MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Things for Which to Give Thanks

Two years ago right about now, I was less than two weeks out from the major surgery that would remove 2/3 of my pancreas along with the little tumor that thought it was going to hang out there, tucked away, until it got big enough to really cause some damage. Two years ago right about now, I was going through a wretchedly painful divorce at the same time.

By any measure, things are SO much better now, so I am first and foremost thankful to still be here to write this, and do other interesting things with my life.

I’m very thankful to still have MCN as a place to write, to have such a great team of colleagues, and mostly to David, who has always supported me in writing whatever most moved me to write about, whether that’s movies, or life, or the places in which those two things intersect. And I’m grateful also, that when I said, “Hey, I want to start transitioning into filmmaking, but I’d like to still write here,” he just shrugged, nodded and said, “Sure, okay, whatever you want to do,” and supported me completely as I ventured out of my safe little nest of film journalism into the kind of scary, unpredictable world of making movies. Anyone who gets to work in this industry in any capacity is lucky to begin with; to have the opportunity to work as a critic for so long, and now to see it through the lens of how to go about making movies, is ridiculously lucky.

I’m grateful to 2011 for being a pretty great year in film, from Sundance to Toronto and beyond. It’s going to be a very hard year in which to come up with a Top Ten list, particularly given how many solid indie films I’ve seen this year.

I’m thankful for the cast and crew of my short film, Bunker, whose professionalism, artistry and hard work allowed us to not only get Bunker shot, but to make what is shaping up to be a very nice little short film. I can’t wait for you guys to see it. I so appreciate that each and every person who was a part of Bunker stepped into this project taking a huge chance that I knew enough about what I was doing to pull it off; they are an insanely talented bunch of people, and I hope to continue working with all of them on future projects.

I’m thankful to have so many amazing friends, spread out all over the place, who go out of their way to stay in touch in between film fests with emails, Facebook comments, and IMs. When I wanted to pop out to NYC for a weekend to go to the Killer Hope film producing workshop, several friends offered to put me up, another friend organized an impromptu happy hour, still another a last-minute, memorable dinner party. My friends have supported me through work transitions, illness, divorce, remarriage, and now making this transition to filmmaking, lent shoulders to cry on in hard times and shared laughs in good times. When I look around my life at all the people who are a part of it, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

I’m enormously thankful for my kids and my grandson, who inspire me every moment of every day, make me laugh, and fill my life with love, hugs and laughter. People ask how I juggle my work with all these kids; I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. How can you not be inspired daily with a pack of kids who make their own movies, write plays, novels and graphic novels for fun, and who are just so incredibly interested in everything, and interesting to watch and learn from? Their energy feeds my own and keeps me pushing and working, even when I’m tired. And I’m grateful for my husband, Mike, who probably didn’t understand exactly what he was signing on for when he married me, but puts up with my manic energy level, occasional mood swings, and frequent crazy ideas cheerfully anyhow. He didn’t even get mad when I scheduled my film shoot on our anniversary weekend, and forgot to say “Happy Anniversary” until the day after. That’s love.

I’m thankful for my family: for my aunt and my uncle-the-priest, back in Oklahoma, who supported me unconditionally when my marriage fell apart a few years ago and helped me out when I needed it, without even batting an eye; for my mom, who has always been there to help in a pinch with watching kids, coming over to clean my house the day before we have everyone over for Thanksgiving, and most of all supporting me and my brother unconditionally in our various artistic aspirations; for my dad, who taught me never to accept less than my best effort — that work ethic drives my life, and while I didn’t appreciate it when I was 14, maybe, I sure do now; for my brother-the-musician, whose tireless passion for making his music inspires me daily; and for my ex-mother-in-law, who continues to be a part of our lives and will join us this afternoon for our belated Thanksgiving celebration. Life is sweet, and filled with love and laughter.

I hope you all have much to be thankful for, and that you have a marvelous weekend of thankfulness with your own families and friends. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

3 Responses to “Things for Which to Give Thanks”

  1. Mariellen says:

    And thank you Kim, in your film making endeavours, for trying out tried, true and new people to be part of the team supporting your new film. Looking forward to seeing the final result!

  2. Eldrick says:

    Kim my favourite film blogger.

  3. Kim Voynar says:

    Thanks, Mariellen. I was looking for great, experienced key people, so that we would have room for a few folks to jump in and learn something. It can be so hard to get anyone to give you a shot sometimes, but we all have to start somewhere, right? I want to always leave room on my crews for people to stretch and grow. Besides, you never know when that person you brought on as a PA back in the day is going to grow up to be a major director, right?

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“We don’t have any idea what the universe is. Wise people have always told us that this is proof you shouldn’t think, because thinking leads you nowhere. You just build over this huge construction of misunderstanding, which is culture. The history of culture is the history of the misunderstandings of great thinkers. So we always have to go back to zero and begin differently. And maybe in that way you have a chance not to understand but at least not to have further misunderstandings. Because this is the other side of this question—Am I really so brave to cancel all human culture? To stop admiring the beauty in human production? It’s very difficult to say no.”
~ László Krasznahorkai

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that, [Applause] somebody attacks, somebody attacks me, oh, they’re gonna be shot. Can you imagine? Somebody says, oh, it is Trump, he’s easy pickings what do you say? Right? Oh, boy. What was the famous movie? No. Remember, no remember where he went around and he sort of after his wife was hurt so badly and kill. What?  I — Honestly, Yeah, right, it’s true, but you have many of them. Famous movie. Somebody. You have many of them. Charles Bronson right the late great Charles Bronson name of the movie come on.  , remember that? Ah, we’re gonna cut you up, sir, we’re gonna cut you up, uh-huh.


One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
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