We had the good fortune of connecting with Vittoria Rizzardi Penalosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vittoria, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think risk taking is key to any accomplishment in your career. You have to be brave enough to trust your guts and your vision and stick with it even if it ends up being wrong. I always think that I rather make a decision and be wrong, than making other decide for me due to my own insecurities and succeed. It is key for every artist to be faithful to their vision cause that what builds something long-lasting rather than a “momentum” that will eventually get lost in time. To stick to your vision is to take a big risk as there isn’t certainty that it will be understood and appreciated, but that’s, probably, the beauty of making movies.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe as artists, we’re constantly changing and growing. As a writer and director, it would be hard to for me to label myself as one kind of genre or aesthetic. I like to explore different outlets and spaces and stories and knowing that I don’t necessarily have to stick to one gives me freedom and excitement. My biggest inspiration in terms of style and storytelling would probably be Andrea Arnold, Alice Rohrwacher, and Pedro Almodovar. Therefore, shifting from abstract realism to surrealism. Within this space, I enjoy pushing topics and themes to the extreme in key genres in order to discover new stories and new ways to tell stories. I love to learn and try new things and that involves getting it wrong sometimes, but that’s the beauty of it… never knowing when you’ll truly get it right, until you do. I believe this is the key to freedom of expression, a fundamental element to have art that keeps progressing and pushes society towards progress instead of melancholy for the past.
Like I said, it’s never easy keep developing as an artist. Often, your vision is challenged forcing you to compromise it in order to serve that aspect of art which is selling a product. However, over the years, I realized that, most of the times, compromise is key for growth. Being stubborn can be very dangerous and counterproductive, while, through compromise, you can discover new ways of saying things while being faithful to the intention behind your original idea. Compromise makes you grow as a person as well as an artist. This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned since I started out.
Since my pre Covid short films, Clarity and Chaos, that screened at Cannes Film Festival 2019 and, Dreamers, which won best new media at the HBO Latino Arts and Film Festival, like all artists out there, I’ve been trying to search for the silver lining of this very hard time. I’ve been surprised to see how much work I actually produced and still am producing since the start of the pandemic. This is an example that art will never die as it is one of the pillars upon which society is structured and we, as artists, have the duty to keep fighting for it. Now, I have two short films coming out as well as a couple of bigger projects, such as a TV show and a feature film in development.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As someone who keeps traveling around the world, I can safely say that LA feels like a lot of little towns in one. All so different from each other, picking a favorite spot is hard. However, I’d definitely love to take walks around silver lake or Pasadena.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I get inspiration from a lot of different elements in the world but, it’s thanks to my friends and family, that I feel safe and strong enough to pursue them. My family and friends are definitely a big source of inspiration because they allow me to get inspire.
For the headshot: Elrod Studios For the BTS: Nicole Russo Jay Kevin Composta