Danishka Esterhazy is one of those creative people who isn't afraid to place the bar high when it comes to setting goals.
She's done it twice in her life. First, with music. "I think I was a weird child. My mother asked me what I wanted to play. The two instruments I was really interested in were the harp and the tuba" she says.
Esterhazy was working as a musician full time and then she switched gears - to film. At first she thought it would be part time. "I came to film quite late" she explains. "I didn't know that an average person could make a film."
At the time, the film industry was just developing in Winnipeg. Esterhazy met some people who were making amateur films. "I guess it kind of blew my mind" she recalls. "I made a bunch of shorts with my friends and I was surprised by how much I liked it."
So much so, that her music career started to go by the wayside. "Film is such a complete art form" says Esterhazy. "It's like how Wagner described opera - it takes literature, visual arts, music, dance and theatre and combines them all."
Her first film Embowered got picked up by film festivals all over the world. And this weekend, her second feature film is getting its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival. It's called H & G and it's a modern take on the classic Grimm's fairy tale Hansel and Gretel.
"I'm a romantic and I love fairy tales" admits Esterhazy. "But as an adult you look back on them and find that they can be very dissatisfying. Especially as a feminist, the portrayal of women in fairy tales is horrible!"
The successful filmmaker really likes to set fairy tales in Manitoba. "Our landscape is very gothic" she points out. "It can be so bleak and intimidating with our giant skies and vistas that never end...We shoot so many films here where we pretend to be Chicago or New York and so it's fun to show how this place is really interesting. I say let's celebrate it."
H & G receives it's world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on Saturday September 28.
Hear filmmaker Danishka Esterhazy in conversation with CBC host Bruce Ladan on SCENE On Air on September 28. The show airs every Saturday from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.