We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonia Sebastian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonia, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
The most important lesson my career has taught me is to be passionate. Everything that I create, direct or write, needs to come from a state of passion and love for what I’m doing. If not, it doesn’t work, or the results will be just fine, never exceptional.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am Sonia Sebastian, an award-winning director from Spain, now based in Los Angeles. I began my career studying film and TV at EICTV in Cuba. Due to the country’s poor situation, we lacked new equipment, but that helped me to increase my creativity and imagination to find different ways to tell my story.
Since I can remember, I have wanted to tell stories with a camera. When I finished college, I directed three short films, and I was the showrunner and director of the very first LGBTQ online web series in Spain “Chica Busca Chica (Girl Seeks Girl),” getting more than 8 million views. After that experience, a production company hired me as director where I co-directed two multi-camera comedy series.
Currently I’m finishing my third feature film, “The Virgin of Highland Park” with Penelope Ann Miller and Dermot Mulroney. Bring this film to life has been very challenging but I always say: If you see it in your mind you can hold it in your hand, so no give up!
I produced, co-wrote and directed my first low budget feature film “Girl Gets Girl,” that is currently streaming on Amazon. I decided to take the leap and come to Los Angeles to take my career to the next level. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to direct my first US Feature “Freelancers Anonymous,” which earned the ReFrame Stamp for outstanding female talent both in front of and behind the camera.
I’m a queer woman, and I’m passionate about including diverse points of view and relevant causes in my stories. I’m also from Spain. I moved to the US in part because I love American culture, but it’s not my culture. I view it through the lens of an outsider, able to draw attention both to the parts of the culture I adore and the parts that seem crazy to me.
I feel that I’m an actor’s director. I love working with actors to help break open the text and develop their character, and I try to treat them as creative partners in my work as opposed to beautiful puppets reading pretty words. That’s how I feel about my entire creative team. My goal, in directing, is to find a group of people as passionate and as dedicated to the work as I am, and then collaborate to bring new and ambitious stories to life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I will take them to Downtown LA to see “El pueblo” and the beginning of this city. Then I will head to the “Last Book Store” an amazing place to get lost. From there probably to Koreatown and have a quick lunch in the Chapman Plaza. Then drive to West Hollywood but before we’ll stop in the Farmers Market and the Grove.
A bike ride on Santa Monica boardwalk and definitely we will have dinner and see the sunset in Moonshadow, in Malibu.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I need to thank many people for my success, starting with my first mentor Luis Maria Anson. And of course, all the crew and people involved in my first feature film, “De Chica en Chica”. They believed in the project and gave me their support to make it happen. And on a most general level, all the audience that have been following my work and sending me positive and inspired emails. They made me think, even in the most challenging moments, that all my work is worth it.
Tamara Arranz Yes Studio