conversation with her daughter, explaining a phenomenal woman who was an inspiration to her, hoping that her daughter would have a woman like that in her life.
At which point Virginia turned and said, “I do have a woman like that. You are a woman like that.”
That dialogue acted as the catalyst for their search to find women who were like-minded and willing to become a part of the project.
Paying compliment to her daughter’s ability as an actress and producer, Elaine had no doubt in taking on the role of director in the documentary.
According to Virginia, “being able to spend that much time together and getting to know stories about my mother and her dreams,” was the most valuable for her during this experience.
The intention of the film is to provoke conversation and cause people to think about the women “like that” in their lives.
“The person you’re going to be after you’re 60 is the person who you were when you were 10,” explain Elaine and Virginia, who both stand by this the idea.
According to the duo, as we age, we are freed of so much nonsense that we engage in and torture ourselves with.
“Most people think about aging as a loss rather than what we will gain, and the film shed light on that issue,” Virginia said.
“The audience has been quite responsive to this documentary,” said Elaine. “It takes the approach of being more than a statement, it’s a conversation,” and that method has aided in the success of this film.
Describing film festivals as “the life blood of small films,” the duo is appreciative of the support shown by the Savannah community and acknowledged, “This festival is unique because of the atmosphere created.”
Referring to SCAD as a creative home, Virginia advised students interested in pursuing filmmaking, “Patience is key, although it’s not one of my strong suits, to do anything in the industry. It can take years, but it can be done.”
Elaine was always a believer of her daughter’s passions and knew that she would do wonderful things stating, “sometimes all the doors are closed, but there’s a window of opportunity open.”
She believes that since our generation has access to a vast array of technological opportunities that weren’t available in the past, we must use these opportunities.
“Build momentum and always have forward motion,” advised Virginia, “rejection is expected but there’s always a gift somewhere from the hurt.”Contact Chantelle Emery.