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Meet Alec Tibaldi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alec Tibaldi.

Alec, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up around the film industry, my father, Antonio Tibaldi is a filmmaker and my mother Allison Tibaldi was the casting director for his films. Film was a frequent topic of discussion at our family dinner table and dictated many aspects of our lives. We were constantly moving and changing schools as my father worked mostly in Italy when I was a child.

When I was nine, I fell in love with movies. My mother and sister and I were visiting New York, we lived in Rome at the time. It was a humid rainy afternoon and we stumbled into a multiplex by Lincoln Center. My mom bought us tickets for Small Time Crooks, the new Woody Allen film. I loved it and the film opened up a new door for me. I became obsessive about following filmmakers and actors who I loved, watching every Woody Allen movie I could get my hands on before I was 10. I loved going to video stores with my dad, where we would spend hours looking through racks of VHS tapes. I acted a bit in high school and college, I went to LaGuardia High School and The Stella Adler Conservatory in New York. I was never a very good actor, but I loved it.

When I was 20, I moved to LA to pursue a career in film. I wrote and directed two short films, Ride or Die (2015) and After School (2016), which played on the festival circuit. I worked full time as a babysitter and attended college at Cal State Northridge during these years. At 25, I took the leap and made my first feature, Spiral Farm, a coming of age story starring my good friend and collaborator Piper de Palma. I had worked with Piper on the short films and was in awe of her talent and unique screen presence. While in college, I had been slowly writing, Spiral Farm, with her in mind for the lead role. The roller coaster ride that was the making of Spiral Farm was by far the craziest thing I have ever done and it taught me so much about perseverance and never giving up.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
LA was a scary city for a New Yorker who couldn’t drive. The city felt enormous and un-welcoming at first, I had few friends when I first moved here and my first year was very lonely. I almost gave up many times. Whenever I would call home, my parents would encourage me to move back to New York and finish college back east. A big challenge was figuring out how to support myself financially while attending college and trying to pursue a film career. I worked as a family assistant (a sort of hybrid babysitter and personal assistant) for various families around West LA.

Making my first feature film the summer after I graduated from college was a very bumpy ride. I felt very insecure as a 25-year-old on a set, where many actors and crew members were much older than me. The production fell apart many times. We lost producers, locations, actors, money. It was a truly magical DIY moviemaking miracle and in the end, we somehow completed the film and premiered it at Slamdance 2019 in Park City, UT (a magical place for indie film nerds). Making Spiral Farm was such a privilege and it took a tremendous amount of hard work.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an independent filmmaker. My first feature Spiral Farm stars Piper de Palma and Amanda Plummer is being released in theaters and VOD later this year. My second film The Daphne Project, which I co-directed with Zora Iman Crews is currently in post-production. I am a writer/director who makes films in all genres from comedies to thrillers.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Determination and never waiting for permission. I am by no means the most talented filmmaker out there, but I believe that talent is only one component of getting your film made. I felt very passionate about both my films and fought very hard to get them made. I had many doors slammed in my face, but I never stopped fighting to tell the story I wanted to tell. Finding the strength to keep going is never easy and I wish I knew where it came from. The best way I can describe it is that it doesn’t feel like a choice. I wanted this so badly that I didn’t feel like doing anything else was possible. It’s in your mind from the moment you wake up and continues deep into the sleepless nights, where you lie away trying to figure out how to make your projects come to life.

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