What's in Yr Fridge, Annie Howell?

by Sid Feddema

Annie J. Howell is the screenwriter and director of a number of sensitive, thought-provoking indie films that explore the complexities and difficulties of contemporary life through the lenses of diverse characters. In addition to writing 2016’s Little Boxes, about an interracial family that moves from New York to the Pacific Northwest and struggles to adapt to white suburbia, she has co-written and co-directed two features with Lisa Robinson: Small, Beautifully Moving Parts (2012, starring Anna Margaret Hollyman) and Claire In Motion (2017, starring Betsy Brandt). Each film has had a similar trajectory – premiering at SXSW, playing nationwide in fests and select theaters, and then available to discerning film connoisseurs on-demand. She is the recipient of a slew of awards, including the Sloan Feature Film Prize, an IFP Emerging Narrative Award for Best Feature and a San Francisco Film Society/Rainin Foundation grant. Howell grew up in the Arizona desert but now lives in New York City with her husband and two sons, and teaches in the MFA in Film program at City College. We had her give us a slice of the writer’s life by asking: hey Annie Howell, what's in yr fridge?

These days, as a writer, I’m working from home all the time on Roosevelt Island in New York City. This spot is an amazing corner …

… watching giant shadows emerge on the East River …

… as well as amazing tugs and barges like NYC’s Red Hook. Look it up to see what she hauls up and down the river fourteen times a week.

The window sill provides distraction as well: drawings my mom made of my children, plus pottery, blacksuperpowers.com button and a comic I drew of myself before we told anyone a kid was on the way.

Movie posters in the apartment help inspire. I like looking at this one from a recent film of mine (CLAIRE IN MOTION, co-directed with Lisa Robinson) as I love this rendering of Betsy Betsy Brandt …

… and this one on the same wall, a Japanese poster for Jarmusch’s GHOST DOG.

A vey good procrastination method is making granola, because you have to get out of your seat every ten minutes to stir. Any writer would be glad to get up every ten minutes. Coffee is also a plus.

Most days end with sipping tequila. I love Clase Azul in all its ceramic glory. The first time my husband and I brought a bottle home from Mexico, it broke in our bag. Later we discovered the liquor store right across the water usually has it in stock.