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Independent Films » Sandra Hodge-Hampton’s film wins ‘Best Directing in a Documentary’ at Hollywood & Vine Film Festival

Sandra Hodge-Hampton’s film wins ‘Best Directing in a Documentary’ at Hollywood & Vine Film Festival

Photo courtesy: Sandra Hodge Hampton

Photo courtesy of Sandra Hodge Hampton

While in Atlanta networking and working on her next project, filmmaker Sandra Hodge-Hampton received the great news that her film, the TRUTH the PAIN the SACRIFICE an actor’s reality had won Best Directing in a Documentary at the 2015 Hollywood & Vine Film Festival. “This documentary reveals the truth, pain and sacrifice of novice actors going for their dream, as they prepare for an industry showcase; and interspersed are interviews with veteran actors sharing the truth, pain and sacrifice they’ve encountered in their career,” says Hodge-Hampton, who was the writer-director-producer-director of photograhy and songwriter. She wrote the lyrics to the ending song.

The film received praise from Ed Asner, the late Elizabeth Peña, Tony Plana, Freda Foh Shen and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Read on for what Hodge-Hampton has to say.

Why did you want to do this film?

As a former assistant to actor-writer-producer Laurence Fishburne and director-producer Kevin Hooks and my mentor director-choreographer Otis Sallid; I got to see firsthand how hard actors who are truly committed to the craft work. As a result, I got really tired of people saying, “Acting. I could do that.” When they would never say that about a heart surgeon or a pro athlete.

What were some of the challenges you faced?
As an independent, it’s the usual challenges of getting the money to shoot, and unfortunately, I used my credit cards until God sent Mrs. Bettiann Gardner (she and her husband, Ed, are former owners of Soft Sheen Products) as angel investor and I was able to pay off those credit cards!

Who helped you on this project? 
I had an awesome cast, crew and fellow producers — Danielle Wooten, Katrina Sanders, Karen McGhee, Molly Rodriguez, Jay Roberts, Judy Tanke; the greatest editors in the world Deja Prem & Tin Tantinirandr; my mother Adele Hodge was our still photographer; Carlo Pennisi let us his original music for the showcase talent intro; my fellow songwriter Cee Cee Michaela sang our song over the end credits; Susan Garrison our additional interviewer; my mentor Otis Sallid choreographed the opening to the showcase; Kevin Hooks paid for our sound mix and audio playback sessions; our graphic designer Adrian Dominguez did a phenomenal job on the artwork for the poster; and Dr. Levi Harrison was our fitness consultant.

What I am most proud of is the multicultural cast and crew we were able to put together. That’s how I want all my projects to be, and so far I’ve been able to make that happen!

What were some of your reference points — historical or filmic — in shaping the texture of the film?
I was adamant about talking to and showcasing talented actors who were serious about the craft, not those who were just interested in being famous. I also wanted to make sure we included veterans who were not only recognizable, but also had a reputation for their devotion to the craft of acting.

Where to next? Will it be a part of any future festivals?
I hope so, it would be great to see it be a part of the BronzeLens Film Festival next year.

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