Spotlight: Ella Genovese

Emily Smith, Reporter

Senior Ella Genovese made waves when her narrative short film, A Boxer’s Blanket, was chosen as a finalist for the the St. Louis International Film Festival. According to the website, The 26th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival is an opportunity for St. Louis filmgoers to view the finest in world cinema — international films, documentaries, American indies, and shorts that can only be seen on the big screen at the festival. This includes Ella’s short film. Take this opportunity to delve further into her creative process and to take it back to where it all began.

In grade school, Ella’s two favorite activities were writing and visual art. She loved the storytelling and writing aspect of language arts. She often found herself caught between these two passions. However, she realized she relished in the ability to have both of these elements portrayed on camera. Ella discovered that there was indeed a happy medium: film. “Film encompassed both those elements of visual art and the photography aspect and the storytelling aspect, and it became the best of both worlds in a sense.” Ella smiled when asked about her favorite film of all time, saying, “Can I name five?” She recalls how Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese, her favorite director, was her “aha” moment as an aspiring filmographer. Most people relate movies to actors and the faces they see in front of the camera, but for Ella it was different. When she saw movies, she saw behind the camera and into the process. When watching this film, she realized there is someone behind the camera.  She was hooked.

Ella’s film is a coming of age story about a little boy with dreams of boxing and who carries around his blanket. Ella claims her inspiration for the film was her family. She stated, “My grandpa was a boxer, my dad boxed, my little brother boxes. Boxing is a part of my family heritage.” Her little brother, Dominic, is the young star of the film. When asked why Dominic, she laughed and said, “He’s available! Oh, and he loves the attention.”

Ella has entered into film festivals and has been recognized before, but the prestige of this particular festival had her and her family ecstatic. She manages to balance her film making and school.  “Even though I am busy with the college thing, this experience just reassured me that I am going in the right direction.” Her family, who helped out a lot and are even featured actors in the film, are proud and supportive of her. She states fondly, “It doesn’t matter even if I just made a short film for fun; my dad would be just as thrilled.” Ella mentions she wants to continue making films and eventually move to Los Angeles. “I think there is such a real human aspect to filmmaking that you don’t get with other art forms. As a director you’re working with actors, you’re getting that character drawn out from them which I so appreciate. It will challenge me the most, help me grow the most, and allow me to have the most meaningful, fulfilling life.” Ella can’t wait to begin work in this field.

We wish her the best of luck at the festival, which will be held at Plaza Frontenac on November 11th. To watch Ella’s short film, go to Vimeo and search A Boxer’s Blanket.