Meet Director, Producer, Actress and Model, Yvette Fintland!
Let’s see what is she all about.
MIHM-Tell us a little bit about you, where are you from and what inspired you to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?
YF-I was born in Long Island New York and now reside in Nevada at the base of Lake Tahoe just outside of Reno. I’ve been involved in entertainment since age 5 but took a break while in school to focus on academics. After college I returned to modeling and, after winning over 30 modeling competitions and landing acting roles through some of the prizes from titles like, Model Miss USA, Latin Miss Orlando, Miss Paul Mitchell, Miss Venus, Miss Hawaiian Tropics and fitness competitions, I was inspired to get more involved with acting and so I signed up with local agencies and took acting lessons. I also took stunt workshops in Orlando, Florida because I was fascinated with stunt actors and all the crazy, fun scenes they got to do. I learned to jump from buildings and all the basic fight and attack scenes which later helped me land a lead role for a university project I was asked to join. I was shot in the back during an action scene and had to act out the hit and fall scene. I loved it! One thing led to another and once I landed lead roles, I knew I was hooked for life, and it became my passion not just a career.
MIHM-You are a Director, Producer, Actress and Model. What makes your heartbeat faster?
YF-Once upon a time I would have said acting, because it’s always challenging. Lead roles require even more, directors and producers count on getting the most and very best, especially with high budget film projects. When I used to act, my heart would want to beat out of my chest due to the excitement and, sometimes, nerves. I would say everything about entertainment make my heart beat faster, but if I had to choose only one, it would have to be directing. There is something very special about producing and directing that go hand in hand and, of course, one does not exist without the other. Therefore, I decided to produce and direct projects I foster through my production company, Northern Summit Productions, based out of Reno, Nevada.
MIHM-Tell us about your Documentary Project currently in production “I Used To Be Your Neighbor”.
YF-The I Used To Be Your Neighbor documentary is a feature film about homelessness and the survival skills it takes to make it on the streets. Unfortunately, even with all the help in place from government programs, non-profit organizations and private donors as well as thousands of volunteers, the homeless situation continues to get worse. Most recently, the Pandemic, fires and floods and have all negatively impacted the economy and displaced more families and individuals from their homes. We are not just documenting about the homeless crisis in America, we are also volunteering to help organize, feed, educate and help as many families and individuals transition from being homeless, often through programs that help them qualify for work and housing. With many shelters also being closed due to COVID or simply full, there is never enough housing for members of the homeless community that are in need. I’m often asked how people can help and I tell them they can start within their local community, where there may be organizations and programs for the homeless and food-insecure. Just dropping off essentials or cans of food is a great start, donating money and time accomplishes even more. Some church organizations work closely with non-profits to organize the best scenario possible to help feed hundreds of people and pets that may need aid or assistance. You can read more about our documentary film at www.iusedtobeyourneighbor.com. As the executive producer and director of the film, I am committed to helping contribute back to the communities and non-profit organizations such as Making It Happen, Inc. in Los Angeles, California because the organization has been a blessing to thousands of families and individuals that truly need help. You can visit their website for more information and to help contribute at www.makingithappeninc.org.
MIHM-What do you think about lack of diversity in Hollywood and what can you do to change that?
YF-I feel that diversity is important in Hollywood films because minorities make up for about 40% of the population. Women and minorities are still grossly underrepresented in leading roles, especially higher budgeted ones. I believe this has more to do with the type of scripts being written specifically mostly for white actors, it really depends on the story being told. The film industry is slowly catching on, but still has a long way to go. It is predicted by the US Census Bureau that by the year 2050 most of the nation’s population will be minorities. Much more progress is needed not only for minority actors but also for the behind-the-scenes minority producers, writers and directors still needs a lot of catching up as minorities are outnumbered for crew positions 3 to 1 with the majority being the highest. What I am doing to help change minority involvement is writing scripts that include minorities for my film projects. However, casting calls for my own diverse projects can be challenging due to the shortage of minority actors for film, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me because of the stigma set upon minorities. Because many minority actors have been asked to play stereotypical roles, from immigrants to prostitutes, thugs, criminals, and maids. This should change, and it would be more beneficial for the film industry to do so sooner than later due to the millions of dollars left on the table each year because of the persistent inequality problem in Hollywood.
MIHM-If you could work with somebody you admire, celebrity, politician, musician, leader or anybody else who would it be and why?
YF-It would be an honor to work with Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee. I admire them the most as successful directors, writers and producers.
MIHM- How are you dealing with the quarantine and current pandemic?
YF-Well, it’s been a difficult last couple of years as we are all riding this storm together. I have been dealing with it best as I can by not focusing on the pandemic and continuing to work on every aspect of my company. Since I opened my production company right before the pandemic hit in December 2019, I have not been affected as much as other production companies that had a lot more at stake such as the big studios, network stations, and film projects already in production during the pandemic that had to come to a complete halt. During quarantine downtime, I created a new animation comedy TV show because I knew it would be a while before I could go back to filming bigger projects that require a full crew and talent on set.
MIHM-Define what success means to you?
YF-Success to me means having reached my goals, the achievement of desired visions. As a creative individual I set my creative vision as a goal and carefully I map out my business plans in order to put them to action. Many people associate success with money and while its true that we are judged for our success upon how much we have, I don’t consider all goals and successful outcomes to always be about money. I am grateful for having a roof over my head every day, paying the bills on time and staying healthy for my teenage daughter; that drives me to succeed as a parent, I want to teach her that success is what you put into it. So, like Britney Spears would sing “You want a Maserati? You better work bit**” and that I do.
MIHM-What other projects are you working on right now?
YF-Currently I’m working on the “Chico and Paco Adventures” animation show about two Chihuahua brothers that go on daily adventures and make light of every situation through comedy. The I Used To Be Your Neighbor homeless documentary is currently in production and goes into post-production in October. There’s also a theater play based on a Cinderella love story and musical and a horror feature film based on a true story about a cowboy that lived in Virginia City, NV as “Billy The Shadow” and a lineup of about 12 other projects between TV shows, animation, feature films and documentaries.
MIHM-How can people reach you, do you have social media, website, etc.
YF-I can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram under Yvette Fintland and our company website at Northern Summit Productions. www.northernsummitproductions.com.