Multilingual actress and film director Tina Adams shares her industry-insider tips

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Tina Adams – also known as Martina Adamcova – is a Canadian actress and film director who works in four different languages. Her acting credits include ‘Pasáz’, which was directed by the acclaimed Juraj Herz; and she’s directed the feature films ‘Hotel Limbo’ and ‘The Perfect Kiss’ and short film ‘Treat and Cheat’. Tina told us all about how she accessed the best education a filmmaker can get, and how she’s willing to go up against Netflix to champion independent films…

How did you get started in the film industry?

I knew at a very young age exactly what I wanted to do. I was just three years old when I started dreaming vividly about being on the big screen. My dream came true by the age of 17, when I made my first appearance in a movie. I didn’t know anything about continuity then, so I wore my own clothes on set, but on the next day of shooting I arrived in another outfit. Because of that they weren’t able to film my scene, but luckily I still ended up being in the movie’s final cut, in the background. I was so happy!

What have been your favourite projects to work on?

My best project is always the one I’m currently immersed in. For example, when I was producing ‘Hotel Limbo’, I enjoyed being in a state of deep focus. ‘Hotel Limbo’ has been honored with various awards and recognition, but I think that we are only as good as the work we are doing at the present moment. Currently, I am directing and producing two new films, ‘Life Under Construction’ and ‘I Loved You First’. 

What do you love about making films?

I like the freedom storytelling gives to us, as entertainers and artists. I am free to invent whatever I want, as long as somebody is willing to watch it. It’s a fantastic feeling! I love it when somebody comes up to me and says, “I had such a good time watching your movie”. The best thing in life is making life better for someone else.

And how about acting – what’s your message to other actors who want to succeed in the film industry?

Just do it. After my divorce, I was broken – I had nowhere to go and no income. My only thought was to get back on my feet and support myself and my family as a single parent, by going back to acting. For me, it was kind of going back to basics. I was a fresh immigrant to Canada, speaking with a heavy accent in both official languages. But that’s how I survived, thanks to my acting talents, living on small roles and even background artist work. It just so happens that being a ‘small nobody’ on studio sets was the key to directors’ and producers’ masterclasses. I was observant and always on set; even the third assistant director always knew where to find me. I’d be standing next to the producer, watching the magic and understanding the mysteries behind all the techniques of the great masters like Emmerich, Villeneuve and Arcand. And I didn’t pay a cent; they were paying me!

What’s your next project?

My next project is to create a new streaming platform that you can find on any smart TV around the world. We will stream my work and the work of my fellow independent filmmakers. I can’t wait to smash all the Netflixes of this world! In the meantime, we’re releasing our own titles such as ‘Hotel Limbo’ on various platforms, including Amazon Prime. We want to slowly pave a new way for other independent films and TV series to be enjoyed on screens anywhere in the world.

Photo credit: Bosco H. Wang