Former Spirit of St Louis Editor, Federica nominated for a BAFTA Student Film Award



At St Louis, we are proud of all of our students and their achievements. However, the Spirit of St Louis is extremely delighted to hear that our former Editor Federica has been nominated for a prestigious British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Student Film Award for her short documentary Love in 35mm.

The winner will be announced on Friday 29th June in Los Angeles at a gala ceremony. Federica won a spot as one of nine finalists from an initial pool of nearly 500 entries which was whittled down to a shortlist of 60.

We caught up with Federica before she flew to Los Angeles.

How did your film come to be entered for selection?

My tutor applied without telling me as she didn’t want me to be upset in case it didn’t go well.

What was the research process like?

Being a film we had to make as final project for uni, we all had to pitch an idea early on. Therefore, the
research process was fairly long and occurred in stepped. I started off by looking into the role of
projectionists in today’s cinema industry. This was an example I used for one of the essays I wrote during a
module that explored social theorists such as Marx and Weber. Inspired by Cinema Paradiso, I explored the
concept and learnt more about the job when I found a journal article talking about the history of women
projectionists during WWII: ‘Projectionettes’. Being passionate about history and feminist issues, I knew
that this was what I wanted to pursue. In order to find the characters, I then contacted the author of the
article as well as any organisation that could possibly know any Projectionettes. It was a bit of a journey but
I finally found Bill and Joan; as soon as I met them I knew they were perfect for the film. It was initially
meant to be just about Joan but, having been married for over 60 years, it was impossible to separate
them, they have become one.

Are there other female nominees up for the award this year?

I think this year’s group of nominees is quite diverse. Out of the 9 nominated, I believe there is one in my
category (Lindsey Parietti who directed Blood Island), and three in animation. Great stuff.

How does the couple in the film, Bill and Joan feel about your nomination?

They are first and foremost extremely happy for us! Both my film partner Giovanna and I are
international students and have left our families behind to study in London. She is from Brazil so it is even
harder for her. They have basically adopted us, every time we visit them they give us presents and make us
tea (sandwiches and all, very British). When they first saw the film they both cried, in fact, they watched it
twice in a row. On top of having a film that summarises their life, knowing that their story is appreciated
internationally must mean a lot to them.

Now you are about to graduate how well do you think your course help prepare you for your career choices and life?

Education offers you preparation only if you embrace it and make the most out of it. I
have a conflicting relationship with my course and have questioned my choice of subject and location
several times. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and know that the only
reason why I have achieved so much is because of every choice (good or bad) I have made up until now. I do
think, though, that the practice aspect of my course was key to my ‘success’. I was given equipment, editing
facilities and valuable tutoring that I would not have had otherwise. Being a project that was worth 60
credits (out of 120) also means that I was encouraged to make time to work on it and make it the best film
it could be. I also have my Lecturer to thank, for entering me in the competition.

Any words of advice for our St Louis Class of 2018?

Work hard and don’t be snobby! Don’t listen to snobby people who will criticise you or
your choices. I spent 3 years thinking about what others had to say about what I was doing and it wasn’t
worth it. However, it is important to think thoroughly about what you’re about to embark on before diving
in! I would also advise getting a part time job (especially in the UK) even if not related to your course as it
will teach you a lot and do work experience during the holidays. Take WHATEVER comes your way.

What are your plans now that you are back in Milan?

Definitely working in the creative industry. I would like to have an editorial role in a communications company or a role in preproduction in unscripted/factual TV (Masterchef would be the dream). To be completely honest I am a little scared of free-lancing (which is standard in the creative industry) as I prefer stability. When it comes to filmmaking, I hope I will have the chance to do it again, but do not want it to limit my career prospects. I like filling my life with different projects so maybe I will be able to balance a more stable career in Communications, in a nice cozy and secure office (and hopefully have the opportunity to exercise my bossiness!), but also oversee more artistic projects. Oh, and I see myself in my beloved Milan.

We will let you know how Federica gets on.


UPDATE: Federica did not win the final prize but she felt fantastic being amongst her peers on such a prestigious occasion. Just being nominated made her feel like a winner!