Emilia Figliomeni: Beyond Motion and Reels

At 3 a.m., Emilia Figliomeni ’14 sat wrapped in green and tan blankets in the basement of Stevens with several scriptwriters during the 24-Hour Film Labs. Fourteen hours worth of script writing, filming and editing later, she stood in the crowded Underwood Room, proudly watching the screening of the movies.

“I really felt like I had helped or … maybe shared my love of film with some people,” said Figliomeni, a three-year Senior from Bologna, Italy.

Figliomeni’s love of film began in sixth grade when she worked with her friends to adapt “The Star of Kazan,” by Eva Ibbotson, into a movie.

“I adapted this book and wrote the screenplay and everything, and I don’t know what inspired me, really, I just kind of decided I would do it. But I didn’t have the skills to edit,” said Figliomeni.

Figliomeni obtained these skills in her Lower year at Andover, when she took an animation class and Video I. She continued to pursue her love of filmmaking through Film Labs during her Lower Spring. This path led her to create a documentary in Art 500 about the views of faculty and students on the Art Department.

“For [the documentary], I’ve been inspired by my own experience in the Art Department and also what I’ve heard people say about it or people’s relationship to the requirements,” said Figliomeni.

Prior to Andover, Figliomeni had never received a formal art education. However, since Junior year, she has taken a variety of art-related classes, participated in an assortment of clubs and written for _The Phillipian_’s Arts and Leisure section. In particular, the Andover Moviemakers Club (AMC) has had a large impact on her involvement with the arts through FilmLabs and the Green Cup Challenge Video.

“Thanks to AMC, I was able to continue pursuing my interest in film when I was no longer in a film or animation class. Being able to use the club’s equipment allowed me to work on various projects,” said Figliomeni.

One of her recent projects is a short video, entitled “Found,” made during a summer program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The film features a girl moving non-linearly through space in an attempt to find and reconnect with herself.

“I guess I would describe both making and appreciating art as a necessity. Without it, I wouldn’t be happy,” Figliomeni said. “I think my art has become increasingly conceptual to the point that sometimes people don’t entirely understand it.”

“I definitely want to try and incorporate social messages in my films in the future. I think that that’s something Andover has inspired us all as opposed to just making movies for the sake of telling some cheesy rom-com story,” she continued.

Figliomeni intends to pursue filmmaking in college, though she’s unsure of how far she will continue with it.

“I think it’ll very much depend on what I do in college and how that ends up working out. There are other things I’m interested in as well, and as much as I’m really interested in film, the industry is so politicized and everything… I need to decide if I want to jump into that,” said Figliomeni.