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  • Brandon Nicholas

A Young Filmmaker from the Big Apple Screens Film in Alabama!

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Ashley Woolcock, a 2021 YDW alum, traveled to Florence, Alabama with her mother, Stacy, to screen her group’s film Behind My Happy Face at the Lindsey UNA Film Festival held March 3rd-6th. The mother-daughter duo were both featured in the film, Ashley was a filmmaker who spoke about her experience with depression, and Stacy is a school counselor who spoke as an expert interviewee. We sat down with the both of them to talk about the festival and their time in Alabama.

Betsy: What was your favorite moment from that weekend?

Ashley Wright-Woolcock: The awards ceremony [...] It’s just nice hearing about other people’s films and how it might have touched whoever watched it. I was interviewed with a group of [youth filmmakers] … I got to hear three other people talk about their film and their process and what they went through and how they got to the point they did and how they mentioned the small things that their films might have touched on. Even just listening to the interviews and people’s speeches at the awards ceremony - it was a nice experience. It was so wonderful seeing everybody getting their awards, and talking about how their stories came to be.

Betsy: How did it feel to present Behind My Happy Face to a new audience in a different state?

Ashley: “I was always proud of the film. It was something big that took a lot of time and effort. And a lot of personal opening. We showed it to a small group of people, just friends and family basically. And it felt personal and close to my heart. And I felt like, “wow, I worked with a group of people to get this done and now people can see it. But when it was premiered [at the UNA Film Festival with] a group of strangers, I was like, “Wow. Our film went from a tiny little project to like, now people are sitting down asking me questions about [it], because to them, it touched parts of their personal life. And it felt like, “Wow! I felt proud and I felt like nothing could top this moment.”

Betsy: What did you enjoy most about being at the festival?

Stacy: Ashley was able to share about the process of making the film and answer questions post screening. Although we did not win an award in the Youth category we had a great experience and saw great talent and were met warmly by other participants and staff.

Betsy: What was your experience like while in Alabama for the festival?

Stacy: We had great folks attend to us. It was just short of a 1.5 hour drive from the Huntsville airport to Florence. Our driver was great - talked a lot. He felt it was important to tell us that we are in a Red state, that racism was evident and prominent and the voting history etc. He was definitely informed and was reading Critical Race Theory and trying to be an ally. Both he and his wife are committed to staying informed, not buying their home where people had been enslaved, etc. But everywhere we went there were strong historic narratives and Confederate pride. It was certainly NOT NYC.

You can see the trailer for Behind My Happy Face below:


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