Congratulation to Lacey Schwartz for winning the 2014 Saatchi & Saatchi “Nothing is Impossible” Producer’s Award for her film, Little White Lie! Each Year at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, The Saatchi & Saatchi Nothing is Impossible Producer’s Award recognizes an independent film producer who created the most remarkable, high quality film with a limited budget and resources.
Earlier this summer the Saatchi & Saatchi film jury reviewed many wonderful films, settling on 7 outstanding finalists. Our internal jury finds judging our nominees extremely difficult because most of the work is compelling and artfully done. Even though we are only able to provide one award, we encourage everyone to keep on shooting!
We asked Lacey a few questions about her inspiration, background, and future in film making after she accepted the award. Check out the Q&A below to see what she had to say!
What was the single inspiration behind your film?
My inspiration behind making “Little White Lie” was to learn to fully embrace my dual identity of being black and Jewish and to inspire others to learn to fully embrace who they are as well.
What was the expected outcome and what was the biggest surprise?
The expected and realized outcome was to feel free of the family secret I was carrying. The biggest surprise is how long the process took.
What conversations did you have with your family members to get them involved and make them feel comfortable with shooting the piece?
When I decided to make this film I went to my family and told them that I was making a film about my life and asked them to participate. I made it clear to them that I would appreciate their participation, but I would respect whatever choice they made. I think by me owning that I wanted to tell my own story rather than frame it as a family expose and giving them the option to participate in it made them feel more comfortable with being a part of the film. I also gave them a couple of years of having the camera around and filming our lives before I tried to have substantive conversations on camera so that they would be at ease with the camera beforehand.
What affect has producing the film had on you personally? How has it changed your life?
Completing this film has confirmed that if I work hard enough and am dedicated and true to myself I can accomplish what I set out to do whether it is a personal or professional goal.
The film has been well received and reviewed including a NYT piece. Why do you think people are drawn to it and what is the fundamental truth about human nature revealed which we can all relate to?
I think people are drawn to the film because I have worked hard to be authentic and honest and people are inspired to do the same. I deal with many topics in the film, including race, family and religion, that can be tricky and very nuanced. I can only share my own experience – I can’t speak for others, but I think others connect to the power of my own truth telling and that in my story they see glimpses of their own and are inspired to delve more deeply into their own truths. I truly think the cliche “the truth will set you free” is something almost anyone can relate to.
What (if any) are your future film making plans?
I plan to continue to make not only films, but other media content including webisodes and TV focused on engaging stories that are entertaining and have an impact on the world we live in.
What is the #1 message you’d like viewers to take away?
I want viewers to take away an understanding of the power of family secrets and denial on our lives and that by speaking their own truth they can move past what is holding them back.
Lacey Schwartz is the CEO of the production company Truth Aid. She is a director/producer who has worked with a variety of production companies and networks, including MTV, BET and @radical.media. The documentary LITTLE WHITE LIE is the first film that Lacey has directed. She also Executive Produced the narrative film DIFRET which won audience awards at the 2014 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. Lacey has a BA from Georgetown University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the New York State Bar.