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Meet Martina Menini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martina Menini.

Martina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Italy. Right after high school, I moved to Milan, where I got my Bachelor’s in “Languages, Communication and Media” at Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore.

During my second year, I got lucky enough to be selected for a summer exchange, at School of Visual Arts in NYC where we would develop a short film while taking filmmaking classes. Growing up, I’ve always been in love with cinema, but it was during that summer that I realized how my passion could actually be translated into a job.

On that first set, while directing my first short film ever, I felt so fulfilled although most of the time I still had no idea what I was doing. From that moment on, I worked hard with the only goal in mind to get to LA in order to keep doing what I love the most: telling stories.

Right now, I’m enrolled in my last quarter at UCLA Extension where I’ve been focusing on studying directing for the past year.

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?
Let’s just say it’s been all about ups and downs. And that’s how’s supposed to go. I still remember everyone’s reaction whenever 19-years old me would tell someone that she wanted to become a big movie director: they would either smile politely and move on or not even pretend to take me seriously. I don’t blame them though, most of the time it was hard to believe it myself.

Moving across the ocean, away from my friends and family, was for sure one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, and yet, the best decision of my life. I guess what made me lucky in between all the challenges, was my parents’ support who always believed in me no matter how big my dreams were.

What else should our readers know?
I’m currently still attending the Directing Program at UCLA Extension, but I’ll graduate in June. I am fully aware of how difficult it is to find a spot in the entertainment industry. LA is one of those cities where everyone has a big dream and people are talented and driven enough to make it come true.

I want to be able to find my own voice and tell meaningful stories that might impact and inspire people to create change. My latest project told the story of an elderly man facing the reality of Alzheimer’s disease. And yes, I had a personal connection that pushed me towards this theme but I also felt the need to bring it to life because I truly believe in the power of storytelling in raising awareness.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
These past few months have been pretty intense since I’ve been working on my thesis film, result of my journey at UCLA Extension. But seeing this story come to life, from an idea in my head to the actual footage, currently in post-production, has been what made me the proudest.

Being able to tell such a meaningful story, seeing other people believing in my characters and working together to make it happen are few of the reasons why I want to follow this career path. I truly believe in the power of visual storytelling and whenever I’m able to be part of it, in first person, that makes me proud.

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Image Credit:

Francesca Esposito, Juan Raymundo Ramos, Wouyoung Lee.

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