“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
MARIA LAVELLE IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS, AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
1. Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I think Miriam Adeney said it pretty well: “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” My heart is split between my homeland of Norway, my college town of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, and New York.
I grew up in Haugesund – a Norwegian coastal city known to be the homeland of the Vikings and the host for the Norwegian International Film Festival. It rains a lot, but my family and the people make up for it. I go back twice a year and even shot my second-year film there.
The prairie, open landscapes, endless sky and most of all the people at Augustana University in South Dakota will always have a special place in my heart. I consider Sioux Falls to be my "American hometown."
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I’ve always been drawn to stories about outcasts and underdogs, particularly if they’re based on real people. I spend a lot of time researching historical figures that were remembered or—even more interestingly—forgotten because of what they did or who they were. These people range from Thomas Edison and Joan of Arc, to Alan Turing, Jesus Christ and Coco Chanel – in no particular order.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Working alongside my amazing classmates and learning from the extraordinary faculty members at Tisch has enriched my life more than I could’ve imagined. It’s not just that they’re great at what they do; they’re also terrific people!
Shooting my second-year film in Norway is one of my favorite memories thus far. Watching my Tisch-fam work side by side with my parents, grandparents, local friends, former classmates and high school coaches was an experience I’ll cherish forever. We were all in it together and for the first time, my two worlds were united.