Dara Bratt: Filmmaker

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Dara Bratt is a chronic insomniac though she was told that writing that validates bad behavior. So instead, she’ll state that she’s a chronic storyteller, who holds her MFA in film from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Pickles, plane crashes, face blindness, mechanical resonance, and butterfly collecting have all been subjects of her films. From the jungles of Vietnam to the streets of Brooklyn, she is continuously inspired by the world around her, and is specifically interested in the crossroads of science and film.

Collectively, her films have screened all over the world, from the Tribeca Film Festival to SXSW, Cannes, Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, Imagine Science Film Festival (Grand Prize Winner), Chicago Film Critics Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival in France, and ShortShorts Asia in Tokyo, among others. She is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Production grant, the FAP grant from the National Film Board of Canada, the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Award, the documentary grant from the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences, and most recently the production grant from First Look Films for Topic. When not making movies, Dara can be found writing and directing commercials, corporate and non-profit videos. Clients include Maybelline, PepsiCo, Movado, Rachel Rachel Roy, Essie & Kind Bars. Born and raised in Montreal, Dara currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her pup Zeppelin and her baby girl Belfast who may also be an insomniac. In her alternate avatar life, Dara’s an amateur sommelier living in the country with her ten rescued dogs. Or a criminal lawyer. She’s still deciding.

What do I do best?

I am not afraid of a blank page and also understand that notes and critiques are part of the revision process. I am also a multitasking queen.

What makes me the best version of myself?

I am a proactive dreamer. I’m the daughter of an accountant and an artist and always joke that I am an equal combo of both. I believe anything is possible, but also know it will require hard work and tons of determination. When I look back on it all, I want to be proud of every step of my journey along the way.

What are my aspirations?

I want to be able to continue to tell stories across a multitude of platforms, without being pigeonholed as just one type of filmmaker. I also want to have a lakeside country house where I can have nightly bonfires with my family and my future ten rescue dogs.

My Biggest Success?

There’s no single one that stands out, but all the small professional successes, personal victories, combined with motherhood make me feel successful.

My Most Challenging Moment?

When my husband and I decided to do long distance (temporarily) in two different countries after years of being married so that we both could pursue our career ambitions. It took a lot of strength and honesty to know we could make it through.

My Motto?

I don’t believe in regrets; you can’t have hindsight without mistakes. When I walk my dog, I sometimes joke to him that not every walk or every day can be a winner. With that I mean; it’s okay to have bad days, or feel like some things don’t work out. If you aim for that perfect moment, you won’t be able to enjoy the process or learn and grow along the way.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My family. I’m also always drawn to the observers, not the talkers.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

One of my best trips was to Tokyo. I went for a film festival and just embraced as much life as I could, exploring neighborhoods, the food and all the culture I could soak up. In contrast to that, I love escaping into nature, where I can swim, watch the sunset and just relax. East coast Nova Scotia is one of those places that has just touched my soul.  Lastly, any place with a waterfall.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My left-handed wine opener, and my Pentel RSVP black ink pen. I really appreciate a good pen.

My Current Passions?

Starting every morning with coffee, ending every night with wine. In between, running, boxing, morning walks with my dog, story time with my baby, dinners with my friends, and overall brainstorming new film ideas and bringing old ones to fruition.