Isa Grassi

Motion Pictures & Television / MFA

My life is split in fragments — I’ve lived in three different countries (Brazil, Italy, USA) and find myself constantly trying to match different puzzle pieces in order to understand the world and the people around me. Film helps me to do so — it is the vessel through which I learn and teach, process and express, digest and manifest. Film is what allows me to be present and being present comes with consequences: seeing not merely looking, knowing not merely believing, understanding not merely judging, doing not merely thinking.

Why become a filmmaker when I devoted over twenty years of my life to the depiction of still images? All I can say is that it comes down to storytelling. It has always been this way. From when I was in elementary school and would record endless stories on tape. From when I was in my early teens and would shoot videos with my friends in Brazil. From when I started my journal of “movie ideas" in high school.

The interest for filmmaking has always been there, but when the time to choose a path came, I went with what I knew how to do best, what I had always been doing — drawing. Yet, here I am five years after getting my BA in Illustration, set on a whole new journey.

That journey is in large part due to the emptiness, the lack of something once intangible, the hunger for something different. Directing has filled me up, given me a new way and medium to express myself. Looking back, I have come to understand in looking back on my life, how pivotal films have been in shaping the world around me, as well as me living in the world.

I’ve become eager to tell my stories because often times I feel like I live in two worlds, and harbor a deep sense that everyone else does as well — the reality we are all subjected to, and the internal reality created and experienced by each of us individually. What I want to do is share my inner reality, with characters in the stories as the vessels. After all, it’s all about human connection, whether we are talking about the driving force behind my vision, the process of making the film, or completing it.

My desire is capture that beauty in life that can’t be caught in just one frame; there is always more to the story, and my role is to tell the things that are left behind when you look at just one picture.

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