Tag Archives: female filmmakers

Trio of local female filmmakers hope to make mark in movie industry

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Courtesy of graphic designer Alison Chin and photographer Ben Jarosch

A trio of female filmmakers has come together to create a unique film, as they look to become leaders in an industry started by men.

The all-female filmmaking team, made up of director, writer and lead actress Victoria Negri, and producers Effie Fradelos and Katie Maguire, has begun working on a film called “Gold Star.”

The film, which was written by 26-year-old Negri, who lives in Manhattan, is based on the story of a girl growing up and building a relationship with a father 65 years older than her.

“Gold Star,” expected to begin filming in mid-April, will star Negri as the lead role and is based on the writer’s real life experiences with her father, who passed away in 2012.

“I always hoped people would want to work on my film while I was writing it, but I don’t think I ever really imagined I’d have people equally enthusiastic about my passion project as I am,” said Negri. “It’s especially important for me to involve other female filmmakers because I think it’s important to make movies about women that are created by women.”

This movie is the first time the filmmakers have come together to create a completely female team working on a female story bringing audiences real emotions and experiences they can feel a connection to.

“It is important for females to dispel all of the false, preconceived notions that women cannot work together,” said Maguire, 34, from Brooklyn. “As the popularity of independent film is growing so is the number of female directors and producers. It is important that women stick together and help bring to life stories from a female perspective.”

The filmmakers are aware they are working in an industry founded by men, but they remain strong and plan on working hard to turn the industry into one led by women. The film also plans to serve as a model to other women looking to enter the film industry.

“We represent the everyday woman filmmaker,” said Fradelos, 26, born in Astoria and now living in Bayside. “I think if you’re a young girl or a woman and you want to break into the industry, stop looking for others to give you their hand, and do it yourself, most people need that push and as filmmakers we should all push each other.”

Casting for the film is underway and the team hopes to film the movie in Connecticut and New York.

To raise money for the preproduction of the film, the filmmakers will hold a fundraiser on Tuesday, January 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Esperanto N.Y.C., located at 145 Avenue C in Manhattan. There will be a $20 entry fee to the event which will feature drinks, a raffle and live music.

The film is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014. To learn more about “Gold Star” and the female filmmakers you can visit the official website, Facebook page or follow @GoldStarFilm on Twitter.



Queens director brings female filmmakers into the spotlight

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Paola de Giovannini

Though she started her career working in front of the camera as a young actress, Effie Fradelos always knew she belonged behind the scenes and didn’t let fear stop her from making her way into the Queens World Film Festival.

The 25-year-old was born in Astoria yet moved around Queens for a few years before permanently settling in Bayside.

Starting as an actress in 2005, Fradelos worked in student-made and independent short films for two years until she realized she wanted to go into film production.

“I wanted to be the one telling the story,” said Fradelos. “I love being on set with the crew and making stuff happen from scratch.”

She then began her journey in creating a film that would bring female filmmakers into a world that is viewed as ruled by men.

“There’s not many of us women. Women need to tell their stories,” said Fradelos.

Her debut 10-minute film titled “Blooming Road” tells the story of Victoria, a lost artist attending medical school to please the desires of her mother, but who reaches a breaking point once she can no longer take it.

“I want to show people you can get out of your cage. Don’t be afraid to do what you want,” said Fradelos. “I want to entertain people and also want them to feel better about a situation.”

The whole film took a year to complete, yet actual shooting time only lasted three days back to back in locations at Fort Totten Park in Bayside, her grandparents’ apartment in Astoria and Downtown Manhattan.

After her sister told her about the Queens World Film Festival, she submitted her film and waited to see if she would make it.

“Someone had to pinch me, I felt like it was a dream,” said Fradelos. “I’m happy I was accepted into the Queens festival because it is my background, it’s my culture.”

“Blooming Road” debuted on screen Friday, March 8 at the Secret Theatre.

Fradelos will graduate from The New School for Communications and Film Production in May and already has her first feature-length script in the works, along with two other ideas.

“For sure there will be a Queens location in my next film,” said Fradelos. “It’s time that Queens is looked at like a place to come for the arts. It’s not just L.A., it’s not just Manhattan.”