At HotDocs this year, I was lucky enough to see and review a great freshman documentary by casting director Jennifer Venditti called Billy the Kid. The film was both happy and poignant, respectfully showing the young life of a kid who should be recognized for how terribly cool he is -- by being quite different than what's considered "cool" today. As part of our new Cinematical Indie Chats, Venditti kindly took a moment to chat with us about her current cinematic likes and plans during her busy schedule with fests and Billy press.

If there is anyone else you'd love to see interviewed, or are an indie filmmaker who would like to chat with us, drop Kim Voynar a line at kim(at)cinematical(dot)com. And please, check out the first post of the series, a Q&A with Deliver Us from Evil director Amy Berg.

What indie films out in theaters, or on DVD, have you been watching lately?

Lately I've been obsessed with Ten by Abbas Kiarostami. It's amazing how the line between documentary and narrative has been blurred. I really love 10 on Ten with the director. I really relate to his vision. Also, I enjoyed Once by John Carney. I thought the performances excellent. I just re-watched one of my favorite films Fat Girl by Catherine Breillat, and I also just re-watched The Five Obstructions by Lars Von Trier.

What's the one indie film from the last year that you'd recommend to friends?

The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

What mainstream films have you seen lately that didn't suck?

I've been at film festivals every second or running my casting company, so I've barely seen anything mainstream, but I really want to see Knocked Up. I need to laugh and I heard it's great for that!

Which filmmakers most influenced you in your work?

This question is difficult for me because I am influenced by so many different things. I love John Cassavetes and Robert Altman and am just learning about Kiarostami. I enjoy a lot of films but am most influenced by real life and the characters I see around me every day.

What are you working on now/what's up next for you?

Running my casting company so I can pay for all the debt I'm in from my film. And there's an indie narrative project I'd love to work on but can't mention yet. And I'm working on developing another documentary involving all my casting tapes, auditions, interviews and street scoutings from over the years.

We'll be following Jennifer's new projects, like this mysterious indie narrative she wants to work on, so stay tuned to Cinematical Indie for the scoop.