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September 9, 2020

A Young Creator’s Journey

Lydia McClory

Today’s Alumni Spotlight: Vanessa Solivio

For this week’s Forest City Youth Film Festival Alumni Spotlight, we’re celebrating Vanessa Solivio who submitted a stop-motion animation called Caladenia Melanema. Her gorgeous film took home the second-place prize in the animation category at the 2019 Forest City Youth Film Festival. Please go check out her film here – you won’t be disappointed! 

“Watching my film on the big screen was incredibly rewarding. The 5 months of hard work definitely paid off.” 

Right now, Vanessa is gearing up for her second year at Sheridan College – she’s currently enrolled in their Bachelor’s in Film and Television program. For now she’s focusing on re-edits: with all of the knowledge she’s gained at Sheridan this year, she’s going back and tweaking some of her old stuff. I can guarantee the end-product is going to be fantastic!

Still from Vanessa’s film “Caladenia Melanema,” 2019.

When we asked Vanessa how she found out about the Forest City Youth Film Festival she said her teacher Ms. Booth inspired her class to submit their work into the festival. FCYFF really can’t thank our London teachers enough – they help their student produce some amazing work. When we asked Vanessa what her experience with FCYFF was like, she said, “I learned that no one is too young nor is it too early to be entering film festivals.” The FCYFF team would have to agree with Vanessa – you’re never too young to make a great movie.

Vanessa favourite elements of filmmaking are production and cinematography. She added, “Producing brings people who are passionate about creating art together. And I love cinematography because I feel a sense of control having the camera in my hands.” Vanessa said the most difficult part of filmmaking is showing your work and putting it out there for the world to see. We would have to agree – it’s not easy letting go. She added, “It can make you feel very self-conscious because you see all of your own mistakes. My best advice is to show off your work anyway. Films are meant to be shared and not locked away.” Films are meant to be shared. Art is after all our gateway to understanding the world – it allows us to express ourselves, share knowledge, experiences. We are with you on this one Vanessa.

“The “perfect film” doesn’t exist. It’s impossible to make the “perfect film”, what’s more important is making art that you are proud of even with its flaws. Also, you have to be adaptable when working on set. When circumstances change all the time on set for whatever reason, and you have got to be able to go with the flow on the spot.”

Still from Vanessa’s film “Caladenia Melanema,” 2019.

When asked Vanessa admires the young people in her program. She added, “Seeing their brilliance, dedication and passion for filmmaking is really inspiring and it motivates me to continue making films.”

So, what should we be watching these days? Vanessa’s got you covered – she gave us some great recommendations. Right now, she’s diving into the comedy, animation and reality TV genres – she likes to call them her “comfort genres.” Vanessa highly recommends Avatar the Last Airbender – a fantastic show in my opinion as well. An important note: do not get it confused with the live-action movie… We don’t speak of that treachery. Comedy specials from John Mulaney, Ali Wong, and Taylor Tomlinson are some of her other recommendations. What are her favourite reality shows you may ask? Queer Eye and Tiding Up with Marie Kondo. This girl is on fire with her recommendations. These comedy specials and TV shows are not to be missed – and their all available on Netflix.

“Aside from filmmaking, I’ve been making some textile art, doing some reading and watching Netflix. My advice for coping with the pandemic is to make your bed every morning. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but it does help.”

In 10 years, Vanessa wants to be thriving in the film industry; to have a successful career and travel the world. With her sense of creativity, skill and patience, Vanessa is without of doubt going to smash it in the industry. Don’t take your eyes off Vanessa – she’s going to create amazing things. 

Don’t forget to save the date for The 2020 Youth Film Festival taking place virtually on October 22!