Filmmaker Spotlight: Valentina Caniglia
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into filmmaking?
I am from a city in the south of Italy called Napoli. I got into filmmaking when I realized the strong impact the moving images have on human emotions. I was a regional champion in roller skating (on wheels), and one day I was dancing while holding a camera to record the steps and moves during the rehearsals. I looked around and I tilted the camera up to film what was around me. I saw the faces of the audience shining and that's when I decided I wanted to start capturing emotions. The dancing competitions were held in a stadium where the huge lights where mostly coming from the back. I loved to look at all the backlit. At 18, I left home and went to London where I started my journey at the Westminster college then I went to NYU.
Why did you make your film?
I made my film because I felt that the story was deep and important to tell. I feel that women must show their strength through their brains. I just wanted to show that Lauren, the protagonist fights mentally not physically. I made this film to show the intensity of a women's power and how far they willing to go to get what they want.
What was your favorite part about making the film?
My favorite part was to work with Christine and give her the cold emotions that I wanted to transmit to the audience. I was also the DP on the film and I feel that would be important to me to work with her internally and externally.
The most challenging moment was when I got on set and I saw no director because I was the director and after years of being a DP I kind of missed my partner in motion and I was like "where is my buddy?" Then I figured that I had to do it both and I went for it. All my life I wanted to be a Cinematographer, to translate the words of a screenplay into visuals, frames, light, composition. Directing was something I wanted to explore. Even if I had a lot of experience and years of being a DP, this was new. Luckily, I had a great team of producers and writers who supported me a lot.
What did you learn while making it?
I learn that perseverance is the key to everything. I learned that beyond the story there is a secret way to navigate with emotions.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the film?
I hope that the audience understands that strong people are the ones who conduct everyday life. I also hope that people will see through it to discover that humans can react differently based on what happens to them. There is not only one way to face life or to get there. This concept I learned from the way I work in cinematography and the way I light.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a feature film
Where can we follow your work?
You can follow my work at:
IG : valentinacanigliadp
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to say to all the executive producers, below the line agents to give more opportunity to directors, cinematographers who might not have won a lot of awards or festivals, but they are still very talented and can do the job and be creative with it.