Artist, Director & Filmmaker Annalaura di Luggo: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Filmmaker
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
When you bring diversity and representation into the mix, you get views from various ethnic backgrounds, different abilities, religious beliefs, and levels of society, which in turn drives thought provoking and new inspiration.
As a part of our series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Filmmaker”, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Annalaura di Luggo.
Annalaura is a multimedia artist and film-maker based in Naples. Her new production is We Are Art — Through the Eyes of Annalaura, is a 67-minute documentary that depicts Annalaura’s journey as she undertakes her most artistic challenge, creating Colloculi, an immersive, multi-media, interactive art installation constructed in the shape of a Giant Eye made of recycled aluminum, symbolizing environmental rebirth and recycling. Well known in her country for her unique work, she incorporates her artistic visualization of the lives of four young people who, in their own way, found a spiritual path out of the darkness into the light and reclaimed their self-esteem and found new value in life. When the eye is installed in a museum the viewer can see himself in the lens with the four protagonist and thus becomes art himself.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in Naples Italy and my interest in art developed when I was a teenager.
My art tackled a wide array of subjects. I created “Never Give Up” which was a multimedia installation and short documentary project about incarceration. I also explored the marine world with “Sea Visions / 7 Viewpoints” as another multimedia art installation and I looked at human rights with an art installation titled “Human Rights Vision” which was commissioned by the Kennedy Foundation. I tackled the issues surrounding blindness with the multimedia installation and documentary project titled “Blind Vision” which was presented at the United Nations and at the Italian Consulate in NY.
I also explored nature and biodiversity with my 3D painting “Genesis” that was presented at the 58th Venice Biennale. I also tackled environmental issues connected to social inclusion topics with “Napoli Eden.”
My most recent art installation ”Colloculi/We Are Art” is a multimedia installation in the shape of a giant eye made from recycled aluminum with an interactive video projected through its eye of and is currently on display at National Archeological Museum of Naples, Italy. That was also the subject of my new feature documentary “We Are Art — Through the Eyes of Annalaura” which is currently being shown in Los Angeles and New York theaters for Best Documentary Feature and Best Song, Oscar consideration.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
My artistic and human experiences revolve around my interest in the individual person and the affirmation of their value of being human.
My greatest desire is social inclusion.
From this belief I developed the documentary “We Are Art Through the Eyes of Annalaura” which is a combination of reportage-style (by interviewing dozens of young adults who overcame adversities) and an innovative video art style by experimenting for my multimedia installation “Colloculi” the most advanced real-time interactive technologies that allow the viewer to become part of the scene.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?
Two of the most interesting were speaking at The United Nations during the World Conference for Disabilities in 2018 where I displayed my solo Show “Blind Vision,” and being invited to the 58th Venice Art Biennale where they exhibited my work of art “Genesis”.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I met with a group of 20 partially or totally blind people of various ages, professions, and educational levels to explore the universe of people who perceive reality with senses other than sight. To reaffirm the value of these individuals as an active part of society, I met them in darkness to put myself on par with the blind. I photographed their eyes and invited them to share their experiences of living with one less sense and relying on other means to perceive reality.
These interactions inspired me in my Blind Vision Multimedia and documentary project as a recreation of the world people live in who are deprived of sight. Installed in a grotto, visitors to the exhibit descended into the dark where a sequence of alternating light boxes featuring participants eyes illuminate. Accompanying the striking visuals of eyes that cannot see, are audio fragments that capture the latitude of emotion felt by the blind participants. Between the realm of art and science, Blind Vision is a deeply positive experience that creates a bridge between the seeing and the blind.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
For sure that would be Stanley Isaacs, the creative consultant and Production Supervisor of my film, “We Are Art.” This was our second collaboration after Napoli Eden. From the moment we met 5 years ago he became part of my artistic journey and my best friend. He also introduced me to Greg Ferris who became the Marketing Consultant for “We Are Art” and the 3 of us work daily as a team.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
No matter who we are or which adversities we faced in life, we all are a work of art, WE ARE ART!
I am very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
– A culture of diversity, equity and inclusion should be our priority.
– When you bring diversity and representation into the mix, you get views from various ethnic backgrounds, different abilities, religious beliefs, and levels of society, which in turn drives thought provoking and new inspiration.
– For myself, each human being is one of God’s wonderful creatures. We are all different and unique and are all worthy to be considered. I decided to explore human nature through vision and investigating the eye, which is often referred to as the mirror of the soul. I developed and patented a special camera that allows me to explore the iris. I lay it bare, I dilate it, and I display it in a gigantic format as a reminder that we need to look at each other in the eyes because in today’s world, we often do not have the time nor the inclination to do so.
– In striving for diversity, the artistic crew of “We Are Art” consisted of 7 females — including 4 blind young women, a young woman with Down syndrome and a young woman with alcohol addiction — one transgender young adult, a young man with autism, a young man in a wheelchair, a black immigrant from Africa and four individuals with past criminal records.
The majority of the Technical Staff was female and included a female translator who is blind, and a post-production team made by one Hispanic and one Indian female.
The crew also included a costume consultant, a set designer and a runner who were LGBT.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am exploring the world of TV to reach a huge audience and tell stories about uplifting the human spirit.
Which aspect of your work makes you most proud? Can you explain or give a story?
That I can give my small contribution regarding social inclusion and environmental safeguard by using recycled aluminum.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
– Everyone wants to offer an opinion the hard part is to stay on your vision.
– Everything takes longer than is expected.
– Always have a backup plan because something can go wrong.
– Allocate more time for preproduction because is cheaper than discovering things while you are shooting.
– Make sure that everyone on your team understands your vision so that they can support you in achieving it.
When you create a film, which stakeholders have the greatest impact on critics, the financiers, or your own personal artistic vision? Can you share a story with us or give an example about what you mean?
Unlike in the UISA in Italy where the art critics have the most influence on artists, it was important for me to share my vision for “We Are Art” with my art curator Gabriele Perretta who approved my path. Once he did, I got my multimedia installation and documentary started.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would start a movement called “We Are Art” to stimulate self-esteem in every human being and to stimulate a strong brotherhood as a global family.
Art is a great vehicle for me to achieve my thoughts and the latest real-time technology enabled me to get the viewer to become a part of the scene to share the feelings I displayed on my Multimedia interactive installation Colloculi.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Denzel Washington for his great spirituality
I am sure he would support the “We Are Art” movement.
How can our readers further follow you online?
About We Are Art Documentary
About my artistic career.
to follow my daily activity on social media
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Artist, Director & Filmmaker Annalaura di Luggo: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.