NAME: Paula Ortiz
BACKGROUND: High Studies
POSITION: Filmmaker and Screenwriter
My Background and Career
I am Paula Ortiz, I was born in 1979, and I am filmmaker and scriptwriter. I graduated in Spanish Philology in Zaragoza, and I received a Master’s Degree in Film and Television Script Writing in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. I got a doctorate in Art History. I trained in film direction in the Department of Film and Television of the Tisch School of the Arts in New York University (NYU, 2006 and 2007) and in script’ studies in UCLA, main film training centre in California. I took part in the Screenwriters Expo, in Los Angeles (2008), an important meeting and forum for American screenwriters.
I received the prestigious FPU grant of the Ministry of Education in the area of Film Studies. I’m currently a professor in the Faculty of Communication in the University of San Jorge, Zaragoza.
I directed several short films: ‘El Rostro de Ido’ (2003, First Prize in SCIFE), ‘Fotos de Familia’ (2005, selected in the Cannes Film Festival) and ‘El Hueco de Tristan Boj’ (2007, selected in the New York Short Film Festival). My first feature film, ‘De tu ventana a la mia’, which opened in 2012 with great success, won the “Pilar Miro International Award “ for Best New Director in the Seminci of Valladolid, and a FIPRESCI Special Mention of the international critic.
This film had also three nominations to the Premios Goya and a Special Mention to the Director, besides the Mention of the Ministry of Equality in the Festival de Óperas Primas in Tudela.
Among other international awards, the film has received the Special Mention of the Jury in the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Jin Jué Award for Best Music Score. In addition, in the Mons International Festival (Brussels), I won the FEADORA Female Critic International Award. In September, 2014, I finished shooting, in Spain and Turkey, my second film: ‘La novia‘, a free adaptation of ‘Bodas de Sangre‘ by Federico García Lorca, co-produced by Spain, Turkey and Germany.
A film project needs a great financial effort. The economic issue has been very stifling: a great deal of money needs to be invested. In my project I invested my salary, without any guarantee, and I passed up other professional opportunities.
I suffered from tiredness and insecurity. I had to put my team and project rhythms before my own life. I made a great effort and personal sacrifice, and I’ve sometimes felt lonely.
I have to say that one of my criteria to choose my team is to choose those who understand my intention, my philosophy about history, and those who adapt themselves to my way of working. That implies that they bear, in a very masculine world, feminine criteria. Since I started to work ten years ago in the film industry, it is still hard to be listened to because of being female and young. If you want that managers and producers pay attention to you, you have to over-argue and over-prove yourself more than a male counterpart.
I’ve always felt morally supported by my family. The most decisive thing to develop my activity has been their insistence in my training. Enjoying the privilege of having scholarships for training and investigation has allowed me to go on. My sources of inspiration have been many teachers who passed me on their capacity to enjoy and their teaching; and also my parents who gave me books and films.
My abilities: I am able to learn and apply new knowledge in my work. I have no difficulty in sharing and passing on information. I also listen and pay attention to other people’s problems. My personal development through work is important; I like to negotiate and that all people become satisfied. I like to work as a team, to solve problems and find solutions. I am able to make a quick decision, although I don’t hesitate in asking for advice and using the experiences of others.
Among my qualities, I am active, progressive, talkative, critical, cooperative, independent, persistent, theoretical and quickly. I am an open-minded, brave, creative and democratic person. I am sometimes a bit chaotic, spontaneous, with a forward-looking approach, methodical, impatient, insecure, and flexible. I consider myself as a trusting, innovative, optimistic, unpredictable and a more ambitious than humble person.
Hints & Tips
Lucky saying or phrase - “Who has said that everything is lost? I am here to offer my heart…” (Fito Paez)
My advice to other women would be to warn them of the necessity of learning how to assume to leave some of your personal habits. The poet said: “I learnt of spring to be pruned to be able to come complete”.
The self-esteem, the vision of other things and the maturity are aspects which are developed when you set up a new business. You also need to overcome several weaknesses such as tiredness or insecurity. You have to deliver projects with enthusiasm, without concentrating on the self-sacrifices that it implies.