Teaching oneself to become a filmmaker is no easy task, but it's just what recent San Franciscan transplant Kaela Waldstein did. Even better? Waldstein won a Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy last September for her documentary coverage of the 2017 International Folk Art Market, aptly titled 2017 International Folk Art Market. Since we love badass women artists, we sat down with Waldstein to say what's up and hear about what's in her future.
Why did you come to Santa Fe from San Francisco?
People ask me that all the time and I'm like, 'Why not?' It's much more my pace here. San Francisco is really busy and crowded and expensive and nobody has time to hang out. I always felt agitated by city life. … Coming here, people are much more available to hang out. There's so much awesome culture here in New Mexico. Silicon Valley doesn't excite me.
It it different or challenging being a self-taught filmmaker?
It's a cool thing because it really merges all these talents. I have a background in visual arts, so I'm really aware of the composition of my shots, the color, the light; I'm a sociology major, so I have a human social consciousness in all of my films. And the less romantic part is being good with computers. … A friend lent me his camera and told me the basic settings, and I knew how to make a film. Thankfully, it's just playing around with editing software—anything I needed to know, I looked up online.
What's the next movie? If you could pick anything?
I filmed the fashion show for Indian Market and I also finished a film for Art of the Machine. I'm doing a behind-the-scenes video for Cavu—they make documentaries to educate people about the environment and they're doing a series about the oil and gas industry in New Mexico, so I'm making a behind-the-scenes video. I figured this is something I could do to raise funds [for future films]. The Indian Market fashion show one should be out before the end of the year. I want to do one on food trucks in Santa Fe. I'm really about elevating Santa Fe as a global brand; I'm interested in culture and people, and New Mexico has so much of that. A lot of the events that happen here, I don't know they get the recognition they deserve.