Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Bozin.
Hi Samantha, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have been a creative person my entire life; it’s just who I am! I started acting and singing at the age of three (my first show was Peter Rabbit in preschool… I was Mrs. Rabbit and I even got to sing a solo). But my mom said that even before I could speak, I would sing in the car (basically I would just sing in gibberish, haha), and she said she knew I would grow up to be an artist one day! And she was right because I work as a professional actor and director now, and all of my passions and hobbies are kinda rooted in the arts. I am also really passionate about activism and making a social impact (especially with the art I make) because when I was four years old, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Having t1d for the majority of my life hasn’t limited me in any way, but rather, it’s encouraged and inspired me to do what I can to help others who live with diabetes and educate people who know nothing about it. Living with type one (as well as a few other autoimmune diseases) and being an artist, I have realized that I have a strong voice and can speak up for those with disabilities. So, since I founded my own multi-media production company in 2020, I have made it part of my mission to uplift the voices and tell the stories of people who need to be heard (folks with disabilities, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ folks, and those who struggle with mental health). I love producing art that impacts people, and I really love experiencing other works of art that impact ME! My story is definitely ongoing and nowhere near the end, but I have really enjoyed living in Denver so far (I just moved here this year from NYC) and I am very excited to see what is in store for me in the future!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life is never easy, no matter who you are. I do think our mindset and perspective can really impact the overall journey, and for me, even when I’m struggling, my goal is to not panic too much and just figure out what to do next. Since the pandemic, I have really adopted a “go with the flow” mentality because life is too short and precious to stress about things that aren’t meant to be. That being said, I work really hard to create the art I want to create, do the things in life that I want to do, and be the person I want to be. Nothing in life is going to come easy, and I definitely think the pandemic has showed us all how challenging moments can be really great learning opportunities. As I mentioned before, I founded my own multi-media production company, Fentress Films, in 2020 (right in the midst of the pandemic) and it was incredibly challenging at times, but I am so so grateful and happy that I have made an impact on people’s lives through the art I am making and that I have provided so many out-of-work artists with jobs. One of the biggest roadblocks I, and most people working in the arts, encountered during the pandemic was how to continue creating and producing art while also keeping artists (especially theatre and musical artists) safe. As a small business owner, it was especially vital that I found a solution to this challenge because I needed to keep my business afloat during the pandemic (and keep my sanity). I decided the best move for me personally and professionally was to move… literally. I ended up leaving New York and moved to Denver (which worked out because I have some family here and was able to crash with them until I was on my feet). For the majority of 2020, I decided the safest and most profitable way to keep producing art was to go virtual. This year alone, I directed and produced over 20 staged virtual readings of new works, one award-winning short film (shot entirely over Zoom), and two international film festivals (both held 100% online). I am so glad I made this big move because I just took the time to look at this roadblock (being the pandemic), which has deprived so many artists of work (and many more audience members of entertainment), and thought ‘how can I spin this situation into a positive thing?’ For me, going virtual last year really set the company up for success, as I was able to create a huge community of artists by working with actors from all over the world! Now that people are getting vaccinated and it’s much safer to work in person, I have decided to produce in-person content here in Denver! I think the Denver metro area has great potential for the arts and a lot of really talented artists, and I want to produce as many films, theatre pieces, and art festivals here as I can. I’m very excited for the future and I know that there will be plenty more roadblocks to come, but I can handle them!
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Along with being a professional actor, vocal jazz artist, cat lover, and social activist, I am the Founder and Creative Director of Fentress Films, a multi-media production company. I have already spoken about this a bit, but our mission at Fentress Films is to create art about underrepresented groups/topics, while also making theatre accessible to people all over the world, despite the pandemic… and that’s basically our niche! I find a lot of value in artists discovering their niche because it’s what helps set them apart from the millions of other artists out there, and I even teach virtual masterclasses to young artists about the importance of honing in on their niche. I could talk about my niche for hours on end, truly, and I think breaking down in specific terms what my niche as an artist and entrepreneur are has really really helped me find a place in the arts industry to shine! Again, I direct and produce theatre/film through Fentress Films, and I often write the scripts as well. Whether I am writing the script or I hire an outside writer, I always look to produce works that tell personal and relatable stories (usually centering around medication affordability, LGBTQ+ storylines, domestic violence, and mental health, as these topics are very personal to me). I am very passionate about working with diverse artists (BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, disabled artists, multilingual artists, novice artists, etc.) because I really want to tell stories that people can relate to, and the world is truly so diverse and people are so unique, yet I think we focus too much in Hollywood/Broadway on telling the same old stories over and over again. And don’t get me wrong, I love the classics (for the most part), but I think the future of theatre and film lies in authentically telling diverse stories (and that starts with hiring diverse artists… both on the talent and production side). At Fentress Films, we strive to uplift and promote artists, and I personally want to help boost as many people’s careers as I can, so in addition to producing plays and films, we also host two international film festivals yearly where we screen and promote student filmmakers’ and professional filmmakers’ work, and we publish a quarterly arts magazine, the Fentress Fanzine, where we interview artists of all mediums from all over the world! As time goes on, we have built a really wonderful community of collaborators and audience members, and I am always looking for new mediums to implement into the company. I want to keep our content fresh, authentic, and ever-changing, so I’m always working on a new project to keep the content coming!
What are your plans for the future?
I actually just started a job teaching theatre to children (grades K-6th) through KidStage Colorado, and I am really excited to see where this new creative job takes me in the future! I love working with children, and of course, I love theatre, so getting to combine the two is beyond fulfilling. I really want to make an impact on people through art, and with kids especially, I think theatre has a huge potential to positively impact their social and communication skills, emotional intelligence, and confidence. I am loving the job so far and I am really stoked to continue working for KidStage!
In regards to my future plans with Fentress Films, I have a few really exciting new projects in the works: one project is a web series and the other is an art festival I have been planning. I can’t give too many details yet, but these projects are going to be so so fun and really groundbreaking for the company!
- films: $10
- staged virtual readings: free
- tickets to film festivals: $2
- digital magazine: $7
- physical magazine: $12
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.fentressfilms.com/#/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fentressfilms/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fentressfilms/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGXwmuM7a7j4vrX2tIWdbbg
- Other: https://filmfreeway.com/FentressStudentFilmFest
J. Demetrie Photography