New West filmmaker earns Vancouver Women in Film award

Nadia DiMofte has an inviolable rule at the movie theatre: Always stay for the credits.

She’s in constant awe of the fact that hundreds or even thousands of people have worked 12- to 14-hour days to make the magic happen.

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“Just look at the credits and think, how did these people meet, how did they work together?” she says.

DiMofte’s passion for film isn’t just talk. The New Westminster resident has just been named the winner of the Wayne Black Service Award, part of Women In Film and Television Vancouver’s annual Spotlight Awards.

DiMofte, originally from Romania, came to Canada with her husband, actor Raresh DiMofte, eight years ago. Since she arrived, she’s been pouring her energies into the world of film in a variety of ways: through the couple’s own production company, Bad Icon Production$; in her day job working in film production; and through her volunteer service with Raindance Vancouver, a hub for emerging independent filmmakers in the city.

She got involved with Raindance originally as a volunteer with its Booze ’n’ Schmooze networking nights, where she became friends with the organization’s regional director – who, not long afterwards, stepped down and suggested DiMofte would be perfect for the regional director role. DiMofte took over the reins in September 2014, and she hasn’t looked back.

She loves the chance to meet all the film artists who flock to Vancouver.

“You get to meet all the independent filmmakers, people who are passionate about making film and who have dreams and hopes and plans,” she said.

She’s always inspired when she sees the connections made at the monthly networking meetings – people who meet and then go on to make films together; films that, in many cases, win awards and get accepted into festivals around the world.

Raindance exists to provide all kinds of support for the film community at large – information about grants, competitions, festivals and awards; practical assistance with filmmaking and all the paperwork it entails; articles and resources about all aspects of filmmaking; discounts with industry partners.

 “We like to keep our tribe informed,” DiMofte says. “We’re kind of the gateway into the film community.”

Raindance members range in age from 11 up to their 70s. One of the most memorable, for DiMofte, was that 11-year-old in question, who blew all the adults in attendance away with her questions and insights at a director’s workshop.

“That why I do it, just finding one person who’s really talented and passionate,” DiMofte says.

Don’t ask DiMofte what she does with her “spare time” – she doesn’t have any of that. But she does enjoy those breaks from her day job when she has a chance to work on her own independent film projects, with her husband.

“I believe in film as an art, not as entertainment,” she said, noting it’s hard to find the money for the kind of films they like to make.

“We’re doing stories that deal with the struggle of individuals,” she says. “Look around you, and you cannot miss the struggles and stories of the people around you.”

She is constantly aware of living in a time when the planet is full of trauma, pain and suffering.

“We’re an advanced civilization, and yet we’re so not,” she says. “You have billionaires and you have kids that die of thirst. It’s outrageous. That’s what fuels us as filmmakers.”

She and Raresh are planning to shoot a short film this summer, a family drama centering around gun control.

“We just feel like we can, not change the world, because that’s too presumptuous,” she says. “But to make just one person ask a question …”

Asked why she chooses film as a medium to ask those questions, DiMofte doesn’t hesitate.

“It’s always a team work. You get a lot of creative minds together and they each bring their own flavour to the project. You see all these minds coming together and making something beautiful,” she says. “You get pumped up, and you get inspired by everybody’s contribution.”

DiMofte will receive her award at a gala on June 19 at Performance Works on Granville Island. For more about the Women in Film and Television Vancouver awards, see www.womeninfilm.ca.

For more about Raindance, see www.raindance.org/vancouver.

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