Monday, Dec 20, 2021
Short film wins Best Music Video, selected for LA Independent Women Film Awards
by Rachel Stengel '14, '20
Victoria Grisanzio ’21 was shocked to learn that a music video she filmed and edited won Best Music Video at the Florence Film Awards. She had no idea the video was even up for nomination.
Sabrina Iacobellis ’18, the video’s director and producer, decided to submit the video to a few festivals and surprise her collaborators in the event that they won. The Florence Film Awards recognizes outstanding films in more than 30 categories internationally each month.
“This is the first project that I’ve ever produced and directed that I’ve won an award for,” Iacobellis says. “I was super excited and proud of what we were able to put together.”
Titled Satori: The Film, the music video is a short film that features six songs from recording artist BÜK’s debut EP. The video was produced by Iacobellis’ production company, Leo Szn Productions. When thinking about who would shoot the video, she reached out to Grisanzio. Iacobellis studied dance at Rider, while Grisanzio was a film and television major with a minor in dance.
“I didn’t even know Victoria was a film major until I saw some of her work online after she graduated,” Iacobellis says. “I reached out to ask for a sample of her work, and she became the project’s director of photography.”
The project grew into a Rider-alumni dominated one. Grisanzio introduced Iacobellis to Bryce Parks ’21, film and television major, and fellow co-founder/creator for Crash Content, a production company comprised of Rider alumni. Parks served as co-editor and oversaw visual effects on the project with Grisanzio. Jack Olear ’18, a business administration major, was an actor in the film as well.
Satori: The Film was recently selected for the LA Independent Women Film Awards.
“I’ve always wanted to open my own production company so that I can employ women, tell women’s stories and do projects I thought were important,” Iacobellis says. “We need more women in the industry, and we’re proud to be recognized among other talented women.”
Both Iacobellis and Grisanzio see their futures in film and continue to work with their respective production companies. Iacobellis has also been performing as an actor and recently authored a children’s book. Over the summer, Grisanzio had the opportunity to work as the production supervisor for the feature film Stargazer, which was shot on Rider’s campus by Mountain Muse Production. About 10 Rider students or current alumni were featured in the movie or worked in roles assisting the production.
Their dance background influences their work. Embracing spontaneity and camerawork feels like choreography, Grisanzio says.
“We’re storytellers,” she says. “You put us in any medium — we’ll master the art of telling a good story.”