How much a part of your identity as a filmmaker is being an activist?
My love for filmmaking is deeply tied to my love for human rights. I think what moves people to make changes in their lives is more than intellectual knowledge, but feeling something viscerally and emotionally. I believe that what makes us laugh, what makes us cry, what makes us identify with an experience or connect with a character is what can inspire us to make change--even small change--in our lives.
Do you ever feel typecast as the 'liberal activist filmmaker'?
Of course, people always want to push you into a box, but my work has always been about breaking boundaries. There are moments that I feel my art and my activism are at odds with each other. While I feel deeply committed to using media as a tool to inspire, educate, and empower audiences, there are moments when I just have to let myself play. So I hope that I won’t disappoint anyone if I want to put my own spin on a horror flick or do a big-budget action movie, or if I just want to...