We had the good fortune of connecting with Sergio Barbasso and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sergio, what do you attribute your success to?
No doubt having created our Film Festival with a mission that everyone in our industry says they pursue but then no one really seems to care about: treating filmmakers as human beings instead of numbers.

To really want to empower the person behind the artist, to really listen to their needs, and proudly show our own vulnerability and values such as GROWTH, EMPATHY, and CONNECTION, which are our own values in private life. And treat Academy Award-winners and first-time filmmakers on the same level, making them realize that only as a collective we can all thrive and make a difference. Making them feel part of a big family in which they can feel respected and appreciated for their bold choices.

You can apply all the marketing techniques you want, but people will only stay glued to you for life if they know that you really are the solution to their problems, and that from your entity they find the care and respect they can’t find anywhere else.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The one thing that makes me most proud of my artistic, professional, and personal growth is realizing that helping like-minded people thrive is the only way to meet my needs for growth, contribution, and making a difference.

When I was making cartoons (and I still do) I loved the creative process, but I didn’t feel I was contributing enough to change the world the way I wanted to. That’s why now I only create cartoons related to projects where really helping others is the ultimate goal.

And before I moved here to Las Vegas, when I tried to build projects that were obviously too visionary for the reality and support I found in Italy, I always lived with the constant annoyance of knowing that I was throwing my time away. I wasted so many years hoping that the external environment could change my reality, but the answer unfortunately was never outside, but only inside me.

I am thankful that I encountered all the obstacles on my path, especially the seemingly insurmountable ones, because they made me realize how strong my life purpose really was, and how strongly I really wanted to pursue it.

The lesson I learned and would like to share with you is that everything we have and can have in life is determined by what we decide to build with our imagination and our emotions, and how hard we work on making that imagined reality become actual reality in the shortest time possible.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Las Vegas is so packed with things to do and see, whatever your tastes or needs, that you’d be sorry you didn’t have an extra week to fully enjoy it! So many come for the fun on the Strip, but the way we experience the city, it’s a shame that’s the only place that most people only see once in Las Vegas!

If the heat is not too overbearing during the hours of the day, we have so much nature surrounding us. We have mountains that look like they belong on Mars more than on Earth, lots of parks, and plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature.

Near the Strip, we would recommend the Arts District which is very dynamic, or Downtown if you want to see a different and more ‘historic’ Las Vegas. Personally, being local, we often go to places like Downtown Summerlin or Tivoli Village, wander around the various farmers’ markets and take advantage of all those events the city offers off-Strip given the beautiful weather year-round.

Depending on the people who visit here we can either recommend one of the many pool parties or breathtaking walks in Red Rock. There really is something for everyone! A must though would be to end one’s visit with a celebratory cocktail at the top of the Stratosphere, to admire our beautiful city from above.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to all the filmmakers we have had the honor to serve and help over these years. Their talent, passion, enthusiasm, and continued support for us are what have allowed our Film Festival to flourish during a global pandemic.

Forced isolation on both sides somehow contributed to seeking even more human contact. We showed willingness and noticed that filmmakers were waiting for nothing more! Many wrote to us just to feel understood, at a time when the environment they lived in and the people they surrounded themselves with were not stimulating their growth.

After all, they are not asking for much, just to be appreciated. Many of them are able to create extraordinary works of art from a simple idea, true masterpieces that can inspire present and future generations. Why not give them as much support as possible?

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Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.