We had the good fortune of connecting with Vitória Vasconcellos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vitória, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art is the only way through which I can explain the world to myself – that is why I’m an artist. I don’t think it is a conscious choice really, it’s more like a need. I heard from a brilliant lady once that you should never try to be an artist, you should avoid it if you can. If you are happy doing anything else then go do that…BUT if there is nothing else that makes you whole, if there’s nothing that can make you understand the world, then there’s nothing to be done, you’re an artist. It is also how I’m able to communicate, to yell, to rebel. No matter how many languages I speak or for how long I talk, the things I need to say the most can only be understood through film.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m an actor-director who goes around the world telling stories about female endurance and the darker, most intimate bits of the human experience which we often try to hide. Despite having lived in Boston, Melbourne, Maine and (currently) Los Angeles, I was born and raised in Recife, a cultural metropolis located in the dazzling Northeast of Brazil. In my acting and filmmaking, I am most fascinated about female endurance and survival, especially as it relates to Latinas, and how to portray it in a variety of different genres. My most recent project, Pathei Mathos (@patheimathosfilm), is about a girl trying to survive her unacknowledged trauma while suffering from intense PTSD. I have learned to see art as a transformation of pain, so investigating human pain has proven to be a vital source of my filmmaking and character development. I am currently working on a silent short film called Solum, which I’m very excited about. The story focuses on a lonely girl who only feels comfortable around things – and beings – who, like her, seem to have lost their reason for existing. It is very Guillermo Del Todo-inspired and it explores what happens to a person who is completely alone and what she does to maintain her humanity. Having lived away from home since I was 17, finding my way to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and then to Stella Adler was not easy, but I was lucky enough to live in different places and learn from the cosmopolitan life. I definitely wouldn’t be a filmmaker if first I wasn’t an international kid. I am planning to return to many of these places, as well as go to new ones, to make movies and continue to use cinema as a way of exploring the world.
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 would make us wake up really early (like 7am the latest) to go to surfing/boogie boarding in Manhattan beach before it gets crowded. If we were lucky we could even see some dolphins, it’s a magical thing to be on a board listening to nothing but the ocean and see a dolphin just a couple of meters from you. After, we could buy some fruits and snacks and just hang by the beach or we could go to Malibu Creek State Park do some hiking and cliff jumping (if you dare)! We could then go for brunch in Grand Central, it is very very touristy but totally worth it. Then we would obviously go to the movies. The Landmark…or Alamo actually since we would be in DTLA already and I’m sure they would have something great we could see. For the evening, we would go partying in WeHo with my Brazilian friends and finish the night/next day getting some 4am Thai food in Thai Town. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The first thing I learned in film school is that filmmaking is a team sport – and so is everything really. Even my own career is a mere result of the incredible friends who have worked with me or been kind enough to let me work and learn from them. People like Evan Siegal, Akai Floyd, Billy Gould and Jenell Louissaint are friend with whom I am always making movies with and texting about scripts/cuts/anything film-related. We went to school together and when one of them gets involved in whatever project I’m developing I immediately become more confident about everything, their belief in me reminds me that I too should believe. There’s also my non-film friends from back home (Recife, Brazil) who never fail to show up to premieres, plays, live streams, you name it…João, Gabi, Lari, Lu, Thiago, Gabriel, Vitinho, Peter – we have been friends for most of my life (almost my entire life) and to still have them around, despite the distance, means the world to me. My parents (Mônica and Pedro) and sisters (Lu and Carol) are also big supporters, so thank you for everything! Obrigada!
Stanley Lin, Stills from “Pathei Mathos”, Still from “A Fork on the Road”, Stills from “Solum”