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Internship Spotlight: Sofia Alicastro ‘14

November 06, 2013

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Sofia Alicastro is a Senior Rhetoric and Media Studies Major, and Studio Art Minor. She was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. Portland and San Francisco are my her two favorite cities in the U.S and her favorite film is Whale Rider (2002) by Niki Caro.

Career Development Center: So, where did you intern this summer?

Sofia: This past summer I interned at the Cannes International Film Festival. This festival is recognized as the largest and most esteemed film festival in the world. I worked with the business sector of Lakeshore Entertainment offered through the American Pavilion’s Business Internship program.

CDC: What initially interested you in the film industry?

Sofia: I have loved film for as long as I can remember. Last fall I wrote my thesis on feminism in film, looking at the ways in which women are portrayed in mainstream Hollywood cinema and female filmmakers. This process made me realize what I had known for a while: I want to make films that empower women. I want to create motion pictures that do not objectify, commodify, or fetishize women in disempowering ways, but rather depict real, meaningful, and powerful women.

I’m now pursuing a career in filmmaking, specifically directing. This business internship was an excellent opportunity to experience the world of international film business, festival culture, and intern with a major Hollywood film studio doing business at the Cannes Festival.

CDC: How was the experience for you?

Sofia: The experience was highly informative and wonderful. I had the fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in the festival lifestyle and witness first hand the inner workings of the prestigious festival. I was exposed to a variety of vibrant and engaging films as well as film business deals. As an aspiring filmmaker, it was a phenomenal experience. I was ecstatic to be involved in the fast-paced, largest international film festival in the world. I left the internship with my passion for film further fed and with a greater awareness of the technical logistics involved in the process of conceptualizing, producing, filming and distributing a given film. My internship dealt with post-production aspects of film versus actually filmmaking, and was one of the most informative experiences I have ever had. It is essential to understand the business component of filmmaking; I absolutely loved it.

CDC: Did you gain any new insight from the experience?

Sofia: Prior to this internship, I had rudimentary filmmaking skills and intermediate-advanced analytical skills. Cannes provided me with the chance to interact with industry professionals, discuss my many questions with my mentors, and gather information from my fellow interns. One of the biggest takeaways from this internship was recognizing how critical the business component of filmmaking is.

CDC: Do you have any tips/ tricks or suggestions for students trying to secure similar internships?

Sofia: Show your passion for the internship when applying. If you want something badly, dedicate time to working towards making that a reality. I believe that demonstrating your raw thirst for the given experience or internship in an eloquent manner greatly benefits you as a candidate.


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