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I do feel my fan base, my community understands me and appreciates me very deeply, and that is the wind in my sails to keep doing what I am doing. I know that my work really inspires people and they tell me that all the time, and so that’s wonderful.

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I am very much a woman, but I never consider that I am when I go and make films. I don’t check into the world as a woman everyday. I check in first as an artist and mother, then as a daughter sister, and friend – but always as an artist.

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My advice to women is the same advice I would give to any young man trying to make it in the business of making film: Engage your fans and turn your fans into your community. Realize that we all have failures and can turn those failures into successes through tenacity and through being open to changing. Stick to your story, and choose subject matter that is close to you, touches your heart and your agenda in life, listen carefully and don’t give up. Don’t sacrifice your vision. Be open but don’t sacrifice – for anything, actually.

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First of all, being a woman is an incredible asset in many ways in making documentaries. You can be less intimidating, you have a heightened emotional sensitivity and you have the ability to listen to multiple conversations at one time and multi-task.

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Engage your fans and turn your fans into your community. Realize that we all have failures and can turn those failures into successes through tenacity and through being open to changing.