In addition to expanding her connections, graduate school armed Janakas with a thesis film that she could use to promote her skills, an award-winning short named “Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves.”
While Janakas’ first love remains the kind of character-driven stories that are featured in independent films, she and Cogan have adjusted their material to the realities of the current market.
“From 2008 to now, it’s very difficult to attach financing to independent films,” she said. “I had to switch gears and try to get a little bit more commercial with projects.”
While the film industry is filled with such compromises, Janakas looks forward to returning to Peabody for the holidays, where she can enjoy the unconditional love of her family.
“It can get lonely in L.A., when you don’t have your family around, that remembers the kid that wrote that thing in fifth grade,” she said.
Janakas is especially excited because “Holly’s Holiday,” which will air repeatedly for the next several weeks on Lifetime, will have its final airing on Christmas Eve.
“I’ll get a chance to see it with my family, all in one room,” she said.