V Busy with Fredgy Noël
Self-taught, self-made, self-employed. These are words that 100% accurately describe groundbreaking filmmaker and Tour speaker: Fredgy Noël. Hailing from her native Haiti, Fredgy taught herself English by watching music videos in the late 80s and started working on video treatments for songs at age 9. In college, she studied English and took classes in black film, the art of the auteur, and linguistics. When she moved to NYC after college, she worked at MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and BET--writing and directing short form commercials for each network. That experience led her to write and direct her first short film, "Milking It" in 2014. Since then, she has continued to focus on film making and is currently attached to direct 2 short films this year, and the feature version to "Milking It" in 2020.
Fredgy, you’ve worked with some of the most powerful black female voices in entertainment today such as Taraji P. Henderson, Janelle Monae, and much more. How does that align with your vision and the projects that you want to create?
My goal is to create opportunities for women in front of the camera as well as behind the camera. The stories I'm writing are for women who have not seen themselves on film or television. They break away from stereotypes and lean in on the dualities of being women. My film crews are 50/50 female to male ratios. Roles that have been male dominated are often times filled by women and vice versa.
So you’re creating equal opportunity for women in your projects? That’s bold sis and very necessary.
On the top 100 grossing films of 2018, women represented 4% of directors. Despite the efforts of TimesUp, consumerism, and the era of being "woke," women are still not equally represented in film. Organizations like Free the Work have taken bold steps in getting women included in bids for commercial work and beyond. I think that paying it forward will be the way to remedy the situation. Ava Duvernay only hiring women directors for her shows is the best example of this.
We are definitely seeing a lot of women coming together to support each other even across different industries. Would you say that you’re also passionate about bringing people together?
Definitely, my specialty is connecting to people. Empathy is my superpower and I use it to help those around me feel safe. Directors have a bad reputation for be loud and emotional, but I see myself as a problem-solver/cheerleader on set. I love seeing the people around me fulfilled from the work that they do. If we're all equally invested, we will succeed.
Say it louder for the people in the back! Who have you seen succeed this year that inspires you personally to keep going?
I'm obsessed with Solange.
Um yes, A Seat at The Table changed my life. Also loved watching her develop as an artist in When I Get Home.
Agreed, her new record has been very therapeutic. I love watching her embrace her sensuality and her openness to the world. Being an artist, a mother, and a partner is not an easy, and when I see her vulnerability empower her, it empowers me.
She has a rawness and openness that makes you want to root for her, especially after viewing all of the behind the scenes footage she shared in this project. Speaking of being open, what will you be sharing at Tour?
I will be speaking about redefining female relationships. We're born into a society that says women should not get along (mother/daughter, sister/sister, daughter-in-law/mother-in law, employee/boss, boss/boss, etc.). As we build the institutions like the women's co-working space, The Wing, to combat this, we also need some form of psychological component to help us understand how to deal with these predisposed conditions.
I definitely need to hear this! I’m so excited to hear you speak. What are you most excited about for Tour?
I'm looking forward to connecting with more like-minded women.
Come see Fredgy at Pretty Thing Tour 2019 and use checkout code “FREDGYNOEL” for $20 off your General Admission ticket.