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Meet Trailblazer Dora Endre

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dora Endre.

Dora, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a young Hungarian artist with an overly active imagination and a never-ending fascination for theatre and film.

In the past five years, I studied theatre, film, media and communications and worked on plays (mostly off-Broadway) and film projects (including short movies and music videos) in New York, Florence and Budapest.
Predominantly, I have been involved in these projects as a director and/or writer and along the way, I gained a conservatory certificate in method acting.

I believe in the power of passionate teamwork and the life-changing magic of the arts and my work has been featured in various film festivals, for example in New York, Hollywood, Houston, Atlanta, Rome and London.

Most recently, I have been fortunate enough to direct a short film and two music videos. The short film was shot in the picturesque Positano and it is about retrograde amnesia and that strong sense of nostalgia that hits you whenever you return home. While both music videos were made for rock bands in Brooklyn and Budapest. Also, this Fall, I had the privilege to revisit a play I had previously worked on in New York. It focuses on the inhumane situation in the Middle East from the perspective of a young American woman.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not at all. Living in different countries, each time working with a different group of people, and be a leader who also happens to be a young woman… it is difficult, to say the least. But I like challenges and having more pressure on my shoulders than what I first think I can deal with. It all helps you evolve and gives you a ‘training’ that will pay off big time, especially in hectic, demanding situations.

My advice is simple: just keep pushing. create something 365 days a year. It is a rough industry where creative processes and business go hand in hand so it requires you to have a variety of skills, being a visionary director or an extremely gifted actor will not make you succeed. And it is even tougher if you are a young woman in this business, you have got to work twice as hard to also fight against common prejudice. Always stay active, take courses, join masterclasses, mingle, become an excellent communicator, create your own work and do not wait for a miracle to happen. Do not rely on the pipe dream that a top agent or producer will come and see your show. Just as Steve Martin says; “be so good they cannot ignore you”. If you are always out there, it will happen.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
At the moment, I am involved in multiple theatre and film-related projects. As a director, I am currently working on a short movie. With my team, we are in pre-production for a short film about a complicated relationship in the shadow of autism. Essentially our story is about the simple truth that underneath the surface we all want the very same; to connect, to love and be loved. And the fact that we are always willing to put up a fight and make sacrifices for people who are truly important for us.

Also, I still have plans with the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” (written by Rachel Corrie, created by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner) that I directed off-Broadway last year. Next year, I am planning to take it to cultural centers and schools in New York. It is an outrageous shame that the play is barely known, as a matter of fact, it has only been staged three times in New York, including our show.

Rachel was an incredible human being with a huge sense of social responsibility and hunger for peace. I believe that her story holds the power to inspire youngsters not only in the United States. Also, I must say that I am more than grateful for the bottomless support I have always received from Cindy Corrie and The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.

Apart from all this, I am also writing a relationship-centered film based on some writings of Virginia Woolf. It is being produced by Florian Bouxin and is going to be shot in Normandy next Spring. Busy times!

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I think it a tough business to survive for everyone! But as women, our position is still more disadvantageous. It is a primarily male-dominated field and if you present yourself as a decisive director, some producers may think that you are too rough on the edges while if you decide to emphasize your sense of empathy and feminine perspective, they might think you are too soft to be a leader.

I remember a day from last year when I had multiple pitch meetings. On the first one, a producer said that everything sounds great about the film but I come across aggressive. In the next meeting, I backed off a bit and played it very nice. Of course, people ended up thinking that I was only a pretty face…

It is tough to find the balance and the right partners to collaborate with, plus clearly we need much more women in the industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kata Nagy, Pratya J. Photographer, Bianka Durcsan, Bela Attila Kovacs, Rob Villano

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