LILLY HARTLEY

Escaping the city was just what I needed! When Lilly Hartley invited me to spend a day with her in the Hamptons, I immediately thought how fun it would be shooting with her. As a producer and founder of Candescent Films, Lilly has an impressive resume, receiving a Goya Award with Javier Bardem for producing Sons of the Clouds. She is also full of energy and there were moments during the shoot when I was nearly rolling on the floor laughing while she did silly things. Despite the long day, it was quite fascinating learning a little more about her and how Candescent Films came about.
    • 1. You started Candescent Films in 2010, a company that produces and finances documentaries exploring social issues. What inspired you to start your company?
    • As an actress and producer, I wanted to continue working in the film industry, but be involved with something more meaningful. When I started Candescent, I was inspired by the concept of “Filmanthropy” and wanted to help filmmakers with projects that would have a positive impact on society.
    • 2. Every time I tell friends that you’ve worked with Javier Bardem, their eyes widen with interest. How was it like working with him on Sons of the Clouds?
    • Javier was wonderful to work with, he cares very deeply about the injustices that are occurring in the Western Sahara (the topic of the film), so it was a project he held close to heart. It was an exciting experience to help bring awareness to that part of the world through film and we enjoyed working with director Alvaro Longoria (Morena Films), who is a major producer in Spain. The three of us worked incredibly well together and we won a Goya (Spanish version of an Oscar).
    • 3. Where do you find upcoming documentaries to support?
    • The documentary community is a very close-knit group of people, so we often hear about upcoming documentaries through word of mouth. We also receive films from agencies, filmmakers, and other funders.
    • 4. Are there any actors and/or filmmakers you would like to work with in the future?
    • There are so many talented and committed actors and filmmakers in the field. I’m inspired by those who devote their free time and celebrity status to making the world a better place. To see some examples of individuals that inspire us, visit our Instagram @CandescentFilms and look for #CandescentInspiration.
    • 5. Like most parents who want their children to pursue a “practical” profession, yours wanted you to study law in college despite your passion in film and acting.
    • I was surrounded by the arts my entire childhood and grew up going to the theater. My father is a writer and my godfather, Ken Howard, was an actor and current President of the Screen Actors Guild. However, my parents encouraged me to go to law school to have a more “stable” career, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve always been an actress at heart, so I went with my instinct and pursued it. Luckily, my family was still very supportive and I’m grateful that I majored in History in college, because it gave me a solid foundation.
    • 6. I had the pleasure of having your infamous “Pizza Pasta” for dinner and I must say, it was quite good! How would you describe your Pizza Pasta and where did you get the idea?
    • Pizza Pasta is my own creation, and always a crowd pleaser. It’s just five ingredients: chopped tomatoes (multi-colored), olive oil, salt, basil from my garden, and lots and lots of fresh mozzarella. It’s so cheesy and delicious!
    • 7. What are some of your favorites restaurants, bars, and/or cafés in New York City?
    • My two local SoHo favorites are Sant Ambroeus (Lafayette) and Blue Ribbon Sushi (Sullivan).
    • 8. Finally, a quote that you live by.
    • There are many quotes I live by, but lately I’ve been inspired by this one from Arthur Miller:
      “Glamour, that trans-human aura or power to attract imitation, is a kind of vessel into which dreams are poured, and some vessels are simply worthier than others… A beautiful woman can turn heads but real glamour has a deeper pull… Glamour [is] the power to rearrange people’s emotions, which, in effect, is the power to control one’s environment.”

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