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  • Writer's pictureArmiel Chandler

Culture Spotlight Featuring Daniela Croci

Daniela “Zoe” Croci award-winning filmmaker officially selected at SXSW 2019 with a production company based in Brooklyn New York called Zoe Map Films. “Zoe’s vision captures urban landscapes with a focus on documenting the human experience through the lens of ART, MUSIC & CULTURE.”

Her career pursuits as a filmmaker brought her to New York City where she currently lives and produces music videos, fashion editorial videos, documentaries, and commercials. In 2013 she opened a space for artistic expression and performance called “Exit Room”. The unconventional gallery hosted and supported artists from all over the world and enjoyed a following of art critiques, art buyers, and journalists who always promoted and reviewed her unique projects. In 2017 she started her project "Womxn to The Front", providing a platform for womxn filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians; supporting gender equality with such tremendous impact.  Zoe has produced more than 20 exhibitions and an impressive number of videos and musical performances. She curates events and gatherings to raise awareness on social justice with recurring themes of diversity and racial equality in American culture. Zoe amplifies cultural narratives through the arts and film and connects individuals to the people, and resources they need to create a better future for themselves.

Tell us about your experience at Hip Hop Film Festival? My experience at Hip Hop Film Festival was pretty magical; I felt very honored to be selected for this specific Festival in Harlem. NYC is the birthplace of Hip Hop and wins this award meant everything to me. The Theater chosen for the screenings is amazing and I felt very inspired.

Why are stories from the culture important? Diversity is the identity of this city and highlights unrepresented ethnicities have always been my main focus. It's always been extremely important for me, to connect with the locals and since I moved to NYC I worked specifically with Black People. My passions gravitate all around the culture and I do my best to contribute and pay homage to it; hoping for a quick change of the narrative.

What projects are you working on now? I finished working at several Music Videos and I'm planning a short film. Open to any opportunity that comes my way. Also, I'm the founder of Womxn To The Front, a project that contributes to equalizing the gender imbalance in art, music, and film; giving voice and opportunities to powerful womxn. I curate events, panel discussions, screenings, and performances. Next month I'm also teaching workshops for youth and aspiring womxn creative producers, directors, and video editors.

Why do you think the Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival is important?  I think is extremely important to be connected with what surrounds you and Harlem represents a lot for New York City for the art, music, and culture. This neighborhood is famous worldwide and many want to be part of this reality. Be exposed to these initiatives is a privilege to be selected to this festival. I think this Festival is important to give Hip Hop the complexity of attention and recognition that necessities. Also, many young filmmakers have the possibility to give the audience to their projects and be part of a larger community they always have been dreaming about it.

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