Renee Cox

My life has always been producing and directing and organizing my creative thoughts. Starting with directing community theatre, directing my own theatrical productions, producing, creating, and directing 3 documentaries and a short film, all through the years while refining my skills at the same time in school to ensure creations are at the potential they should be. My first award ever given to me was from The Woman’s International Achievement Awards and award for Excellence for Producing and Directing a documentary I did called Overstand Queens. Another great big step for me was when I was taking Writing for Film and Television at the Toronto Film School. I entered a competition where only 5 scripts were chosen for green-lit to go into production, mine was one. The school provided me with equipment and crew to make the film. Mine, Pandora was an amazing experience for me, and it went so smoothly, and the product turned out so well that the film made it into 2 Film Festivals, won an award for ‘Best Thriller’ as well as many nominations.

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
‘Pandora’ is a modern-day version of the Greek myth of Pandora’s Box. A young girls struggle with temptation and how she learns the lesson that actions have serious consequences.


What are your ambitions with your project?
My ambition with this project is to submit it as many different festivals and screenings as possible for a year and then use it as a concept film to develop a feature growing on a continuation of the story.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
This project was one of 5 chosen from a group of 40 students to have been greenlit and brought to production. This was the first time I led a full crew, and it was not just me and the editor. This was an incredible experience for me, it brought me to new heights and really made me selfaware of the needs of the production. I was a little nervous, but once we were in our prime I realized I loved the process even more now.


For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
The film is a mild phycological thriller. Anyone that likes a little suspense and simple creativity will get the film.

Why should distributors buy your film?
They should buy the film because it is a lesson in simplicity and there is a message that people can relate to. My neighbor’s 13-year-old daughter swears it’s about her. “A bad daughter going to live with her grandmother” when in fact a lot of girls out there simply don’t realize actions have consequences. A lot of them can relate or need to.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
A spin-off of a Greek myth that enable a straightforward message. A mild thriller that focuses on the simplicity of a story that one cannot take your eyes off.

Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
I decided I want to be a filmmaker after I spent years in theatre, it was naturally the next step as a promising director and writer. From the first film I made I fell in love and it was inevitable from that point forward.


Who is your role model?
I have many role models, my first like most people is my parents and then if we speak of directors I am inspired by artists such as Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Michael Curtiz , Oliver Stone, and Quinten Tarantino. A different range I know but all very.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
‘The Shining’ is one of my favorites as well ‘The Birds’ the reason obviously because of my great love for the directors. I also love the movie Casablanca because of the mixture of love and emergence in that world that draw the audience in immediately.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I look for inspiration in many places, the world news, relationships between people I know, even just walking through a mall and seeing visuals or interactions between people. I’m inspired by nature and chaos a nice blend is what makes something come to life.

Which topics interest you the most?
My main interest lies in topics artistic influence. I love discussing theatre, film, and art.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
My first award that I got was a turning point for me. I won an award for ‘Excellence for Directing and Producing’ presented to me by The Woman’s International Achievement Society. Probably the first time I cried and then had to make a speech. Hopefully not the last.

What do you consider most important about filming?
The most important thing about filmmaking is telling a story that resonates with its audience. A film that teaches a lesson in a creative and memorable way. A successful film or documentary will always live in your heart if you’ve learned something and can’t take your eyes away from it.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
Interactive I like the best, where you are so entranced in the product that you feel like you are there. Sometime breaking the rule of thirds if used correctly can make the film connect with your audience like they are already in the room.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
I think one of the major disappointments I have can be repetition in story lines. Some series have the same structure and backbone over and over again. A lot of them do not leave a lot of room for interpretation and growth for the director.

Who supports you in your film career?
I do, my family, my friends, my son, my school. I am blessed to have everyone around me support my dream and that is what I know is going to help me down this bumpy road I am aiming to conquer.

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics,
friends and family)
A lot of people say they like the simplicity of it. Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival did a review on my film. (After winning Best Thriller) and they said, “Pandora reminds us that simplicity, combined with a powerful message, is the key to a memorable cinematic experience.”

Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
The film has already been screening at ‘Toronto Indie Horror Fest’ and ‘The Great Canadian Horror Film Festival’ this year as well as many nominations and some smaller screenings. Bigger and better are yet to come. I’m not going to reveal those secrets just yet.

What are your future plans in filmmaking carrer?
My plans are simple but straight to the point. I want to run my own video production company for short films, giving emerging directors a chance to green-light projects. I also will and always continue to make my own pieces for the rest of my life.