Two HSE Schools Alumni & Filmmakers Are Headed to the Cannes Film Festival
Riley Dismore and Katherine (Katie) Crump lived just a few miles from each other growing up. Even though they attended high schools in the same school district, they didn’t meet until becoming students at Indiana University. Crump grew up surrounded by films. Her parents are filmmakers and she’s helped in the crew in her parents’ films, including helping with promotions. Dismore and her younger sister started making movies when they were kids. Her sister has gone on to become an actress, and Dismore is finishing her Senior year at IU.
When Dismore and Crump met, not only were they surprised about their hometown connection, they were equally surprised to discover they shared the same vision. Most obvious was their shared love for filmmaking. Through that, the girls shared their vision of changing the way the industry is dominated by males.
“Our main priority is supporting women in film,” Dismore says. “We’re tired of the boys club of filmmakers. Right now, the men dominate the industry. Women can’t because they don’t make equal pay.”
The mission to empower women in the film industry was just one driving factor. Dismore endured a traumatic experience that forever changed her and put her on the path to making the award-winning film “Rolling.” Dismore was the victim of a rape during the Fall of 2017. In the weeks and months that followed, she spent time healing at her family’s home in San Antonio.
The difficult time proved to provide the inspiration for “Rolling.” The film centers around a young girl who experiences sexual assault.
“It really was a project for healing,” Dismore says. “Through this film, I show the confusion that happens with sexual assault. But it also shows that you can be brave and stand up for yourself. The main character is a survivor, dealing with a heavy, complex situation, but her funny personality still shines through.”
“Rolling” won the Jury pick award for Best Performance. From there, it’s going to the Atlanta Film Festival and then on to the Cannes Film Festival in May. The festival is not just an opportunity to promote the film. During the two weeks, Dismore and Crump will attend tons of screenings and lots of seminars and classes on writing, directing and cinematography.
“Katie loves cinematography, I love writing and directing,” Dismore says. “But I want to learn to do every job on set doing all the things I love — storytelling, art, technology. To be a good leader and director, you have to be the best at all that and learn how to draw emotion and action out of actors.”
As a bonus to the film festival, Dismore was nominated for the Joe Biden Courage Award. As a nominee, Dismore will go to New York City and meet former Vice President Joe Biden. The Courage Award is presented in partnership with the It’s on Us Campaign and the Biden Foundation.
“Lots of people in the organization got the opportunity to see the film,” Dismore says.
In the meantime, the ladies are already hard at work on their next project. The girls love writing and acting comedy, so they’re working on a comedy called Rebel Girls.
“Comedy is my favorite thing to do,” Dismore says. “This film is the funniest thing ever.”
After graduation, the ladies plan to explore all their options.
“This summer, Katie and I are heading back to Indy to keep making movies,” Dismore says. “We’ll make this short film in Indy and decide our next move from there.”
On the table is doing independent cinema in Los Angeles, which offers many opportunities for women. Dismore says Austin, Atlanta and Albuquerque are also big contenders.
Although Crump and Dismore haven’t pitched movies to major studios and production companies, there’s no doubt it’s on the horizon and they’ll be prepared.
“It’s hard to do because to pitch a movie, you’ve got to get people to see inside your head,” Dismore says. “You need a good, original, colorful story, special effects and graphics. If you have that, you’ll win. You also need to be able to answer the question, ‘Why this story and why now?’”
No matter what their next move is, the ladies are going to keep doing what they love and putting their message out there.
“We’re going to show that we believe survivors make better listeners whether they’re the type that wants to talk about their experience or not,” Dismore says. “We’re also going to make it our mission to put women on the crew of our movies.”
Look for “Rolling” on Amazon Prime, and follow the Cannes Film Festival at festival-cannes.com.