Maya Rose Dittloff – Director
''As a female filmmaker, as well as a Native American, I often leave movie theaters heartbroken due to the lack of accurate and faithful representations of both females and natives in film. With the same tropes, stereotypes and bored-and-tired narratives, we need to be reflecting and asking the question, ‘Who deserves to tell stories?’ Then we need to support these deserving filmmakers with actual dollar amounts,'' said Maya Rose Dittloff, a third-year film student. Dittloff said she hopes to make art that will catalyze empathy and change.
Lynzie Glover – Screenwriter
Lynzie Glover, a third-year film student, said her experience making her way to UCLA after growing up in south central Los Angeles has shaped her voice as a writer. ''I love the transformative power of stories and seeing words coming to life. I’ve gotten to see and experience so many sides of blackness and lack thereof, and all of this has given me the opportunity to play between the lines of showcasing my own reality and reimagining it,'' Glover said. In the future, she hopes to receive an Oscar nomination and help youth from underprivileged neighborhoods find their own voices in writing.
Jazmine Villalino – Actor, Director
''Being constantly told as a woman or a person of color that you're not good enough to be in the spotlight is damaging. We can change the social narrative by creating our own,'' said Jazmine Villalino, a second-year theater student. She believes there should be no hierarchies in art because of its subjective nature. ''We all create, and that's enough,'' she said.
Ingrid Sanchez – Cinematographer
Ingrid Sanchez, a first-year MFA student, loves filmmaking because she gets to create worlds and stretch the imagination. ''I am a first-generation American who grew up on food stamps with my three sisters and my mom, because my dad died when I was 1. My family fought very hard for what we have today,'' Sanchez said. ''Growing up in a family of hard-working women made me never doubt the strength women possess, but also the nurture and support women provide.''
Maura Dooley – Experimental Filmmaker, Producer
Maura Dooley, a third-year film student, finds solidarity working with other women filmmakers. ''My motto is, ‘Do everything you can to make it easier for whoever’s coming next,''' Dooley said. Her experience as a child seeing a bisexual character portrayed as a stereotypical ''quirky, hypersexual oddity'' perpetuated what she called her own internalized queer phobia, which she said took years to deprogram. ''If I had seen a good representation of a queer character, how might my experience as a queer kid have been different? Giving artists of color, women and queer creators more opportunities to make films can only improve the quality of our art form, and will make narratives about marginalized groups more authentic,'' Dooley said.
Candace Ho – Director
As a director, Candace Ho, a third-year film student, credits the lack of representation of Asians on screen as an influence in her storytelling voice. ''I want my stories to paint a more complex picture of Asian-American women. I want to change the way that we are perceived and the way that we perceive ourselves,'' Ho said. ''I hope that young Asian-American women growing up in the future will not have to think that they do not belong on big screens or behind cameras in the way that I did when I grew up.''
Emily Marie Beltran – Actor
Emily Marie Beltran, a second-year theater student, wants to play roles that break down the stereotype of Chicana women as the ''sultry maid with voluptuous curves.'' ''If I had seen more women who looked like me in the media that represented me properly, I feel like my process of self-love wouldn’t have been such a difficult journey,'' Beltran said. ''There are no regulations for what a woman should and shouldn’t be. There are just women: beautiful and formidable women,'' Beltran said.
Anais Bernard – Cinematographer, Editor
Anais Bernard, a fourth-year film student, loves telling stories visually. As a cinematographer and editor, she finds joy in the collaborative process of working with other artists and piecing a film together from words on a script to a finished product on screen. ''I love working with so many talented people with so many ideas and perspectives. Art is able to give a voice to anybody, but film is in the unique position of having an entire crew of voices and experiences to speak to,'' Bernard said.
Anusha Shankar – Actor
Anusha Shankar, a second-year theater student, considers herself a ''third-culture'' kid because she was born in India, grew up in Singapore and now studies in Los Angeles. She said she believes representation is beyond essential in the media for helping break down stereotypes and cultural barriers. ''When you see a reflection of yourself in film for example, it helps break down the boundaries between reality and self-perception,'' Shankar said. ''You start thinking that maybe you can accomplish great things.''
Carmen Margarita Chavez – Editor
''It's important to show people, let them know they have stories worth telling, and remind them that they're not invisible,'' said Carmen Margarita Chavez, a third-year gender studies student. Chavez enjoys film editing, which began as a personal hobby. ''As a woman of color, I try my best to pursue my goals in the industry by pushing myself. I don't think it's possible to take the easy way out and navigate this industry with ease if you aren't naturally positioned to,'' Chavez said.
Kaylin Riebli – Costume Designer
Kaylin Riebli, a second-year theater student, views her rare respiratory condition, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, as a source of motivation. As a designer, Riebli is aware that clothing and physical appearances impact individuals’ social interactions. ''A big part of my job is to make sure people are represented with the respect they deserve. It’s important to not become part of the machine within the industry that promotes negative or incorrect stereotypes,'' Riebli said.
Ebony Priddie – Actor
Ebony Priddie, a second-year theater student, loves being an actor because she gets to explore different avenues of life. ''My goal with my art is to demystify labels,'' Priddie said. ''There are many black women with mental illness out there, and I get to represent them.''
Arantza Carrizo Ortiz – Producer
Arantza Carrizo Ortiz, a graduate student in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s professional program in producing, hopes to bring what she has learned about the U.S. film industry back to her home country of Chile. Her personal goal is to pursue equal rights, and, as a film producer, she is dedicated to integrating female and male professionals behind the camera. ''Each film is a reflection of its time, and at this moment, audiences around the world want content that represents them, identifies them and moves them,'' she said.
Paulyne Youri – Actor
Paulyne Youri, a first-year theater student, said that the lack of representation she has encountered as a half-Chinese and half-Assyrian has fueled her drive to break down the barriers of the industry. ''I’ve never been represented. But, hey, I’ll be the first to introduce this ethnic combination to the field,'' Youri said.
Madelyn Rae Stratton – Animator
Madelyn Rae Stratton, a third-year film student, is part of Women in Animation, an organization committed to achieving gender parity in the animation field. Stratton said representation in animation is extremely important. ''Since Western animation is predominantly made for a younger audience, I think it’s safe to say that what kids see in cartoons can help shape their worldviews early on,'' Stratton said.