Roxy Sorkin: Writer, Director, Producer, and Adult Amateur

Photo © Holly Casner

BY KARLA CAMPBELL

Roxy Sorkin might only be nineteen-years-old, but this girl is on a roll. Known for being the daughter of screenwriter, director, producer and playwright Aaron Sorkin, Roxy has certainly shown people that there is more to her than her lineage. Roxy has been keeping herself busy since graduating high school; from moving from Los Angeles and starting college in New York to developing her own films serving as roles as writer, producer, and director and now returning to competing on the circuit as an Adult Amateur.

Roxy shared that she was only five-years-old when she first got a taste for the sport. “I was walking around Rogers State Park with my nanny at the time, and she picked me up and puts me on somebody else’s pony. No saddle, no bridle, nothing, and I was just like ‘THIS IS THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME,’” Roxy elaborated of her first experience getting on a horse. Needless to say, she was sold from that moment and knew that horses had to be a part of her life. 

“I started taking lessons, and when I decided I wanted to start competing I started riding at Uphill Farm with Traci and Carleton Brooks, before it was Balmoral,” Roxy shared. She has now been riding with them for over a decade.

When Roxy was in her senior year of high school she took a brief hiatus from the sport, unsure of how it would fit into her promising, but busy future she had planned. “I knew I was going to move to New York for college, but obviously I regretted giving it up and bought all of my horses back; I am excited to be back riding,” Roxy shared. This past winter, she competed at the Desert Circuit at the Desert International Horse Park in the Adult Amateurs aboard Coconut Key. The hunter ring has a special place in Roxy’s heart: “I have always done the hunters, from the childrens to juniors to now the AA. I have always stayed in the Hunter Ring.”

Photo © Holly Casner

When Roxy was asked if she was more nervous about being judged for her films or for her riding she was quick to answer. “Definitely my riding. I have started to get over my stage fright a little bit, but I used to be the most nervous rider. Ever. For no reason,” she commented. “I didn’t even care about if I won or not, I just wanted to live through the round, but there was absolutely no reason I wouldn’t. My horses are very kind, very safe horses—not at all wild—but when I would go in I would just think ‘today is the day I die.’”

When Roxy wasn’t showing at the horse park in Thermal, CA, she could be found back in New York taking classes or working on her current film “Breastmilk,” which was just released and is available to watch on Vimeo.  “Working on Breastmilk was an incredible experience. I feel very lucky that I was able to make a film with some of my best friends and have it be so personal,” she noted. The film, about a mother and daughter that share a close relationship with each other and the roller coaster that the mother experiences when she begins doubting her position in the daughters life because of the fact she is the child of an egg donor. 

The film gave Roxy the opportunity to continue to work on her film skills as well as learn a new one: crowdfunding. “I crowdfunded money for the project myself. There were definitely moments during crowdfunding that I was like ‘there is no way I can make this money. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to ask people for money’,” she commented. “We did make our budget in the end, it just took time,: she continued, “It was a good experience though. It is a skill to learn how to ask people for money, and so I think it was a beneficial experience.”

Although still young and working on developing her style, Roxy believes that creating a brand that is personal and authentic is important to her. “I think at the moment I have made hyperlife films that have hyper realistic aspects,” she noted. “I have also only ever made movies about women, which is just a personal choice. A lot of my films are also very personal, or at least overall more personal at first glance.”

Photo © Holly Casner

“I definitely am the kind of person that I never want to put my platform to waste, especially with the climate that we are in now and in the time when I was writing more political pieces, especially during the core of the MeToo movement,” Roxy commented. “I don’t want to ever disregard the privilege that I have had that if I make something or write something that people will see it. If I can just get one person to think like ‘maybe this is how i should consider this’ then I think that is a job done.”

Roxy doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t know she wanted to work in film, but it hasn’t always been easy. “I think a lot of people assume that my dad [Aaron Sorkin] has paved this path for me and that I have gotten opportunities because of him, which is partially true. But I have had films that have done horribly and haven’t gotten into film festivals. Just like everyone else, I have had trouble getting money for movies,” she shared. “I am still an independent filmmaker. It’s not like I got automatically signed to his agency, but I don’t think it is what people picture it as,” she continued, “I think people assume I have more because of this than I do, and then because of that a lot of times I am not considered my own entity.”

Roxy shared how her family’s background is the very reason why riding so special to her: “I think it is also why I am so drawn to riding. No one else in my family rides or knows anything about riding,” she disclosed. “I can go in there and I could chip every jump and my mom will be like ‘that is a 98 right there!’ At the end of my course, they are just happy I am still alive. You didn’t shatter your spine today? Incredible! You did an incredible job,” she laughed. 

In the future, Roxy shared she would love to incorporate her love of horses with film. “I would love to make a film or tv show about horses because growing up with ponies and dealing with pony moms and pony kids… there is a lot to go off there,” she concluded.