Before the 10th annual Toronto Indie Film Festival at Carlton Cinema (Imagine Cinemas), I had a discussion with my wife about her friend Jessica Danov (Bad Vegan) from middle school. We talked for hours about the fun times they used to have together. She informed me of her bubbly and positive personality. I was so excited to meet her. At the event, Jessica saw my wife and gave her a big hug. It was a wonderful moment. This really made me understand true friendship and that some people never change.
Before the show, I can see that Jessica Danov was anxious but was in extremely great spirits about this glorious opportunity. Like most writers and creators, I can tell she probably had millions of things going on in her head, for instance, “Are they going to laugh? What did they think of the camera angles? How was the acting?” We were so grateful to be at this moment. The short film was extraordinary. As a movie enthusiast, I had a wonderful time watching it.
It is not every day you get to see a filmmaker, in the flesh, watching their film in the movie theatre with you. Jessica, thank you for taking this interview.
1. Jessica Danov, Congratulations on your debut ‘Bad Vegan’ at the Toronto Indie Film Festival. What can we expect in the future?
Thank you. It was wonderful being included amongst a line up of great films. As for the future, I have a dramatic short in post-production and a comedy series pitch I’m working on.
2. Describe your childhood. Any fun memories?
My childhood was great. I’m an only child but grew up with a lot of cousins who were like siblings to me. I have many fond memories of family barbecues in the summer. We also usually did an annual trip to Niagara Falls and my cousin Shelley and I would spend hours in the funhouse!
3. Did you have a mentor growing up? Who was it? How did they help you?
I feel like most members of my family served as mentors in one way or another as I was growing up. They modeled the importance of hard work and finding joy in life equally.
4. What inspired you to get into singing, writing, directing, acting and producing? Do you have a personal preference?
I’m primarily an actor and writer, but enjoy learning new aspects of the industry. Drawn to the arts from a young age. Used to choreograph dance routines and music videos with my cousins and friends and perform them in our living room for our parents. I also spent hours drawing and writing; it was my form of play. I started doing musicals in middle school and found so much joy and a sense of belonging in that. When our teachers took us to see a professional theatre production I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. The arts have always been the best way I’ve found to express myself.
5. Jessica Danov, are there any hobbies that you particularly enjoy that you would like to share with everyone?
Singing and painting are hobbies that bring me a great sense of personal accomplishment. When I need to relax and retreat from the world for a bit, there’s nothing better than a good book!
What a fantastic interview. Keep your eyes peeled for Jessica Danov and check out ‘Bad Vegan’. Bravo!
Author Jovin Tardif
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