Today I am bringing to you a special post on a dear buddy by the name of Vanessa Crocini, whom I met through Feather Ives. Vanessa has been working on an amazing project in Kenya that she will be talking about here today. I think it is wonderful and since Africa is near and dear to my heart, I wanted you guys to meet Vanessa and learn about her journey and the documentary she is working on. I love to hear about the good things people do. So without further ado, here is Vanessa in her own words.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Italy, in a city in Tuscany called Pistoia. But I don't only have Italian blood. My mom was born and raised in Romania, in the east of Europe.
Tell us where are you now and what do you do?
Right now I am in tiny town, Ngong, in Kenya where I am shooting my documentary Get Together Girls but normally I'd live in Los Angeles working as a documentary filmmaker and as a journalist for several Italian film magazines.
What inspired you to become a film director?
I was an actress and a child model from the age of 8 to 14. When I was on set, the figure of the crew that most attracted me was the director for his way of dealing with all the crew and how he using his creativity, so I knew right away what I wanted to be. I had the chance to work with a great Italian director, Nanni Loy, and I remember when I was observing him, I thought “That's how I Want to be when I grow up”. Now the documentary passion came out 3 years ago watching lots of documentaries and taking some classes in documentary production at UCLA. I love it so much, I think it just perfectly fits my curious personality and my passion for traveling and discovering different cultures. I'm fascinated by the fact that I can share the stories with people that otherwise would not have the chance to know about them.
What project are you working on right now?
Right now I am in Kenya for shooting my documentary Get Together Girls, the story of a tailoring school of former street girls created by an Italian ex accountant manager. I am one man crew and it is a wonderful experience.
Tell us about the project you are working on.
I got to know about GtoG last september after writing to the Ngo Amani Onlus who manages Anita's Home, a place in Ngong hills, where the GtoG tailoring school was created. I contacted the creator of the school, Grazia Orsolato and I talked to her about my desire to shoot a documentary about this wonderful story. She agreed with the project and we planned everything for the shooting. Nerina Fiumano and Stefano Villani joined the team with Cinerentola and 2503 Productions, my production company . In the meanwhile we organized many events for fundraising, including a pizza night at my house in LA. Then, last december, after shooting a video for the most famous Italian rock star, Vasco Rossi, I talked to him about my plans for Kenya and he loved the project so much that he decided to produce the documentary. A dream come true! So I consider myself lucky but also I think sometimes creative minds and artists are just meant to cross the same path and meet. Also, the support of my family and friends has been really important along the way!
Now I'm weeks through production. The girls of The GtoG are used to my presence with my camera and it feels like I'm not there. I'm getting great interviews and great material! I can't wait to edit this documentary!
Where can we find updates or view the film on this project?
We have a FB page at www.facebook.com/
gettogethergirlsthedoc . You can find us on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/g2gthedoc . We are going to create a website for the documentary as soon as I am back from Kenya
Are you guys still fundraising for the project and where can we donate to the organization?
The fundrasing on IndieGoGo is finished but for those who are interested in the project you can firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give details about how to make a donation. Besides, for those who donate we have little presents like GtoG pins, postcards, posters and a special edition of a GtoG bag created by the girls in Kenya.
Why did you choose this project?
The Get Together Girls project focuses on helping and educating young girls that lived on the streets, begging for money, living in very bad conditions and often being sexually abused and exploited. Because they represent the new generations of young women in Africa, the story of G2G can give awareness and influence many other young African women that unfortunately are still exploited and forced to live in very bad conditions bringing a message of hope for a future that sees them as protagonists in a very positive way. We also want to influence the young generations in the more civilized ad economically developed countries to show that there are ways they can improve the lives of some of their peers and that they have a responsibility to make it happen. We are planning an international film festivals run all over the world as well as emphasize the power of such initiatives, screening the documentary in schools and colleges all over the world to educate more about similar stories and above all to bring concrete ways of helping and developing ideas to change the actual situations because even with little steps, there can be great results.
This documentary is also going to contribute to expand and hopefully start a more global market for GtoG as well as influence other people to start similar projects not only in Africa but all over the world. A few local companies have expressed the interest in selling some of the products from the GtoG collection and there are orders taken through the website from Italy and other European countries. It is important that many young women in Africa like the girls of GtoG can understand the value of this kind of opportunities creating a sort of chain effects on some other girls of their age in other villages and in other countries. Nairobi is one of the most violent cities in Africa and it has some of the unfortunately most famous slums; there are not so many job opportunities for the young generations. GtoG is only one of the many possibilities that focuses on their professional and creative capabilities.
What projects will you be doing in the future?
Before GtoG I had shot another documentary about Leisure Wolrd, the first senior gated community in the US, which is locate din Seal Beach, CA. I am very fascinated by the difference of how people “get old” in the USA. They enjoy life, they are independent and simply their spirit is younger than mine! Unfortunately during the shoot, I had some problems with the administration of the place so I decided to put a break on the project. After the GtoGproject is done, I will finish the editing and present it to festivals.
What other creative outlets do you have?
I also write for Italian film magazines with film and documentary reviews and interviews to film professionals. I like to talk about indie productions as a different way of making film from the mainstream one. I like to interviews other directors and ask them how they make the profession and how the path is for making each time another movie. Many people who don't work in the business, sometimes have the misconception that as artists we don't do much work. I always try to capture from any film/ documentary of person that I interview the creativity aspects shown through a normal POV.
Where can we stalk you to keep up with what you are doing?
I recently created my website www.vanessacrocini.virb.com and you can follow my blog at www.vanessacrocini.blogspot.
Director of Get Together Girls - The Documentary
Find us on Indiehttp://www.indiegogo.com/
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/g2gthedoc
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.