AD 229 | April Maxey
“On Her Sundance Short Film “Work” ”

Photo by Xavi Portillo

April Maxey was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and is currently based in Los Angeles. She was 1 of 8 Directors chosen to be a part of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, where she made her short film Work, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

April was recently selected for AWD’s Directing the Actor Lab. She is also an alumna of the prestigious Berlinale Talents Short Film Station. Her drama pilot screenplay for Work was a top 5 finalist in the New Orleans Film Festival Screenplay Competition. Her previous short film, After You Left, won the Shorts Jury Prize at the Milwaukee Film Festival and has screened at Academy and BAFTA-Qualifying festivals such as Palm Springs Int’l Shortfest, Flickerfest, HollyShorts, and Outfest Fusion.

April’s short films have collectively screened at over 60 festivals across 14 countries and won 8 awards internationally, such as the 100Autori Award for Best Screenplay at the Sicilia Queer Film Fest in Italy, and Best International Narrative Short at Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival in India for her 2012 short Polaroid Girl. April was also a guest writer/director on the lesbian web series Same Same, and her episodes premiered at Newfest in 2016.

April’s directing approach is informed by her background in working as a cinematographer, editor, and actor. She is most interested in working on stories that center on underrepresented perspectives that challenge the mainstream. She holds a BFA from Pratt Institute in Film/Video.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:
  • Destigmatizing sex work and sex workers
  • Shame culture
  • Her short film that premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival entitled “Work”
  • Challenging the traditional patriarchal lens
  • Writer Amy Tan’s Masterclass
  • Following one’s own creative sensibilities
  • Her writing process
  • April’s experiences working with AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women
  • Underground lap dance parties in New York
  • “Election” a 1999 film by director Alexander Payne
  • “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything” a book by Mauro F. Guillén
  • April’s advice to her younger self
  • The Nostalgia Bone on the Throughline podcast

Posted 2.25.2022


"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists.

This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside.

My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic.

When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”.

In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art."

- Yoshino