Indy Shorts Feature Highlight: Paul Nethercott and Amy Pauszek

Presented by Heartland Film, Indy Shorts International Film Festival showcases short films created by storytellers from all over the globe. This July 26-29 marks the first Indy Short’s festival and includes categories such as short film finalists, official selections, Indiana spotlight program and a high school competition. Along with the festival, viewers can attend panels and workshops to learn more about filmmaking and what happens the behind the scenes on set. To learn more about the event and how to purchase tickets, visit Heartland’s info page here.

Name: Paul Nethercott and Amy Pauszek
Hometown: Paul has lived in Indy, Canada, Minnesota, and Japan while Amy’s hometown is Indianapolis
Social media: Amy’s Twitter is @WonderWomanAmyP

Tell me a little about yourself?
PN: I’m an international person. I like to travel, meet people, experience different cultures, eat good food and work with others on film projects (especially documentary films). I have two film projects in EUROPE — one of them is completed and one is in process.
AP: I am a freelance photographer for magazine and newspaper publications and provide still photography for many local and

syndicated television productions. I have weekly arts and entertainment and society column called ‘Where’s Amy’ in Current Weekly Publications and am an advocate for the local Arts and Indie Film Industry. I love traveling, Broadway shows and my pride and joy is my rescue beagle Tonto. You could say I am also a pretty big fan of Wonder Woman and Superman. Ha!

How did you get started with film?
PN: I suppose my start was my first visit to a theater where I saw “The Sound of Music” when I was 10 years old. However, I didn’t get into filmmaking until I was in my 40’s. Around 15 years ago I visited a university in southern California where I met a film professor. He said to me, “How would you like to make a film with us in Japan?” I said, “I’d love to!”
AP: I always wanted to produce films since I was a kid and after college I decided to give it a whirl. I’ve worked as a key producer and publicist in several feature films, shorts,TV and commercials. My dedication to independent cinema also includes working PR/Social Media with such renowned film festivals as Heartland Film Festival, Sundance, Indy film Fest, The 48 Hr. Film Project and the River Bend Film Festival. When I’m not acting or producing you can find me scouting for new talent/actors for Talent Fusion Agency.

What is your favorite thing about creating a film?
PN: Meeting fascinating people like Jenni and making a film about her is really hard to beat. I love doing interviews because the connections I make are amazing. Getting to work with wonderful people like Amy is another favorite aspect of filmmaking for me. Film Festivals are a real highlight because they are strategically important to what I do. All of my current film projects happened because of relationships I formed at film festivals and they are immensely enjoyable.
AP: I like to produce films that make a difference, films that have substance and leave the audience wanting to know more. Good films tell great stories, and trust me I love creating a “buzz” for every film I am involved with.

Tell me about your film “Grateful.”
AP: Our film “Grateful” is an inspiring story about courageous Jenni Berebitsky who is beating the odds against ALS with determination through the help of family and friends. Her story will warm your heart while teaching us to live an engaging, productive and a meaningful life. When you watch it, tissues are required. You will laugh and cry but most of all, leave the theater knowing what being grateful is really all about.

Where did the inspiration for your film come from?
PN: I too am facing great challenges and I too need to find the courage to move forward in spite of loss and facing challenges that can be overwhelming. The telling of Jenni’s story helps me navigate the journey of life. She is a hero and is on a hero’s journey. She has enriched my life and has helped me find courage. For all of us, facing death is our great challenge. “Grateful” is a film that addresses that universal challenge and I think that is why it is so touching. We can all see ourselves in this story.

Did you previously know Jenni? Why choose to tell her story?
PN: I met Jenni as a result of meeting Dr. Jean Miller at Heartland Film Festival last October. Jean saw my film “Abstraction” and said to me, “You should meet my friend Jenni and think about making a film about her!” I really don’t know why she said that to me. A week or so later I went to see Jenni and soon after that got to work on this film about her.

What does it mean to you that your film is a part of the first Indy Shorts Film Festival?
PN: It means that hundreds of people will get to see this wonderful story on a big screen with good sound — and Jenni will be there! I can’t wait to get to see it with Jenni and 500 other people in a theater. My vision for this film is to take it to film festivals around the world. I think Jenni’s story is going to reach a lot of people and touch a lot of lives — that means a lot to me.
AP: This festival is so important because it is a bucket list of Jenni’s to be screened at Heartland. She is in hospice and has not a lot of time to live, being in this festival was the icing on the cake. Plus, Heartland is one of my favorite festivals because their team really work hard to connect filmmakers in the right direction – often including once in a lifetime opportunities and introductions to major film studios and industry executives from all over the world. President Craig Prater and his hard working staff are seriously some major superheroes who strive to make each filmmaker’s experience unbelievable and top notch.

What’s in the future for you?
PN: I’ll be teaching at another film camp and then do a workshop at a film festival. I’m considering doing my next film about a man here in Indy who is passionate about helping homeless veterans. He has a vision to build housing for vets who are homeless. One big goal is to get a film on Netflix. Another is to develop co-productions between filmmakers here in Indiana and my European colleagues. My vision is to tap funding available in the EU and leverage the low cost of production in Lithuania to make feature length films.
AP: I want to continue to make quality films that make a difference and also continue trying to bring the film industry to Indiana. My motto is everyday we just gotta continue to put on our superhero cape, and keep on keeping on and fly. See you at the movies!

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