Challenges and crafts of two working mom directors – The Hollywood Reporter


Two active filmmaker mothers, Japanese Yukiko Sode and Indonesian Kamila Andini, spoke about their jobs and the particular challenges they face in an industry not known for its family-friendly work environments in the setting. from the Conversations series at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

The conference was part of a series of events held at the Asia Lounge, an brainchild of director Hirokazu Kore-eda and co-presented by the festival and the Japan Foundation.

Andini praised Sode’s film Aristocrats, who performed at the festival last year, for being “written and delivered with a feminine look” and for “characters [that] are really Asian, ”adding,“ I also found it very memorable that you portrayed women from different classes in society, but you and the film see them the same way, which is very inspiring. ”

Sode pointed out that there was a widely held illusion that Japan was a classless society, but that in reality people started life at different times depending on the type of family they were born into, which she said. addresses in the film.

Discussing the struggles of being an active director mom, Sode explained how her stepmom cared for her four-year-old son for months while she was filming Aristocrats, “but he had psychological issues around the separation and cried all the time.”

She then made the decision not to tell people at work when she had her second child about a year ago, being able to hide the fact that she was pregnant during the pandemic as the meetings were all held online. Sode explained how difficult it is to be a female filmmaker with young children in Japan and “the anxiety about how we can continue to work”.

Andini admitted that she considered giving up cinema after the birth of her daughter to focus on caring for her. She returned to directing after getting pregnant for the second time, “It reminded me how much I loved movies, and I realized I didn’t want to give it up.”

Married to a filmmaker and born into a family of filmmakers, Andini remembered her father’s absence for months when he was filming. She and her husband took a different approach.

“I want them to know everything, so we decided to take them everywhere – I breastfeed on location – we take them to the studio and even to festivals, so they know exactly what we’re doing and how much we love it. do it, ”said Andini, who thinks it shows other women in the industry what is possible.

The two directors discussed the differences in childcare situations in their respective countries, leaving Sode envious of the cheap childcare services in Indonesia, where it is common for households to employ a domestic helper. Sode explained that she had to leave Tokyo due to the scarcity of nursery places in the Japanese capital.

Sode was impressed that mothers can take their children to work, adding, “When I think of the younger generation here, I might not be helping them by keeping my pregnancy a secret. “

About Monty S. Maynard

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