Calling All 33 Year Old Filmmakers of the World!!

About the "33 And Me" Film Project

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A 33 year old filmmaker sets out to explore the world and interact with other 33 year old filmmakers from 33 different countries around the world.

Follow us on Youtube:  CinemaNomad;  Instagram:  33andmefilms;  Twitter:  33andme1; Facebook Page is Coming Soon!

Starting on her 33rd birthday in November, 2018,  filmmaker Stephanie Gardner and a small but mighty crew has set out to travel to at least thirty-three countries around the world to meet with, interview and document thirty-three unique 33-year-old filmmakers to learn and explore what other 33-year-old filmmakers are up at this stage in their lives, in a diverse set of countries around the world.  

Stephanie is visiting and engaging with filmmakers her age who enjoy being a part of an innovative, cross-cultural collaborative new project that celebrates cinema and the individual filmmakers!  Her project is focused on filmmakers who value the art of cinema, who already have a body of work and take filmmaking seriously as more than a hobby.

Most importantly, she will showcase the 33-year-old filmmakers and explore the countries they originate from and reside in.  She wants to see what other filmmakers around the world, who are at similar stages in their lives, are doing creatively, professionally, and personally:  what types of films are they making?  What stories, themes, genres and visual styles are of interest to them?  What are their specific challenges and benefits in relation to the countries they consider home?  She intends to share their stories and experiences with the world!

Listen to Podcasts featuring interviews with Stephanie about "33 and Me:"

There are Components to the "33 And Me" Film Project:

“33 And Me” the SERIES

“33 And Me”is an episodic documentary series along the lines of Anthony Bourdin’s “Parts Unknown.”  Each 33-year-old filmmaker that Stephanie visits will be featured on an episode of the “33 and Me” series.  The series will be a cinematic travelogue through the past, present, and future of cinema in each of the countries that Stephanie visits.  Viewers will be taken on a tour of the countries and there will be a special emphasis on the culture, history, and cinema of each place:  where cinema has been, where it is going, through the eyes and experience of a 33-year-old filmmaker from that country.  Stephanie will be the host of the show as she travels from place to place and discovers what it means to be a 33-year-old filmmaker in the world in this day and age.

“33 And Me” the DOCUMENTARY

At the end of the journey, the series will be condensed to a feature length documentary that sums up the year and further explores Stephanie’s personal quest as a Millennial woman filmmaker as she explores her profession, her creativity, her ancestry, and her long-term visions.


An important element of the “33 And Me” Film Project is the traveling film festival that will be launched after we visit all 33 filmmakers.  The mobile festival will screen films from each of the thirty-three, 33 year old filmmakers, and showcase their work.  The global festival will  also include the “33 And Me” documentary feature, thus bringing “33 And Me” full circle.  Audiences around the world will be able to view a diverse set of films from thirty-three different countries around the globe!  The festival will visit multiple countries around the world with the intention of ultimately visiting every single one. 

"33 And Me" Director's Statement

Shortly after returning from a trip to my hometown of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, where I produced a film festival showcasing global short films made by women around the world, I was thinking about this accomplishment and looking ahead to the future.  How will I spend my 33rd year?  What will I do next?   Where will I find inspiration?  How can I make it meaningful?

A few weeks later, I was driving to my new residence in New Mexico after visiting my cousin in Cheyenne, Wyoming and I decided to take a detour to Devils Tower, a very sacred place in the Native Americans culture.  In 1906, Devils Tower became the very first designated National Monument in the United States thanks to Teddy Roosevelt.  It is also the perfect place for a cinema buff to visit as it was featured in the 1977 film, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”   

I was fortunate enough to stay at the Devils Tower Lodge in a room that overlooks this natural wonder, owned by a quirky and charismatic man, Frank, who hosts a community dinner every night at his lodge.  This stay was incredibly inspiring.  I couldn’t help but notice Frank’s life’s motto written all over the walls:  “Blessed Are Those Who Live Out Their Dreams.”


On the drive home to New Mexico, the main highway was laden with traffic and a nasty storm was fast approaching.  In attempts to find an alternate route, I found myself somewhere in the middle of Colorado on a deserted dirt road that seemed to lead nowhere.  Not far down this road, all communication was lost, and the road kept getting steeper and narrower, and I wasn't sure that my car (which is not 4WD and had severely low tires, a headlight out, and half a tank of gas) was going to make it.


I pulled out my handy map of Colorado, but could not even find this road anywhere on the map!  I decided that if I kept driving, I would eventually reach a town where I could re-group, spend the night, and find my way home in daylight.  However, no such town appeared, and I kept driving deeper and deeper into the wilderness.  I encountered many animals; elk, deer, bighorn sheep, and finally I spotted my very first bear!

I felt vulnerable and alone.  There were plenty of blankets, food and water in my car so I knew I would survive the night, and yet, I had a persistent longing.  As the road got rougher and rougher, and my gas tank teetered toward empty, the stars shone bright and the galaxies were as crisp and clear as I’ve ever seen.

I wanted to share this precious moment with others.  I felt the need for connection.  Suddenly, Frank’s motto began to play on repeat in my head, "Blessed Are Those Who Live Out Their Dreams,” and the urge to do something significant and special in my 33rd year resonated within.  In that moment, “33 And Me” was born.

I want to travel, learn, explore, and create art that connects people.   I wish to seek out creative individuals that innovate, inspire and challenge the status quo. 


A large part of why I make films is to connect with and connect to other human beings.  This is why I am compelled to make "global films,” so as to connect across cultures around the globe in a shared experience.  I believe that communicating with others around the world; in expression, in thought, and in shared empathy is incredibly important to a happy, healthy, peaceful society.


The art of cinema is my love and passion.  Travel is how I find knowledge, inspiration, and connection:  combining these two endeavors can only lead to magical, meaningful, inspirational moments.  Perhaps, through the “33 And Me” Film Project, I will learn a bit about life, love, cinema, history, others, and me.


At the age of 33, I am not super young anymore, nor am I even remotely old.  I have significant creative and professional accomplishments under my belt, yet, I still have my whole life ahead of me; a lot of aspirations to make in my career as a filmmaker, and hopefully, a many exciting adventures and inspiration ahead.  

As I continue my journey in this chosen profession as a filmmaker, I realize that I am coming from a very specific perspective:  I am a single, Millennial, American woman, who has managed to produce works of theatre and film since I was in my teens.  I am engulfed by a strange and surreal world, where we are bombarded by messages to “fear the other” and to isolate ourselves into our own increasingly nationalistic society where the idea of a free press is being unravelled.  Additionally, as a woman filmmaker, I feel the energy of a complicated and empowering #MeToo movement.

Much of the world appears to be embracing extremism and choosing isolationism over globalism.  I choose globalism, and I feel very strongly about this.  Don’t get me wrong, I value America and my upbringing here.  I feel very fortunate to have been raised in an American democracy under the freedoms and ideals that were fostered, including, “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of Religion,” and “Pursuit of Happiness.”  I am fortunate enough to have lived and worked in other countries around the world that do not extend these ideals to their citizens.  I do not wish to take “Freedom of Expression” for granted, and this is one reason I am compelled to embark upon this “33 And Me” journey.  I truly believe that we as individuals need to connect with the entire planet, to better understand ourselves and our place within it, and for our societies to survive. 

Thus, I endeavor to discover what other 33 year-old filmmakers around the world, who are at similar stages in their lives are experiencing creatively, professionally, and personally.  What types of films are they making?  What stories and themes are they exploring?  What genres and visual styles are they drawn to?  How do they perceive themselves in their lives and careers?  What are their hopes, dreams, and desires?  In this process, I plan to foster connections around the world amongst talented, intelligent, and creative individuals; to form life-long friendships and future collaborators; and to help promote the empowering expression of cinematic arts.   Along the way, I hope to remember Frank’s Motto:  “Blessed Are Those, Who Live Out Their Dreams. 


The “33 And Me” team will travel to a diverse set of countries representing as many regions of the world as possible.  At the publishing of this site, “33 And Me” has visited filmmakers in the following countries, beginning with Switzerland, where Stephanie recently learned she has a majority French-German SWISS heritage: 

#1) SWITZERLAND - Introducing the "33 And Me" Film Project and Stephanie Gardner, American filmmaker - visited November 2018

#2) FRANCE - Natascha Thomas - Visited November 2018

#3) BELGIUM - Lieven Vanhoe - Visited November 2018

#4) ICELAND - Eyþór Jóvinsson - Visited December 2018

#5) CUBA - Daiyan Noa - Visited January 2019

#6) MEXICO - Atzin Ortiz Gonzalez - Visited January 2019

#7) ROMANIA - Tedy Necula - Visited April 2019

#8) TURKEY - Sezen Kayhan - Visited May 2019

#9) BRAZIL- Paula Sacchetta - Visited August 2019

#10) SOUTH AFRICA - Samantha Nell in Johannesburg and Alasdair McCulloch in Cape Town - Visited August 2019

#11) GHANA - Peter Sedufia and Carl Marx - Visited September 2019

#12) ZIMBABWE - Charles and Thandie Mawungwa - Visited September 2019

#13) AZERBAIJAN - Elvin Adigozel in Goronboy and Oktay Namazov in Baku - Visited October 2019

#14) UZBEKISTAN - Muhlisa Azizova - Visited October 2019

#15) SAUDI ARABIA - Fahmi Farahat - Visited October 2019

#16) TAIWAN - Feng-I "Fiona" Roan - Visited February 2020

#17) IRAN (remotely) - Tiyam Yabadeh in collaboration on a special quarantine episode May 2020

"33 and Me" future travels planned to:  Australia, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel & Palestinian Territories, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, 

*If you know a 33 year old filmmaker from any country, whether or not it is already listed above, please reach out to with how we can get in touch with that individual.  Thank you!

Significance of 33

Every culture seems to attribute the number 33 to their own cultural significance!   Through “33 And Me,” we are going to celebrate the significance of “33,” and as we travel, we’ll explore the significance of being aged 33 in the different regions we visit.  Here is a sampling of some of the ways.

  • Many numerologists believe that number 33 is a Master Number (Master Teacher).

  • 33 resonates with the energies of compassion, blessings, inspiration, honesty, discipline, bravery and courage.  

  • 33 represents that “all things are possible.”  33 symbolizes “guidance.”

  • In Christianity, Jesus is recorded as performing 33 miracles before his death at age 33.   

  • According to Islamic theologian and mystic of Persian descent Al-Ghazali, when one ascends to heaven they will exist permanently in a state of being age 33. 

  • The Rig Veda describes “the 33 divinities.”  Hindi mystics profess that there are 33 devas that serve as guardians of nature and the cosmic creation.

  • In Buddhism, Kuan Yin, a goddess and a bodhisattva is said to aid souls to achieve Nirvana.  She assumes 33 appearances.  According to the Lotus Sutra she undergoes 33 transformations to help attain salvation.  In Japan she is Gannon and worshippers may take the “Pilgrimage to the 33 Holy Places of Gannon.”

  • “The Tibetan Book of the Dead has 33 heavens ruled by Indra and 33 ruled by Mara.  

  • In William Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar,” Caesar is stabbed 33 times.  

  • The number 33 is the highest rank in Scottish Order of the Masonic Rites.

  • There are 33 vertebrae in the spine.  In India, the vital life energy, Kundalini, is needed to awaken the spiritual channel located at the base of the spine.

  • There are 33 turns in a complete sequence of DNA.  

What You Can Do To Help

  • EXPAND OUR AUDIENCE.  Help with OUTREACH to increase our viewership.  SUBSCRIBE to CinemaNomad on YouTube to follow along with the “33 And Me” journey, and please share this with your friends and networks.  We are also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @33andMeFilms

  • CONNECT US with people in countries on our travel-itinerary list.  We seek HOUSING and TRANSPORTATION TRANSLATORS, PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS, and an occasional HOME COOKED MEAL.  

  • GIFT AIRLINE MILES to fly us to our 33 destinations.


  • INVEST in our SUCCESS.  Become an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:  Fund an EPISODE, the DOCUMENTARY, the FILM FEST or the entire PROJECT!  If you are interested in learning more, contact Stephanie directly at  

  • CONTRIBUTE SEED FUNDS for our “Proof of Concept.” 

How to Contribute

Stephanie Gardner Films accepts Tax Deductible Donations and Grants through Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts service organization.

Meet the Traveling Film Crew

We hope to expand our small but mighty crew as we travel and as the "33 And Me" Film Project continues to grow.  We intend to include filmmakers from the countries we visit as much as possible to help us with film production in each country.  Meet the Creators behind the "33 And Me" Film Project:

Stephanie Gardner, 33 year old filmmaker and leader of the helm!  (Director, Producer)


A native of Emmaus, PA, Stephanie is a writer and director for theater and film.  She has written, directed, and produced over 18 short films, including the multi-award winning If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues) and the forthcoming Para Todo Mal…Para Todo Bien, "The Mezcal Trilogy."  An M.F.A. graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts, she studied in Singapore under the tutelage of Oliver Stone, Todd Solondz, Richard Wesley, and Sabrina Dhawan.  Stephanie has a B.A. from The George Washington University in Dramatic Literature, Music and Creative Writing.  She currently resides in Taos, NM, teaches film and digital media at the University of New Mexico Taos, and works as a freelance editor, writer and director of film.  Stephanie LOVES being 33!


Duprelon "Tizzz" Tizdale, our not so 33 year old filmmaker (Director of Photography, Tech Wizard, Traveling Epicurean)









Tizzz has 22+ years experience in the Hollywood film biz as an IATSE Union Professional.  He has worked in just about every department, including, art, locations, and camera.  His film and TV credits include, Sicario:  Day of The Soldado, Hostiles, The Magnificent Seven, Manhattan, The Messengers, House of Cards, True Grit, Sunshine Cleaning, 3:10 to Yuma.  


Tizzz works as a DIT and color corrector.  Additionally, Tizzz is an aerial cinematographer:  he owns and operates Aerocus Aerials, an aerial cinematography business in Northern NM.  Tizzz has worked as an editor and color corrector on numerous projects, through his post-production house, Set*A*Spell Media.  He is the program director and co-founder of the Taos Shortz Film Festival, now in it’s 12th year. 


Tizzz loves to reminisce about when he was 33!