Kayden Phoenix: Director, Chicana, and Feminist Sets the Record Straight on Women in Film

Kayden Phoenix is from East Los Angeles. She started playing the piano when she was four then sports when she was five. Her family was always proactive and had her involved in many activities such as swimming and gymnastics.

Her writing career began after she left Loyola Marymount University. In particular, she revels in bringing an accurate portrayal of females and Latinas. “I’m not a stereotype,” says, Phoenix. “No one is. Yet that’s what’s constantly being shown and taught.” “So to bring an authentic voice- hopefully I’m one of the millions in the future that will change the landscape.”

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Kayden tells that upon entering the industry, the first thing she noticed was the industry dominated standard- complete with character generalizations. “There’s way more to life than how the industry portrays us. Watch the latest Avengers. The first 7 minutes are all white guys talking to white guys. The first time we see a female (white. I’m a believer of intersectional feminism too) she’s literally a trope: the nagging wife. Gweneth Paltrow calls Iron Man and nags that IronMan has to come home to dinner because he promised…. Then Iron Man flies off into space.”

Recently Phoenix shot 2 car commercials for Corvette and Cadillac. Previously, she wrote and directed an LGBTQ horror short. It won Best LGBTQ Award at the LA Film Awards.

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What is the greatest misnomer of Women Directors? “That she’s a “Directoress.” No, she’s a Director. It’s your sexism that makes you think a Director is a male position. A Director is Director is a Director. And why wouldn’t a Director be able to shoot martial arts or an action film?”

Phoenix gives the voice to the voiceless by writing truthful stories. “I write about East LA- not as cholos or maids. My family, my parents, my best friends, my grandparents are real people with a heart. None of us are stereotypes,” says Phoenix.

“I defend myself left and right about being a Chicana (Mexican-American) and feminist. I shouldn’t have to. But for some reason, these are rebellious words. So I am unique and diverse, until one day my culture and my way of life is accepted and portrayed truthfully.”


Phoenix was the Development Director for the Chicano International Film Festival and created the Chicana Director’s Initiative. It sponsored 15 Latinas into female forward entertainment organizations (AWD, WIF, WIM, Cinefemme, and FilmPowered) for a year. In addition. she was the recipient of the Panavasion’s New Filmmaker’s Program. They lent her an Arri camera package worth $400,000 to shoot my project. She is also a  guest host on National Hispanic Media Council’s radio show. NHMC cares about the advancement of Latinos, as well as, the accurate portrayals so to be apart of their show aligns with my ideals and I fully support them.

For Phoenix. she would like to see an opportunity for anyone non-white, an opportunity for females, and opportunity to anyone LGBTQ. “Not just articles saying you’re opening initiatives- because the numbers haven’t changed. I’d love to see change. No more male entitlement- it doesn’t exist.”

She credits part of success by working with David Firestone at Firestone Talent. “He is amazing! He’s a genuine person above all else and that’s why I chose to work with him. He means everything he says and it’s more than the work, he has class and that’s something that I appreciate.”






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