In Conversation with Patricia DiSalvo Viayra about the“Lady Filmakers” Film Festival

This photo was taken iside the Wilshire Screening Room in Beverly Hills. The film "Cat Bird Coyote" is on the screen. Photo by Ian Fisher and Kathrine Kohl Thorbek
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In Conversation with Patricia Vierya  – About “Lady Filmakers” Film Festival

The film industry tends to be powered by men. However, today I am speaking to the founder of the film festival, “Lady Filmmakers”. She is making an impact on filming by giving women more opportunities in the film industry. Here is my q&a with the lovely Patricia DiSalvo Viayra

Regina Melzer (actress/filmmaker), Patricia DiSalvo Viayra and Mike Viayra at a closing night gala at Via Alloro in Beverly Hills – photo by Ian Fisher and Kathrine Kohl Thorbek


Hello Patricia, thank you for talking the time out to speak with me. Tell me what inspired you to start a film festival? 

Festival Staff and Volunteers gather for a group photo. Photo by Ian Fisher and Kathrine Kohl Thorbek


Hey David! Thank you for having me! Basically, after I made my first film and worked with a talented female DP I wondered why she wasn’t getting bigger jobs or working more consistently.  With further examination I saw the staggering small percentage of women DPs working in Studio Films and TV and only a few percentage points more for women Directors. So that was the initial spark. It made us think of how we can help bring talented people together to get more industry attention. A rising tide raises all ships.

Actresses Isabella Blake Thomas and Edy Ganem pose at a closing night gala at Via Alloro. Photo by Ian Fisher and Kathrine Kohl Thorbek

How do you go about selecting the films that you feature? 

We focus on great storytelling above all else. Because we focus mostly on story it levels the playing field against bigger budget films. We love screening films from brilliant first-time filmmakers just as much as from seasoned filmmakers and everyone in between. The best storytellers get chosen. And from there we look for diversity and important causes or social issues that should be illuminated.

Mike and Patricia on the red carpet for their r movie premiere

What are some struggles you face in producing the festival? 

We could always use help with funding and exposure to continue to grow the festival and expand our resources for filmmakers and talent. 

What is your ultimate goal for the festival? 

We’re trying to break out rising stars and rising filmmakers. We’re confident that this festival and our new streaming platforms can achieve this with continued and expanded support from our audiences, increased sponsorship and industry professionals. We have a lot of talent coming through every year. We’d like to help them with their future projects and expand exhibition opportunities for them in more cities in addition to worldwide exposure on our channel. 

What is the most rewarding part in producing the festival? 

Happy filmmakers, smiling faces, seeing people connect and celebrate each other is very rewarding. It’s especially cool when people meet at our festival and then come back to us with their collaboration a couple years later! It’s also great when we get a film as a premiere or very early in the festival run and they win awards with us and then go on to just rock the festival circuit after. We feel almost like proud parents! LOL! 

What do you think the film industry lacks

Long term, sustained, proactive and genuine interest in diversity. 

This photo is of Mike Viayra, Sharon Stone, Emmanuel Itier and Patricia DiSalvo Viayra

Have you ever produced a film or do you plan to produce any films? 

Yes, I am a writer/director/producer. I have a few films under my belt including a feature. I have a couple of features in development and a fun short in post at the moment. So, as a filmmaker myself, I understand a lot of what other filmmakers go through and we approach our way of running the festival from the perspective of what we look for when we go to a film festival. How would we want to be treated? That informs a lot of our decisions. There’s a lot of respect for our filmmakers and talent. 

Thank for your time. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

Thank you very much for having me and bringing attention to Lady Filmakers!

Photos are courtesy of “Lady Filmakers”

More information about Lady Filmakers

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