On Fridays, we like to do a special shout-out to #AerieREAL girls who seriously inspire. This Follow Her Friday, we’d like you to meet Anna Martemucci, who comes to us by way of Los Angeles/Brooklyn. Between writing, directing, acting, producing, and founding Periods Films, Anna took some time to chat with us. Read more below!
Aerie: Hi, Anna! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Tell us your story in a nutshell!
Anna: I grew up in small towns in North Dakota and Pennsylvania but my parents emigrated here from Rome, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic. I became first a writer and then a filmmaker. I love telling stories that promote the notions of human equality and compassion. I also want to make people laugh and feel connected to the world. And I really enjoy hot tubs.
Aerie: What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
Anna: When I saw the Aerie Real campaign, to me it meant that [Aerie] was taking a step towards a better world! All through growing up, every woman I knew, no matter what she looked like, was obsessed with losing weight and striving to look perfect, including me. Often times this obsession was so huge it would be at the detriment of our physical and mental health. I think a lot of that is because we’re sort of brainwashed by the constant images of airbrushed faux perfection we have flying at our faces constantly, and the fact that most of our movies and TV shows are populated largely with women who have very similar body types to each other. I love the no airbrushing idea. If we can all admit that every single human being is a flawed little snowflake of gorgeous imperfection, and that imperfection can be just as beautiful (if not more so!) than our current, narrow idea of “perfection,” then maybe we’ll all feel more free! There are so many more interesting things to think about than losing weight or looking perfect, after all.
Aerie: What makes YOU #AerieREAL?
Anna: I really love what I do.
Aerie: Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Making movies or a cinematic TV show, hopefully somehow involving puppets. Kidding about the puppets…kind of. I hope I’m telling stories in some form. Maybe raising a small baby into a grown human. Feeding self properly. Traveling and living and loving, baby.* (*said in a drawl like Matthew McConaughey).
Aerie: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
Anna: There are so many! But I love this one, it is so good for the creative types (which I suspect every human being is in some form):
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham
Aerie: What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Anna: [My films] Breakup at a Wedding, Hollidaysburgh, and Periods. These are the 3 movies I’ve made with my team at Periods Films, which includes my brother-in-law Philip Quinaz and husband Victor Quinaz. My biggest personal accomplishment has been learning how to be a team player after years of being an isolated writer. Other people are where it’s at.
Aerie: Do you have a role model? If so, who is he or she, and why does he or she inspire you?
Anna: I have so many role models. I find life so much better and all of my big dreams more manageable when I focus on the people and artists that I love. So the concept of role models is big for me! The Coen Brothers, John Hughes, Sophia Coppola, Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Linklater, Lena Dunham, Wes Anderson, Louis C.K., Alexander Payne, Jill Soloway…they are all storytelling heroes of mine, among many others. I love the way that each of these storytellers has a very particular voice, one that can really only be theirs, and through the specificity of their voice, something universal is achieved. That’s what I strive for in my own work.
Aerie: What’s your favorite Aerie item?
Anna: This blanket scarf is super cute and I want it.
Aerie: What are your three things you always have with you?
Anna: Shoes that look good but that I can walk in for at least 20 NYC city blocks, blotting papers (curse of the shiny face), a positive outlook.
Aerie: If you could pick any actress or actor to play you in your own movie, who would it be?
Anna: Amy Sedaris.
Aerie: Do you have a secret talent, skill or quirk? Do tell!
Anna: Badminton. The tiny rackets make me feel powerful and I just love saying “shuttlecock” as much as possible in this short life.
Thanks for chatting with us, Anna! To keep up with Anna, follower her on Instagram and Twitter @AnnaMartemucci!