ALEXIS KRASILOVSKY: Writer, Director & Professor of Screenwriting, California State University

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Bio:

ALEXIS KRASILOVSKY is the author of Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling (Routledge) and the novel Sex and the Cyborg Goddess (under the name Alexis Rafael).  She also wrote the poetry chapbook/DVD, Some Women Writers Kill Themselves, co-wrote Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World (Intellect/U.Chicago Press), and contributed to the books Women on Poetry and Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. As writer/director, her films include End of the Art World, Exile, Beale Street, Let Them Eat Cake, and Women Behind the Camera – winner of four Best Documentary awards and available through Amazon Video Prime. Alexis was one of the first women to graduate from Yale. She also holds an MFA from CalArts. Her short film about menstrual rage, Blood, was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times as “in its stream-of-consciousness way, more powerful than Martin Scorsese’s "Taxi Driver." She is currently Professor of Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge.

What do I do best?

Whether it’s non-fiction, fiction or screenwriting, writing is my strength and m y passion.  My new book, “Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling” (Routledge: NY/London, October 2017), explores a great diversity of screenwriting perspectives from around the world, and I’m excited to find that my book has been called “brilliant” and “inspiring” by academics and professional screenwriters alike.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Listening and looking.  When I work internationally as a writer/director/producer with filmmakers in Bangladesh, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and other countries, I recognize the central significance of listening to others’ points of view.  We’ve made two award-winning global documentaries by working this way, transnationally and transculturally – a method of filmmaking that I believe can contribute to world peace.  Ironically, being hard of hearing makes me have to listen more carefully and puts greater value on treating both written and verbal communication with respect. In part because of my hearing challenges, I’ve been a highly visual person for my entire life, which enriches the look of my films as well as the imagery of my novels and poems.

What are my aspirations?

I plan to put my Writers Guild membership and expertise in global adaptations to use by consulting, co-writing, writing and polishing memorable adaptations for film and television, as well as adapting my novel, “Sex and the Cyborg Goddess,” as an international co-production (US/Germany/India).  I also look forward to giving a weeklong workshop in screenplay adaptation in Dhaka, Bangladesh in January 2019 at the International Academy of Film and Media, and hope to give several more screenplay adaptation workshops at universities and film and television production companies in the US and abroad.

(Click to watch "Sex and The Cyborg Goddess" book Trailer)

My Biggest Success?

My first global documentary film, “Women Behind the Camera,” which won four “Best Documentary Feature” awards (and which is currently available on Amazon Video Prime and on DVD through http://womenbehindthecamera.com) – about camerawomen in Hollywood, Bollywood, and beyond.

Photo: Still of VideoSEWA, “Women Behind the Camera” (2007)

My Most Challenging Moment?

Jumping out of a moving car at gunpoint was probably my most challenging moment.  I was hitchhiking, and the driver had picked me up to assault me sexually. Living through assault, both as a college student and as a young woman in the film industry, made me determined to share my stories one day, and to help others heal from sexual harassment and discrimination.  I recently published my first novel, “Sex and the Cyborg Goddess” (under the name Alexis Rafael), and look back with gratitude at fate for having given me some of the raw material for riveting fiction.

My Motto?

These days, it’s “Resist!”

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My favorite people aren’t necessarily role models.  They include Jean Rhys, the Welsh writer who lived in obscurity for decades, drinking herself nearly to death, and Jean Vigo, the French filmmaker who died of TB at 29.  But I love their creative achievements, which inspire me so much.  Other creative role models include Colette, Harpo Marx, Kenji Mizoguchi and Mae West.   I also admire those who have stood up for justice against the odds, like Simone Weil.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Ahmedabad.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I’d like to find the Golden Fleece, but I’m OK with just one leaf from the Golden Bough.

My Current Passions?

I’m as passionate about screenwriting as I am about novels, and want to spend the rest of my life writing.