We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Sayeg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, how do you define success?
Success has different meanings for everyone, but I think no matter who you are or what you do, it means living a life that excites you despite the adversities. It’s being proud of the life you have, fulfilled by the work you do. It’s living for a purpose, with meaning.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I’m a film producer and director always looking to work on projects with a positive impact – inspiring audiences to engage in positive social change. As a foreign filmmaker from Brazil, I understand the importance of and demand for multicultural productions in the United States and I want to use my voice and perspective as a Latina woman to tell stories from a place of truth. It was a long journey to move to a foreign country and, having studied architecture in Brazil, start over in a completely new industry. I studied film at UCLA for a couple years while getting my foot in the door in the industry. Eventually, I had been involved in enough projects to overcome another big challenge for me as a foreigner – obtaining an O-1 work visa. Applying for this visa is long and very stressful, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support from my family and friends throughout that process. Along the way, I’ve learned to never give up and trust the path. While it’s always good to hustle, everything happens as it should and on its own time.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
There are so many things to love about Los Angeles, here are some of my favorites: – I love to take the metro to Downtown LA, grab lunch at Grand Central Market, spend some time at The Last Bookstore, and walking around the area. There is an amazing show called Cages that will likely be one of the coolest things you’ve watched. Bavel and Bestia are excellent restaurants and on Sundays, there is a very cool open-air food market called Smorgasburg. – There is a lot to explore in Echo Park and Silver Lake. Lots of great restaurants and cute stores. Check out Elf Cafe (Echo Park), Mhzh, Melody Wine Bar, Silver Lake Ramen (Silver Lake). – Studio tour at Warner Brothers followed by lunch at Sweetsalt. There is also a great spot for drinks and games nearby called Catcher In The Rye. – In the Valley area: go for a walk on Ventura Blvd. There is an ice cream shop called Salt and Straw that will make your day sweeter. – Rent bikes and explore Santa Monica. One of my favorite restaurants in the area is Uovo. – Drive to Malibu, stop by some beaches like El Matador, and grab lunch at Paradise Cove. On the way back stop at Getty Villa.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m so grateful for my family and so many friends’ support along the way. They really made it all possible. Today my first shoutout goes to Jona Ward, an amazing producer I have had the pleasure to work with for a few years now. He taught me how to lead some of the most challenging projects with kindness and always a big smile on his face. And second, Mike Myles, my incredibly generous mentor who continues to give me guidance in finding my voice and authenticity.
Jack Gravina, Stephen Lukach, Steve Escarcega