After 30 years of working in Hollywood, the mother of the "On the Road" star finally makes her directorial debut, telling the tale of a secure unit of the L.A. County jail for transgender, homosexual and transexual inmates.
Filmmaker Jules Stewart is in Cannes to support the market debut of her directorial debut K-11. So far so normal except that Stewart's godfather Micky Moore was Cecil B Demille's first AD, she has spent more than 30 years in Hollywood as a script supervisor and editor with a resume boasting movies including Little Giants, The Phantom and The Flintstones: Viva Las Vegas, and her debut "introduces" her son Cameron as an actor. That, and her daughter also happens to be Twilight star Kristen Stewart, who is due in Cannes later this week to support Walter Salles' On The Road In Competition.
But after years of working on the movie and being immersed in the craft, Stewart aims to build a directing career.
"Doing that at 50 is not the easiest ting to do," Stewart candidly told THR. Along with partner Tom Wright, Stewart and casting director Pam Dixon assembled a cast including Goran Visnjic (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) to tell the tale of K-11, a secure unit of the Los Angeles County jail where transgender, homosexual and transexual inmates are placed to separate them from the danger they would face in the normal prison population.
The movie made its world debut during the Marche du Film in Cannes via London-based Intandem, which is selling the project worldwide.
It signals Stewart's stated ambition to aim to make movies about uniquely different subjects. "The whole point for me is to tell stories that are different and unique, hence K-11," Stewart said.
She co-wrote the script with Jared Kurt and shot the $3 million budgeted movie for 25 days in L.A. "It was a union movie. Because I have got access in L.A. and even though I couldn't pay top dollar I wanted to make sure everyone got the proper medical insurances, you know, I wanted everyone to be treated properly." She even put some of her money into the project because "I didn't want to be judged on someone else's merit."
While she found the process from idea to script to financing to shooting "a mystery that luckily I could leave to Tom [Wright] because that's the world he knows and occupies," the minute she was on set it felt like home.
"That's the world I've worked on. No one challenged me and frankly I didn't have time for that, so my cast and crew really jumped in and made it better for me," she said.