Shiva Rodriguez is a veteran to the Gallery WIHM event. She is a half-director, half-screenwriter.

What motivates you to do what you do?

You mean asides from being insane? The uncontrollable desire to tell my stories to the masses.

Who is your favorite woman who does what you do?

I’m partial to Mary Harron. I really respect that she directed and co-wrote the screenplay for American Psycho, especially since the novel seemed like it would be nearly impossible to film.

If you had one wish for women in your space in 2020, what would it be?

To never feel like they constantly have to prove themselves to anyone. Film-making is stressful enough. Feeling as though you have to go twenty extra miles just to be acknowledged isn’t healthy.

Share a practical tip for a woman who wants to do what you do.

Speak up if you feel you are being belittled or disregarded in your craft. If you’ve earned your place at the table, don’t be afraid to say something if the boys didn’t set out a chair out for you.

Oh, and always carry a machete.

Inspire someone who is not where they want to be in the industry yet.

On my first time directing a project, half of the key crew walked out on me the day before I held auditions for cast. One of them actually told me “You need a director more than a UPM”. I questioned myself for about a minute, and then I got angry about it and started making some phone calls to recruit a new crew. I have directed several projects since then, won a few awards, and I still work with a lot of those people who stuck by my side as I fumbled my way through my first film.

What scares you?

The thought that someday I will not be able to do the things that I love doing.

What projects do you have coming up?

I have two short films planned for 2020. I’m also working on novelizing some of my feature screenplays in order to make the stories available to the masses.

Important Links for Shiva Rodriguez