KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 42: Mindy Kelly / Janell Smith

Posted in Podcasts by - July 08, 2019
KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 42: Mindy Kelly / Janell Smith

“I will always be evolving and changing and growing. This is only just the beginning.” Mindy Kelly

From the age of four, Mindy Kelly has dedicated her life to the martial arts. Since moving to Hollywood, she has made her name as both a stunt performer and coordinator, working on music videos for the likes of Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino, Skrillex and Metallica, to performing for major action movies like Alita: Battle Angel, The Dark Knight Rises and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Now Mindy has now made her feature film debut as a stunt coordinator – not to mention fight choreographer, martial arts trainer and action designer – on the new dark indie comedy from the writer and director of 2014’s Faults, Riley Stearns. The Art of Self-Defense – which stars Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots and Alessandro Nivola – is released in theatres in the USA from 12 July via Bleecker Street, and it’s really worth checking out. The film is a funny – and at times shocking – look at toxic masculinity which also displays Mindy’s knack for creating cool action. Her star is on the rise and it was awesome to be able to spend time talking to her about working on the film, as well as discussing the lack of female stunt coordinators and fight choreographers in the industry, and what can be done about it.

Also appearing on this action-packed double bill is the always-inspiring producer, entrepreneur and martial arts instructor, Janell Smith. As CEO of Iron Dragon Productions and its distribution channel, Iron Dragon TV, she is leading the charge in supporting indie martial arts and action filmmaking from her base in Austin, Texas. Iron Dragon TV streams everything from classic kung fu to original content – produced via Janell’s own production company – and is available now in 4K and HD via UltraFlix, Roku and a new Android app, which is available to download now via Amazon and Google Play. Janell also runs the Iron Dragon TV Action Fest, an annual celebration of indie martial arts shorts and feature films from around the world, which this year takes place on 9-10 August. Visit idtvactionfest.com for more information. It was great to chat with the awesome Janell Smith who works so tirelessly in supporting up-and-coming filmmakers, as well as anyone looking to get into the martial arts.

Follow Mindy Kelly on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and read more via her website, mindy-kelly.com. You can also keep up-to-date with Janell Smith on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as her website, janellsmith.com.

Mindy Kelly is an action designer, fight trainer and choreographer, and stunt coordinator. Her new film is called The Art of Self-Defense.

Cast and crew assemble for the world premiere of The Art of Self-Defense, which took place in March 2019 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Mindy Kelly is front row, far left. Image via Mindy’s Facebook page.

As well as being involved in the movie business, Janell Smith is also a martial arts instructor, based in Austin, Texas. Image via janellsmith.com.

Janell Smith is the CEO of Iron Dragon Productions and Iron Dragon TV. Image via janellsmith.com.

The new Iron Dragon TV app is available now for Android users via Google Play and Amazon.

This post was written by
Hi there. I'm the editor of Kung Fu Movie Guide. Be sure to visit regularly for the latest analysis, interviews, profiles, podcasts and reviews on martial arts movies made around the world.

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