An Artist’s Struggle Between Fame and Obscurity

Bethany Jenkins | February 3, 2016

Laura Waters Hinson is a documentary filmmaker and mother of two in Washington, D.C. Her films span a variety of subjects—from female entrepreneurship in Rwanda to street vendors in D.C. Her documentary, As We Forgive, won the 2008 Student Academy Award for best documentary, and her latest film, Many Beautiful Things, releases this weekend nationwide.

What do you do every day?

Most of my time is spent managing film projects. Whether that means I’m on location or reading transcripts or working with an editor or doing grassroots promotional work, I’m always trying to move my films forward, cast a vision for my team, and tell stories in compelling ways.

I’m also a mom, which means I’m getting my kids ready for school and doing other family-related things. They keep me grounded, balanced, and in community.

Where does your personal brokenness come up against your craft?

I identify a lot with Lilias Trotter, the woman at the center of my newest film, Many Beautiful Things. In the late 1800s, art critic John Ruskin told her that she could be one of the best painters of her day—if only she would focus exclusively on her art. But she was conflicted because…

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