By Gordon Durich

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 10/9/22 – In terms of raw guerilla filmmaking talent, C.M. Conway has few contemporary rivals. The gifted executive producer, director, writer, editor and protagonist helms the notable indie flick ‘“How
to Successfully Fail in Hollywood,” screening at the American Film Market in Santa Monica on Friday, November 4 at 9 am.  At Laemmle Monica Film Center (Theater #3), at 1332 Second Street, Santa Monica.

C.M. called it a “big-hearted, bootstrapped film” when she spoke by phone from the Bay Area and thanked everyone “helping shine a light on this film.”

So far, the film has been selected by Sonoma Film Institute + “Hot film in the Making” by Roy W. Dean Grant.

C.M. are the initials she uses as her name.  She was born an Angelino and raised in Sonoma County (Northern California) and graduated from college, then returned to Los Angeles “to get that brass ring” as an actor.  She studied with acting coach Julie Ariola.  “Ninety percent of actors don’t get to be that top tier.  I could not get that (fact) out of my head, so I wrote a novel about it, then a screenplay.” The result: “How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood.”

Her first feature film, shot on a super micro-budget, diversity being very important as “women are under-represented in the film industry.  Regina King and Geena Davis have been pushing gender equity in media and I’m trying to be a part of that.

C.M. says that the A list actors in Hollywood are held up as beacons, and “What do you do with that?  What is the love of movies that tells stories with a funny, flawed female protagonist?  “How is it you make a life and pursue that dream?”

“My husband, Eduardo M. Cuevas is of Mexican heritage and helped with crafting the cultural aspects of Ben’s character and family during the script process. Ben is beautifully portrayed by Adrian Gilbert, who like his character, identifies as Latinx.

Lisa Stoll is our award-winning cinematographer and wonderful collaborator.  Daniel Hess is our experienced sound recordist and also helped the film with the use of his extensive gear.”

C.M. says the film was shot in Sonoma County, the Bay area, and Los Angeles in front of the iconic “Hollywood Sign” on a “super micro budget.”  Also, she said a community grassroots effort helped make the film possible, including a hard-working cast, crew and local businesses providing locations. “In essence, our witty and poignant film is about friends, fantasies and fails.”
“We aim to remove the stigma of failure, and look at it dead in the eye, and laugh,” said C.M.