filmshop Director of operations
Director / Producer / Writer
Nina is Filmshop’s Director of Operations. She is a writer, director, and producer whose short films have been shown at festivals in the U.S.A. and abroad. Her supernatural drama Arts and Crafts is currently streaming on Seed&Spark and debuted on Shorts International TV in spring 2018.
Nina's first feature Magic Window, now in development, was selected for participation in New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT)’s From Script to Preproduction lab and Filmshop’s juried Breakthrough Series, advanced to the second round of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and was a quarterfinalist for the ScreenCraft Film Fund. With other members of the Filmshop collective, she is also currently developing an indie horror anthology project called The BLDG: Five Stories of Horror.
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A Q&A WITH FILMSHOP BREAKTHROUGH SERIES 2017 FEATURED ARTIST nina gielen...
What was the inspiration for your project?
My script was inspired by a true crime from the early 2000s, a murder case in which these two young kids, two brothers, ended up murdering their father so that the younger one could pursue the man he thought he was in love with. It was sordid but also compelling, because the way these events played out, the story felt almost a bit like a Greek tragedy. The case was in the news around the time of their trial, I think in 2001 or 2002—that’s how far back this project dates for me. I wrote the first draft of the screenplay in 2010 and have been chipping away at it ever since.
How did the Filmshop community contribute to its development?
I’ve workshopped the script twice in Filmshop over the past four years; last season, I also presented a pitch deck for the project and got some feedback on that. Plus, I feel like I’ve gotten additional help and support from members outside of our regular meetings, including feedback that came out of a “feature salon” we held over the summer, one-to-one conversations about development, and general sharing of experiences with feature-making. Filmshop has been great.
What would the New York Times say about your project?
I suspect A. O. Scott would not give it a great review, but Manohla Dargis might like it. Ironically, I find myself agreeing with Scott more often than Dargis when I read their respective reviews.
Well, my project is at the development stage, and I hope to move it into production and actually shoot it in the foreseeable future. I’m also working on a horror anthology film called The BLDG: Five Stories of Horror with a bunch of other Filmshoppers. We’re launching a crowdfunding campaign this Halloween to raise enough money to shoot the first of five segments making up the anthology, all set in the same creepy building. After that we will use this short as a proof of concept with which to approach investors. There’s a team of very diverse, cool, and talented people involved and I’m super stoked to be working with them.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
When I was a toddler, I was convinced that the older you get, the more fingers you grow.