Episode 18: Making Diversity Mainstream with Aisha Weinhold


Aisha Weinhold, founder of No Man's Land Film Festival, talks making diversity mainstream, her advice to filmmakers, and how female-told stories are unique. Enjoy this fun episode!


Follow Aisha: @aishaweinhold

nomanslandfilmfestival.org

Kyle Dempster's "The Road From Karakol"











Episode Transcript


Lisa: Hey, what's up everybody? Welcome to Outside by Design, the podcast where I talk about the business side of creativity with some of our industry's finest.


Today I am just honored to have Aisha Weinhold as our guest. Aisha is the founder and executive director of No Man's Land Film Festival. She and her husband also co-own a gear shop in Carbondale, Colorado. So she just really gets after it. I really enjoy talking to Aisha. She's just a cool energetic person. I've never met her in person and I'm excited to get to meet her someday. She put together an all-women's Film Festival. So the films have to feature women and Aisha and I talked all about the elite mindset and to stop calling out that brands are fulfilling diversity and to what it means to normalize that experience. I think you guys are really going to enjoy it and she has a lot of good takeaways and advice for marketing managers and creatives or people who work in editorial about how to you know, provide a more inclusive landscape in the outdoor industry. So check it out. Take a listen and let us know what you think.




Lisa: So Aisha, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I'm stoked that you're here. Tell us where you're coming from and what your setting looks like right now and where you are in the country.


Aisha: Totally. Yeah, so first thank you for having me. I'm super psyched to be on. I am based out of Aspen, Colorado. And right now my life is a little bit of an anomaly. Usually we live either in a van or in this 180 square foot apartment. My husband and I share a single bunk bed but it's it's very quaint. But right now for the last, almost a year now, we've been house-sitting for one of my clients. So we're house-sitting in the nicest part of town in this giant mansion. So at the moment I'm sitting at my kitchen island looking out over the Roaring Fork River and Aspen Mountain with like... I can't even really describe it, with floor-to-ceiling windows and it's like a log cabin vibe. It's the best home office you could ask for.


Lisa: Amazing. Yeah, I love Aspen. I grew up in Colorado and I've always had a good time every time I've gone to Aspen.


Aisha: Oh nice. Where in Colorado?


Lisa: I grew up in Fort Collins and then lived in Crested Butte for quite a while.


Aisha: Oh, that's awesome. I'm from Carbondale originally and have like I best friends in CB and in Fort Collins and all over so that's that's awesome. I love a Colorado gal.


Lisa: Yes, totally. Okay, so tell us a little bit about what you do now and the work that you do with No Man's Land Film Festival and kind of how that journey looked for you and if you ever thought that this was something you were going to create or you just kind of fell into it. So I'd love to hear your story.


Aisha: Awesome. Yeah, so I'm not unique in that I have a collection of jobs and No Man's Land is just my favorite. So my husband and I own a consignment gear store. I teach skiing in the winter, which is how I met the clients who have taken me in now and then I also am on the board for a Diversify Outdoors, but my main gig and the one that I am the most passionate is No Man's Land and we started in... I always had the years wrong, but I'm pretty sure it was 2015 or it was 2014/15 just because we were in September so we're kind of cusping. But the way that I started initially I was inspired by Five Points Film Festival, which is a local Film Festival based out of Carbondale, and it's amazing. They just had their 10-year anniversary and one of my good friend’s mom started it so we go every year. And every year I was like this is so… can I swear?


Lisa: Yeah you can swear as much as you want.


Aisha: Awesome. This is so fucked, there's no women in this entire program. And mind you at this point I'm like 10, 11, 12, 13, and I don't know. Obviously there was something awakened in me enough where I just would go to these... I was looking for mentorship just so adamantly and could not find it and going to Five Point each year. I remember thinking every year like this is going to be the year. Like I'm gonna... I'm gonna meet this person or I'm going to see this person or I'm going to know that this is possible.


Because growing up in Carbondale and I'm sure that you had a similar experience in Fort Collins. It's... everyone's a professional athlete or they should be and so you grow up like with this elite mindset, but when you don't see anyone else doing what you're doing, it's definitely hard to stay motivated. Especially for me when I was like 13 or 14 and was like, where do I fit? This is crazy.


But then, so I got the idea at Five Point and I thought that I knew that that was a world that I wanted to be a part of. So for a while I went the route of trying to be a professional athlete and be a professional skier and quickly realized that that was not what I wanted to do. So, one of my other passions is like finding ways to get creative college credit. And so I found the sailing program. And I was such a dumbdumb, but the application said “free if you apply April 15th,” and I was like, oh my God, it's my birthday. I can sail across the Pacific for free and I was so excited. So I applied and I got in and I show up and they're like hey, so you haven't paid and I was like, I know I applied on my birthday. It's a sign it's free. And they were like no the 20 dollar application fee is waived.


So figured all that out and then sailed. I lived in... the program was based out of Cape Cod in Falmouth. So like outside of Boston and we sailed for one semester from California to Hawaii and we spent 40 days at sea. You don't see anything and part of that is you go on bow watch every four hours and the kids on my watch weren't too psyched on bow watches. Just because you're like alone. It's pretty intense and you kind of start to lose your mind. And so I got left up there pretty often. And for this particular stretch it was the middle of the night, you're staring into the darkness, everything sounds scary and I am not religious per se. I was raised Buddha so like this makes no sense, but it's the old the closest thing that I could liken a Divine calling. I literally was like “I'm going to start an all-female adventure film festival. It's going to be called No Man's Land and the logo should look like this” and I went back in after bow watch. I mean, I was literally left there for like two and a half hours and no one thought to come get me and I was super excited and that was and that was really the beginning of the end.


So I like found ways to start running the film festival while I was still in college and like of course like get college credit for it. And so I graduated in 2017 and I took seven years to go to school because I teach skiing in the winter and then go to school in the summer or in the fall and so in 2015 we launched it and I graduated in 2017 and I've just kind of been winging it ever since.


Lisa: Nice, that's quite the story.


Aisha: Yeah, I can't believe it happened. Like I'm still in disbelief. Like how lucky was I to just have like what I'm supposed to be doing or what I like doing… an idea slap me in the face and then have it be successful. It feels pretty amazing.


Lisa: What did you study in school?


Aisha: I double majored in adventure education and environmental science.


Lisa: Oh nice.


Aisha: Yeah, so I'm like kind of using my degree too, which is an anomaly, right?


Lisa: Yeah that's quite the path. Where did you, where did you meet your husband in all that?


Aisha: Well, so. Little beknown to me. We've met multiple times. We like met when I was 19, when I was 20, when I was like 13, and he remembers but I don't remember. But we actually reconnected at the store that we now own together and I went in and he was like flirting with me on the couch and my two best friends worked there too. So I left and I called him and I was like, “I can't believe that Steve is flirting with me. Like, he has a girlfriend. I'd be so mad if my boyfriend did that” like all of that. He was like, uh, Steve doesn't have a girlfriend and I was like, yes! That was like, I guess my sideways way of figuring it out.


And so our first date we went on a tend day climbing trip to the Winds and then we got engaged five... he moved out to Arizona where I was going to school and we bought a van and lived in the van in the college parking lot for a semester and then on our six-month anniversary, we got married.


Lisa: Wow.


Aisha: And it was awesome.


Lisa: Yeah, so you are the type of person that just gets an idea, loves it, goes with it, confident in it and goes all in.


Aisha: Yeah, I guess you could say that. Yeah.


Lisa: I love that. Yeah, I think that's a special trait for sure.


Aisha: Thank you. I definitely go down in flames more often than I would like to admit but those are two successes.


Lisa: So now let's kick it over to some commercials.





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Lisa: Nice, so how's it going at No Man's Land Film Festival these days, what's going on there? And what's it look like now that it's four years old.


Aisha: Yeah in September four years old. So we've had kind of an internal shift. So for a while, we had a staff of four and I love hiring people that are really excited about other things. Which I've learned, if they're really excited about other things, they might choose to go do those other things. So right now we transitioned from four people to two people. To myself and Kathy who's our program director, excuse me is our tour director and she's amazing. But right now we're prepping for our Flagship Festival, which is in Carbondale, September 13 through the 16th. And last year we did our first four day Festival and so we do like meetups and panels and workshops, we have guest speakers. And obviously we have films. We have a pitch Fest where filmmakers can can win money for their film project. So we're we're working on that right now.


And yeah, it's it's all very exciting and this is like our second year doing the four-day festival and before, like, I ran it... I think May 1st was the anniversary. Kathy was my first employee and was the anniversary of her being at the film fest for a year. So before she came I was running a single day Festival and I was converting an elementary middle school into a theater and like my mom was taking tickets and my dad was serving beer and Steven, like our friends were running AV and it was so janky. It was awesome. But now we're in a proper theater and like have proper sound equipment and it's pretty awesome. Yeah, this is our second year of our Flagship festival and I'm super psyched.


Lisa: That's awesome. So does that mean you have, if that’s the flagship Festival there are other festivals or showings throughout the country?


Aisha: Yeah, so we actually we tour worldwide and our tour is the reason... so we've been entirely self funded from the beginning and that's solely due to our tour. And so between January and today, like we've done almost 70 screenings around the world. And so we end up doing like a hundred plus every year all over and we go from like Chicago to all over Canada. Like we're working on one in Argentina and Chile right now. And so that's the other part of No Man's Land.


Lisa: Wow. So that sounds like it's a ton to keep you busy.


Aisha: Yeah and luckily like Kathy handles all that. She's really good at it because she loves talking to people and like I just remember, like, she forwarded me an email once from her conversation with the host. And she was like “much love, Kathy” and I was like Kathy, do you send all your emails with much love? And she was like “Oh, no, just the ones that I become really good friends with.” So in addition to being tour coordinator and managing all of these stops, she's also making best friends all over the world, which is awesome.


Lisa: That’s really funny. It's great when you have passionate people who see the vision and support the vision. You know, really high-achieving employees like that. That's amazing.


Aisha: I'm really lucky.


Lisa: Yeah, so a lot of our listeners are marketing managers and creatives or they work in editorial. So what's your advice to these people who kind of have a little bit of power behind bigger brands to maybe include more women or make the outdoors a more inclusive landscape. Like what do you notice through the film festival that people could put into their the work they do on the daily?


Aisha: We have to stop calling out when we are diversifying our media because I feel like like so often... I don't know like like there was like the Patagonia post and they featured. I forget if it was Mikhail, I think it was but bouldering in Bishop and it was more or less like one of the first people of color they ever included in their branding and in just any media they were putting out. And they didn't say anything about it, which I thought was really, really cool and they just treated it as another photo. Versus like I've definitely seen other brands that are like, “we celebrate women” like “look, look at us doing it.” And I think that ultimately that undermines this entire mission of diversifying the outdoors and diversifying media because it's still... it's not normalized if you have to call it out, you know what I mean?


Lisa: Absolutely.


Aisha: Yeah, and I think the other thing too is we've gotten. We now have kind of these figureheads who fill the role of women of color climber, lgbtq woman... I don't know, cyclist. And I feel like we have now, which is awesome that people have this platform now, people who historically did not. But we've got to be so much better about not just using these same 15 people for every photo shoot, for every opinion piece, for every Outside Magazine article, you know. It's like yes, these people are doing incredible work, behind them are thousands of other people doing the same work and by highlighting these 15 people from these historically marginalized communities again, you're undermining that whole mission of like... everyone's not doing it. Just these 10 people are so yeah. Those are the two things I think about a lot.


Lisa: So that's that's a really interesting thing as well because on the agency side where I'm at. We get asked to find, like, can you find some diversity for our photo shoots? And you know, and we live in Whitefish Montana. We also have an outpost in Colorado. But you know, these are places that it might be a little bit more difficult to find, you know, a group of diverse people that can all meet for a photoshoot at this exact same time during the week. It's really difficult. And what's like, what's your thought on that when people go out and like force it?


Aisha: Yeah, I mean that's such a funny... I think about that a lot because with Diversify Outdoors, that's literally what we do is brands come to us and we're like, oh you should talk to XY and Z or we can put together XY and Z for you. And I think like the conversation that we've been having as we're growing is entertaining and really just having a conversation with the brand and making sure that this is a sustainable... Mmm. I don't know if sustainable is the right word. But making sure that it's a genuine effort and it's something that's going to be continued versus being like, you know, we just need these shots for our summer catalog and and then never again because we checked off our diversity quota for the year.


And so Danielle, my partner, and I have talked about that a lot is like... do you have these larger conversations? How do you have these larger conversations? So for that like on one end I think it's really good that people are making that effort. But I think without having a conversation behind it even if it's just something as simple as like, oh you want diversity, like what do you mean? Because I think people are getting very wrapped up and I'm like, oh diverse. And it's like are you thinking of like an African American woman? Are you thinking of a man of size? Like what do you mean? And then also like, does this actually relate to your brand? Maybe their thing like really is just athletic white people. Does this actually fit with what you're trying to do.


Lisa: Yeah, it is. I think it's a good step to normalizing it, like normalizing a more diverse landscape and making it feel more welcome to people who do have, you know, the barriers to entry. Like going into a bike shop for the first time is hard for anyone, you know, and so I think forcing it is a good step into normalizing what that landscape looks like?


Aisha: Yeah.


Lisa: Yeah, but it is it can be quite the challenge on our end.


Aisha: Yeah.


Lisa: Yeah. It's so that's an interesting perspective too, on the filmmaking side. Have you ever seen any patterns or trends about the people who are behind the cameras on the filmmaking side of things?


Aisha: Yes. It is. It's just a lot of like white dudes which, love them, love their work, love what they've done. So part of what we do at Pitchfest is to... more just support female filmmakers because what's interesting. What I've seen is the trend in the films that have come out - and also keeping in mind that when I started the film fest I spent two years looking for films and came up with three hours and that was literally everything that ever existed. And now we have an abundance of content and which is amazing.


But keeping that in mind, like, one of the things that I am noticing is I've seen... the majority of the films that I see are shot by a man - typically a white male - and typically it's not a project that makes it to their website or is really included in their reel and it is almost like an interview style piece. Like the typical formula is you start - you see the woman's face. She's prepping for her adventure all the while has like a voiceover about what this adventure means to her, why it's important, how something traumatic may have happened to her. And now she's overcome and it's these like singled out portraits of women, which I think is so important and need to be shared but we're also getting to the point where we're like, I said earlier like, all that it's doing is I feel like one it's somewhat tokenizing. It's also, it's not creating a normalized feel because it's not women. It's not people doing things who just happen to be women and they're on an incredible adventure instead. It's an interview with this one woman who's doing this one thing and she's a woman and that's why it's cool. Does that make sense?


Lisa: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah instead of focusing on the adventure.


Aisha: Exactly.


Lisa: It focused on the person.


Aisha: Yeah, and it's really interesting and unfortunately, like we have a wider diversity of films with white women in them. Where we have like two Expedition films that we're getting this year which are the first that I've seen in a long time since our first year. I guess we have three. But then with the women of color they are all very much in that singular style and people noticed that and we've gotten a lot of feedback and I think it's challenging to see as a person of color watching these films. There there isn't that community there. It's very much like... you are alone on your bike, like, good luck.


Lisa: Well, that's an interesting call out.


Aisha: Yeah, and I mean at everyone's gonna I mean, we're always going to be doing something wrong. And unfortunately, we're sharing... fortunately, well really like the filmmakers we work with the content we have the creatives ww work with they're all incredible. But we don't have that much control. We're really just curating with what exists and... we're getting more into the role of creation, but it's a big step to be creating content as well as running the festival. So the films that we show are really representative of all of the media that is being created featuring women in outdoor and adventure sports.


Lisa: And now time for another commercial break.




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Lisa: Have you by chance heard about the workshops that we put on for women?


Aisha: No!


Lisa: Okay. So I started this kind of side business this year called Wheelhouse Workshops where we teach creative action sports photography workshops to women to try to help get more women with cameras in their hands and more women's points of views behind the lens. And so we bring in the top female action sports photographers and female athletes and have a big day on snow and a big day editing photos and then we have a show and it's really cool. But the reason I did that is because every time I was trying to hire out a photographer for a special project or you know any time I was contracting photographers, they were always male and I was like, where are the ladies? And why can't we get more more women behind the camera? So I went on this crazy deep wormhole trying to figure out why there was a lack of women behind cameras, if it was like too technical or too heavy when you're hiking around. I just couldn't figure it out and I called so many different sources and tried to put together research groups and that information just wasn't there but we're doing our best to change it even though I'm not sure why it is. Why that is like an anomaly but trying to get more women behind the camera.


Aisha: That's amazing. That is so awesome. Good for you. I mean that makes my heart sing that is so needed and so important. I love it. Fuck. Yeah.


Lisa: Yeah, and it's interesting because that really makes us focus on not so much the subject like here's the story we're going to go capture. It's more like. Hey, here's the best way to capture it. Like let's enable you, go create whatever you want to create, tell the stories that you want to tell and show the world what you're seeing behind your lens. So it was exciting and we had our first giant workshop at Snowbird and I still get emails from participants of that Workshop. They’re like, “I quit my job. I'm pursuing photography full-time.” I'm like, yeah. Fuck. Yeah.


Aisha: That's awesome, when is your next one?


Lisa: Our next one's going to be in Jackson this winter. I don't have a solid day yet, but we're definitely putting it in Jackson.


Aisha: That's awesome. Let me know when it's up and I'll share it with everybody.


Lisa: Okay, I will. Then eventually we want to bring more film into it as well. So I'll hit you up about that.


Aisha: Oh, I love it. That's so awesome.


Lisa: Yeah, you know because I think like with film especially there's so much complexity because there is the camera and then there's you know, the actual camera skills, but then the story and being able to craft something meaningful and you know, walk the audience through a story arc. It becomes a lot of creative writing and you know, it becomes so big that I think film is the absolute most difficult craft there is on the creative side. I'm curious, do you ever get behind the camera and are you trying to tell any stories?


Aisha: Ah, yes, that's the one thing that, I mean, like my ultimate take away from the film festival and not even really like an intentional takeaway or one that I really wanted. But I feel this really deep responsibility to create content that I feel like is more representative of a woman's experience in the outdoors because I see all of it. And I'm like... this is kind of off topic but like I'm not someone who identifies with the films that are sunsets with like a poetic voice over, like that's not my jam at all like it I can't do it. And so I started a production company with two of my girlfriends called Riveter. We started a little, probably like, we've been talking about it for the last six months. And then I really putting pen to paper the last couple months and are working on a couple projects that we can't share right now, but will be out… we're hoping by next by next year.


Lisa: Oooh.


Aisha: Yeah. I'm super excited. And yeah, I can't wait because I love it. And I'm like by no means an incredible filmmaker, but I think that with a compelling enough story, and well, that's really it. Just a compelling enough story. Did you ever see Kyle Dempster's film The Road to Karakol?


Lisa: Oh, no. I haven't seen that.


Aisha: It's I mean, it's definitely the best the best film that I've ever seen and it premiered a couple years ago at Five Point and he was there which was very cool, but it's mostly shot on a GoPro. And like with a little handheld camera. It's about a bike packing trip that he does through the Karakol and it's amazing. It's amazing. And I think it was so refreshing to see that because I think there's so many aspiring filmmakers and you get really bogged down by you don't have seven thousand dollars or even fifty thousand dollars to spend on a camera. And so if your story's not good enough you really do have to rely on that quality. That's not fair, but if you're uncomfortable with storytelling or editing or something like that you can really fall back on having beautiful imagery. And I think being able to remove that and take away. The kind of compromise the imagery and really focus on the story I think is an amazing gift.


Lisa: Absolutely and having kind of like lovably imperfect characters because that's really what everyone in the world is.


Aisha: yeah...


Lisa: Lovably imperfect.


Aisha: Totally, everyone's messy and weird and freaky and it's like... that's what I love!


Lisa: Cool. I will have to check out his film. So what are you... with your production company, are you actually out there capturing the contents or you more editing? What's your role in that?


Aisha: Yeah, so the two girls that I am working with, one is a photographer by profession, does film work. The other one is also a photographer but is a designer... like she does 3D designs, graphic design, and the other one also does marketing. So together, like, they have all the skills. So I'm in this really neat position where I get to basically supply the stoke and do whatever I want if it's like... Because we are talking about it the other day and I was like, you know, I really want to I want to better my film skills and I was like, I'm gonna go borrow my friends camera and like shoot some stuff and see how it goes. And so it's cool. Since they're so locked into what they do and that's what they really like to do, I can just weave in between. So like I do a little bit of filming, I edit. Last year I didn't edit the No Man's Land trailers but I do a lot of edits for No Man's Land and really enjoy that. Yeah, so I'm still trying to figure out exactly within the film realm where my greatest skills are and then the ones that I also want to build upon. So it's all kind of a free for all right now.


Lisa: That's awesome.


Aisha: I'm psyched. I love it.


Lisa: That's really exciting. I love production so much. And now that my company has grown so much I find myself in more meetings and doing a lot more estimating and I don't know, just like business things instead of out there with cameras like hanging over rivers and flying drones. And so like it's a little heartbreaking as that success grows that it kind of pulls you off the production floor. And so I always try to keep projects going because it's like if you feel like you have to create then you have to create.


Aisha: Yeah, I love that and I feel like everyone I know like who gains any kind of business success like that's their story. You know, they're like, uh, like I'm the one in the meetings. I'm the one behind the computer all the time. So it's so great to hear that you found some kind of balance and can still get out.


Lisa: Oh, yeah, because it's tough out there but, you know. And then also just the work-life balance of being in the outdoors not just talking about the outdoors but actually going out and experiencing your life and your adventures. So, what do you do for your work-life balance and adventure-seeking?


Aisha: I am like the worst balancer in the world. I can't, I can't do it. Like I literally will take like three days off and run every day and write every day and be so psyched and maybe work like, maybe five hours and I'm literally just like dragging myself to the computer. And then they'll be other days. And right now I'm in one of these now where it's like over a couple weeks straight and all I do is sit on my computer and I'll like sit on my deck because that counts as going outside. And soon I will have another full explosion and I'll hate the film fest and I want to get outside and I'll disappear and then I'll come back and we'll be fine. So if you have any tips... like I do yoga. I meditate, like, I drink lemon water and I just can't figure it out.


Lisa: “I need more lemon water.”


Aisha: I'm a lost cause.


Lisa: “The lemon water is not working.”


Aisha: Exactly


Lisa: hilarious. Yeah, it's really tough because you want to, you know, obviously maintain that like hardcore elite mindset in your Outdoor Pursuits and then work gets in the way when you're growing something and working hard toward it. It's a never never ending cycle. I think.


Aisha: Yeah, and that is literally that's the number one question people ask me is like, how do you do it all? I'm like, I wish I could tell you something inspirational but I have no idea.


Lisa: Yeah, that's okay though. No one has any idea what they're doing.


Aisha: That's what I keep telling myself.


Lisa: Exactly. Exactly. I always found that when I lived in Crested Butte, I was really snowboarding non-stop every day and ski bumming it and pursuing that potentially as a career. And I was like very very into like powder days and rope drops and like get out of my way. I gotta get the line. I gotta get the first line. And at one point, I just started feeling selfish and I was like, I can give back to the world instead of just taking all the good lines, you know, and I started shifting what I cared about and how I showed up in the world. Do you find that as well? Like that hardcore skiing every day, charging as hard as you could, at some point just kind of lost its magic and then that's when you started focusing on the film festival or are you still able to do both?


Aisha: I mean, absolutely that was a lot of the reason why I started it because I felt like.. I was very much raised too, a big pillar of Buddhism is how will I serve, like, like, what will I give back? And I was so fortunate to be born like, white passing, middle class, Carbondale, Colorado. I got the jackpot. And so I did start the film fest because I was raft guiding, I was running, I was trying to be a professional skier, I was ski racing and I was teaching skiing and I was like, this is awesome. And yeah, and it was just that eventually I was like… one, I'm so worn down that in me pursuing these sports or guiding or whatever I was doing, I wasn't sharing that love.


So one was I was being a disservice to my clients and also to my friends who I was going out with. And so the film fest really came from that, I really want to give that feeling to other people and I am so fortunate to know that I can go out. Like I can go out for a 20 mile run and get that whole feeling and feel so connected and all of my passion for the environment and for the world and for adventure is reignited. And I can do that in a day and then I can go back to work and for so many other people that that feeling is so much less accessible. And so knowing that I can take care of my own needs pretty simply but I'm yeah, I'm way more... at this point I'm way more invested in giving someone else that feeling once than pursuing it constantly.


Lisa: Yeah, that's awesome.


Aisha: I'm trying. There are days where, I live right on the bike path and I'll watch people like biking and skateboarding and running and sometimes I just stare at them and I'm like, ugh. I hate you. [laughs] Whatever. And my husband is like, we’re like on the racetrack. I don't know what it is. It's like, we're not content just doing something for fun. Like everything has to be a race and you have to like, I don't know train, and he's gotten way into cycling and so he's constantly... like our whole downstairs is full of bikes. He's always riding, like, beating a time, like doing this new trail, downloading new routes. Having a partner like that is so inspiring and then at the same time, I'm like damn, I want to do that too, but I can't. Not right now.


Lisa: Yeah, you’re building stuff.


Aisha: I’m building.


Lisa: Which is a form of creativity in itself. So just, you know, that's pretty exciting.


Aisha: Hmm. Yeah.


Lisa: Totally. Well, one last question for you is, if you could give advice to any filmmakers out there who want to enter a film into No Man's Land Film Festival. What's your advice to them? And how what's that process look like?


Aisha: Yeah, so. The way that I screen films is, if I have to check the time bar in the first four minutes of your film, then it's probably not going to make it in because it's not engaging. And I think that's true from whom I've talked to. Like I think that that's a pretty true sentiment of a lot of other film festivals. If you're like counting the timer like maybe this isn't the best choice.


So with that being said, that'll tie back to what I said earlier. Find a story, and then fuck the equipment. Like if you don't have it, right, at least go out and try and capture the best you can because even if the project is totally unusable, at least now you have more skills to do to either do it again or do something else. And my husband went to school for photography and it drives me crazy that this is his advice, but I'm going to say it. It's like the best camera you have is the one that's with you and if you don't use it, and you don't bring it you're not going to create anything. So just try something. And then send it to me and I'll tell you what I think.


Lisa: Nice.


Aisha: Yeah!


Lisa: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast today and we will post everywhere everyone can find you on Instagram and websites. And so people can look for that in the show notes. And yeah, thank you so much for your