Sunday, July 5, 2020
Producer/Director Amy Williams joins host Janeane to talk about her next film, Jacir, starring Lorraine Bracco
Meet Amy Williams
Amy Williams is a producer/director responsible for raising financing for multi-million-dollar films, putting together award-winning packaging with creative name casting and department heads as well as securing sales and distribution for feature films. Over the past 5 years she has produced 5 feature films: The Last Treasure Hunt (2016), Mothers and Daughters (2016) with Courtney Cox and Sharon Stone, Rock, Paper, Scissors (2017), A Dark Foe (2019) and the multi-award winning Hunter’s Moon (2020) that will be coming out this September. Her next film, Jacir, starring Lorraine Bracco, will shoot in Memphis this fall. Jacir was written and will be directed by Waheed AlQawasmi, a former creative director at Fox Television.
Williams was born in Memphis but grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. At the time, the neighborhood was notorious for drugs and crime, but was still home to many young parents and their children. This included Amy’s parents (Jean and Joelle), Amy, and her 5 siblings.
Her father, Jean, had a Ph.D. in German literature, and was a college professor. But he had a wide range of gifts and interests that he was determined to pass on to his children. He was a poet, a writer, and a photographer. He had a keen eye for films and movie making. Williams mother, Joelle Morrison, also a wonderful writer and copy editor for many trades and newspapers over the years.
In 1970, when Jean was writing a critical expose on Franz Kafka, he was severely injured and unable to cognitively function as the “genius father” Amy had always known him to be. It changed the course of the family as a whole, and Amy, fueled by her heartbreak and passion, recalls this memory in her first film, The Morrison Project, which won Best Documentary and the Golden Starfish Award at The Hamptons Film Festival in 2003.
Simultaneously, Amy has been working as a producer and director. Her short film Respire garnered her the award for Best Director at California Women’s Film Festival and Best Narrative Short at California International Shorts Festival. She also directed A Night in Jail starring Michael Madsen and Max Madsen, a short based on true events dealing with mental illness and drugs. This film has screened as an official selection at the Oscar qualifying HollyShorts and LA Shorts
Williams counts Martin Scorsese, Lee Daniels, Quentin Tarantino, Katheryn Bigelow, and the Coen Brothers as some of her biggest influences.