Lila French '99, MNG '99 lives an impressive double life; by night, she's the lead actress, director, and producer of a Kickstarter-funded independent film adaptation of Leonard Melfi's 1965 play Birdbath. By day, French puts her computer science master's degree—which she earned alongside her bachelor's in just four years—to work as a software development consultant.
How does French juggle her dual careers in tech and the arts? In a Huffington Post profile piece, she explains how her undergraduate years at MIT taught her resilience.
“Every week we'd get some homework assignment or project that seemed impossible at first, but step by step it would be figured out,” says French. “The film was like that. I'd never made a film before, but I knew step by step I'd figure out what I needed to.”
Velma, the character French plays in Birdbath, shares that quality. "I always admired her resilience," says French, who had planned at first to only act in the film and find a more experienced director. Soon, French realized she had her own vision of Melfi's story about an encounter between two strangers, and she wanted to bring that interpretation to the screen herself.
This past weekend, Birdbath debuted at the Laemmle Royal Theater in Los Angeles, CA. The MIT Club of SoCal hosted one of the six screenings of French's 40-minute film. Keep an eye on Birdbath's website or contact Lila French for information about future screenings and film festival plans.