Meet the Finalist: Lydia Isnanto, "This Is Me"


Tell us about yourself, and about This Is Me.

I am the writer, producer, director, cinematographer, and editor of this short film. I have always enjoyed a good story and especially those with an impactful message, bringing awareness to an issue, empowering women, stories of transformation, stories of healing. I was fortunate enough to have a great cast and crew to bring this project to life. This story was created for and dedicated to mental illness survivors and warriors. To date, the film has been screened in San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Texas and has won ten awards, including a special Mental Health Community Award from the Los Angeles Silicon Beach Film Festival.

Share a memorable moment you experienced working on this project.

After the hectic 2 days of filming, I still can't believe I cried in front of the team after the final shot was done. I was so overwhelmed with feeling loved and supported by all the cast & crew who gave all of their best, their talent, their skill, their energy and precious time, believing in this story, and believed in me. Truly an unforgettable project in my life.

Name 3 collaborators that you'd take with you to any other project.

I would definitely keep working with my trusted co-writer, producer, production manager and husband, Doug Hanson. Can't achieve any of this without his pillar of support towards my art and dream. I am also very happy working with such a reliable sound recordist Josh Rodriguez in any challenging situation and make up & Fx artist Pati Currie who goes the extra mile contributing beyond my expectations.

3 tips you’d like to share with aspiring artists in your field:

- Believe in your story because stories change the world.

- Filmmaking is not about reaching perfection, but the art of make something happen out of nothing.- It takes a village to make a film. It's not about one person art, not about only the director, or the writer, or the producer; instead it is about the art, the soul, the heart, blood and sweats of the whole cast & crew who have the same heart towards the story. Everyone is a hero in that film.

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the next 5 years?

Hoping to create more stories, feature films that bring voice of hope, restoration and healing.

This is Me is nominated for Best Editing and Best Indie Film of the Year at the New York Film Awards.

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