ISA award-winning Amanda Abicalaffe statement and interview on her awards for Best Women Short and Best Student Director for “Feet on Fire”, a brilliant student short about a young ballerina who faces her cold controlling mother to become her new true self. In the video, also the statement of Mila Nabours awarded Best Child/Young Actress in July season of Independent Shorts Awards.
Amanda Abicalaffe was born in Brazil and has always been passionate about acting and dancing. After suffering from a serious knee injury in a ballet class, Amanda focused solely on acting and getting her Bachelors in Communications. After college, Amanda moved to New York to study Filmmaking at NYFA.
Looking to broaden her horizons, she then moved to Paris for a year to continue her studies at EICAR International Film School of Paris and returned to the USA to attend the MFA Film & TV Production program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She is now a recent graduate from the MFA and “Feet on Fire” her first work after the MFA. ISA just gave Amanda her first awards for the short.
ISA: What inspired you to make this film?
Amanda Abicalaffe: My mission as a female filmmaker is to tell stories about young women overcoming obstacles and fighting for what they deserve. In “Feet of Fire” Amelia needs to confront her controlling mother in order to become a contemporary dancer. I used to be a dancer and I am still fascinated by dance. It is a great visual art form that I had never incorporated in any of my films before. “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen was definitely a big inspiration for this film.
ISA: How did you find the ISA Gold award-winning young actress, Mila Nabours?
AA: After holding several auditions to find the perfect Amelia, I discovered Mila on Instagram. It is very difficult to find a girl who can act just as well as she can dance and Mila is the whole package. I’m so grateful to have found her and that her family was so supportive during this process. Her future is extremely bright!
ISA: What does the Bronze Award for Best Student Director mean to you?
AA: It means a great deal, especially as a recent graduate. I strongly believe that anyone who wants to be a director needs to know a lot about acting. I am a stage actress and, even though acting for theater is different from acting in front of the camera, many of the main principles are still the same and it helps me connect with my actors on a deeper and more meaningful level. For me, the actor’s performance is the most important thing in any movie.
ISA: And how does winning the Silver Award for Best Women short make you feel?
AA: Extremely accomplished. As a woman director who always strives to tell stories about women, this award was definitely the most meaningful to me. There are only female characters in “Feet of Fire” and that is not something you see very often. I really hope that my film serves as an inspiration to many girls out there.
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