On today’s edition of INTERVUE, there has been so much disparity in the film industry concerning diverse filmmakers as recent news indicates filmmaking is still heavily dominated by white males. However, in 2018 particular filmmakers of all backgrounds are taking a stand and are demanding for the industry to be more inclusive and representative of today’s demographics.
Giovanna Sarquis is a passionate gay & Latina filmmaker who is eager to inspire people and touch them emotionally through her films, similar tothe way her favorite films have impacted her. This is PART I of a 2 part interview!
How did your journey of filmmaking get started? What was the genesis on that?
Well, I think I always knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. I knew always wanted to be a storyteller. Ever since I was a little girl, I remember I started writing things; poems, little stories when I was 12. I always felt positive about reading stories and the feelings that they invoked. After that, my mother started writing for local theater.
I was able to be part of it as a technician. So, it was just an incredible feeling. No type of art is supported in Mexico, so it was very hard to know how to start. At first I thought I wanted to be an actress. I took acting classes for six months. I’m thankful for that, because not only did I realize that wasn’t what I wanted, it influenced my style of filmmaking. It was very naturalistic and emotional and character driven.
I’m an actor-director. That’s my favorite part of the work. I think it comes from both acting classes and after that. I remember my first six months of acting classes, I received my first script. I was like, “Who wrote this? Who did this?” It was such an exciting moment. I wasn’t crazy about the idea. I wanted to be the one who wrote the stories and directed the actors. So, I think that’s how it started and I just kept going. I was finding ways to get into the class and started learning more about it and here we are.
In fact, I was reading through your bio that you had a web series “Before I Got Famous,” you had short films “Lately” and “Submerged” you had “Crayons”, which was nominated for Best Short Film and Best Director, and you’re working on two script-writing projects, which I’ve read are science fiction-thriller film—that’s amazing—and you’re working on a pilot. So, I wanted to know how did you get the education to become a filmmaker? Did you go to school? Did you learn it in college? Where’d you learn to become a filmmaker?
I went to school. I did a lot of years in school. It was fun. First, I studied in Mexico. I’m originally from Mexico City, so I studied over there, and it was trans-communication and media. It was very generic, and then I left because I thought, “No, this is not going to teach me how to make movies.” I came here to L.A. And I went to the New York Drama Academy
Which—yeah! I went to the drama academy in L.A., which is funny because it doesn’t have very good numbers. It’s been in the list of 25 best film schools. And I found it very inspiring. I feel the school is extremely hands on and because of that it taught me to be an independent filmmaker. It taught me that I didn’t need anyone to make a movie. But to start I would encourage you to go out and do it, and go out there and pitch to people and be passionate about your movie and do it big I really appreciate the lessons from the NY Film academy. After that, I went to the American Film Institute and that definitely took my craft to the next level. I was really happy and very lucky to be there. So yeah, those were my two places.
Well, I’m glad that you went to two of the best and brightest institutes when it comes to filmmaking
Yeah, they were a great combination for me. It’s funny because I don’t think I take no for an answer. I have a short film called “Crayons.” It’s about a little boy who creates a magical world, which is Crayons. So by that, I already have two things which that are big ‘nos’ in film school, which are working with kids and working with the effects, let alone kids and the effects together. I was told a thousand times that I wasn’t going to be able to sell it and that is my most relevant short film. It’s going to a film festival and I was very glad my opponents said “No, that’s not going to happen” but there’s no way they can stop us, which is beautiful. So it was very nice.
Well, that’s good to hear, especially since I said it was nominated for Best Director and Best Short Film. So more power to you that you didn’t stick around and say, “no, that’s not going to happen,” and you made it happen and it got two nominations. That is brilliant on your part.
Yeah, it felt really good. Obviously, I got inspiration from a lot of great filmmakers. It’s funny becausepeople teach you that filmmaking has a lot of rules. It’s just finding the right people to help you pull it off, and finding the right people to believe in your work and it will happen.
Next week, we’ll have our continuation of exclusive interview with director with Giovanna Sarquis! Click HERE to head to PART II