Today we’d like to introduce you to Katia Belas.
Katia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from Federal University of Rio De Janeiro Brazil. Since that time, I have worked in theater and have also taught Scene Design, Costume Design and Basic Lighting for Theatre at the Criar Institute in Brazil. While in Brazil, I was invited to assist the producer of Brazilian Singer Elaine Guedes for her concert at the Municipal Theatre of Niteroi, RJ as well as the producer of Ricky Martin’s concert in 1997, also in Rio De Janeiro. Because of my work at his concert, Mr. Martin’s management staff invited me to assist them personally during the shoot of a Pepsi-Cola commercial in which Mr. Martin starred.
My passion for film producing came during a course given by the filmmaker Chris Rodrigues from which I ended up producing two shorts and assisting in one feature film still in Brazil. I came to America to improve my skills in film producing by studying in Film and TV at UCLA Extension, which has led me to Internships in TV and Film productions such as Crush (2000) from USA Network and Jane Bond (2001), a short film from Trillion Entertainment. I have worked on various independent projects such as ‘Crazy Jane’ (digital feature), in which I held the position of 2nd Assistant Director, and ‘Sin in My Eyes’ (also a digital feature), in which I held the position of 1st Assistant Director.
My experience has also afforded me the opportunity to work in the production offices of Lynda Obst (Lynda Obst Productions), based out of Paramount Studios, and in the personal office of Executive Producer Dan Halsted (Halsted Pictures) (Witchblade(2000), The Day Reagan Was Shot (2001), etc.).
In 2005, my life took a different course and I ended up working in the Real Estate field for about 10 years but in 2015, due to my passion for video making and entertainment, I changed my services to provide video marketing and strategies to advertise and produce marketing videos to my real estate colleagues and past clients. During the course of almost 1 year, the video marketing increased and in 2016, I moved back to California where I had no more contacts with my past clients and then started to work with regular video and film productions as narrative forms and PSAs, creating a full film-series titled “The Strength Within You” which has been around film festivals all over the world.
In 2017, with the official launch of the film-series in a bi-coastal event that gathered over 300 people in New York and Los Angeles, I formed my first company, KMB Entertainment.
KMB Entertainment now produces music videos, commercials, educational videos, documentaries, short and feature fiction films as well as events, music concerts and film festivals.
Last year (2018), my family and I founded the Belas Arts Inc, a non-profit public charity based in California that has the purpose to help bring awareness and elevate the performing artist and behind-the-camera artists in minorities and under-represented communities.
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?
There is no such thing as “smooth road” when you are talking about a career in the entertainment industry. There were countless obstacles and I am still fighting them daily. Coming from another country, one of the biggest obstacles is the language barrier, the accent and all the misunderstandings that come with it. For that, I just keep my head up and keep proving myself that just because I may have a “broken English”, I am still smarter than many.
Being a woman in the industry that hugely objectifies us is another struggle to go through every day. Most of the time I must think like a man and be ahead of the game, especially on set.
But, I believe that the most difficult obstacle any artist faces is the financial support and appreciation for their art and what it brings to our society.
KMB Entertainment and Belas Arts – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At this point, I am my own company. All I do for me and for the company have no division or separation. I produce films and film festivals (or showcases) to encourage others to do the same and in the same way. I dedicated five years to produce a series that incorporate Deaf performers in films. This work led many Hollywood newcomers and veterans to open their mind to new possibilities and new cultures. Not only expanding possibilities to the Deaf community, but this work also brought new ways to bring themes that are often discussed but not lived by many. Directing films with a bigger message to the society is my passion, and I love doing it.
I have produced and directed over 17 films between shorts and features with themes about domestic violence, mental health, drink and driving, LGBT acceptance, beauty standard and self-image, different abilities and disabilities, and bullying. I just recently finished a short film about Rape Culture. I am now developing a film about addiction, cyberbully and the power of the mind.
Because of this passion, I founded the Belas Arts organization, so that I can just not make a film about it, but also aim to help those who go through it in life.
This “specialty” of my work is not the most appreciated in today’s young Hollywood, but I was fortunate to create the stories I am passionate about and been able to garnered multiple awards and nominations in film festivals all around the world.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I don’t have one proudest or fondest moment, I have many. Every time someone tells me how important my work is/was in his/her live and the change it brought to him/her. How their perspective of life has turned out completely different from what it was before seeing my work or working with me. And I am blessed for getting quite of few of these kind of comments.
- Website: www.kmbentertainment.com, www.belasarts.org
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/kmbentertain, https://instagram.com/belasartsinc, https://instagram.com/katiabelas
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmbentertain, https://www.facebook.com/belasartsinc, https://www.facebook.com/katiabelas
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kmbentertain, https://www.twitter.com/belasartsinc, https://www.twitter.com/katiabelas
Landi Maduro, Ali Mojahedi