We caught up with recent Film graduate, Massimiliano Folgheraiter, who has been accepted onto the MFA in Film and Television Production at University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Congratulations on your place on the MFA next year! Why did you decide to study at USC?
Yes, I have been accepted to the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles for a MFA in Film and Television Production! I decided to apply to USC while I was doing the semester abroad in Los Angeles during my third year at Kent. I knew it was very hard to get into that course, since they only accept 2% of candidates for a class of 60 people and it is considered the best American Film School in many rankings. During the first days of the Italian lockdown in 2020, I moved back to Italy and had plenty of time to prepare my graduate application.
Could you tell us a little bit more about your term abroad in LA?
I moved to LA in August 2019. Cal State Long Beach has a great program in Film and I was able to take four modules including film editing (they edit with Premiere while at Kent, we edit with Final Cut), Italian Cinema, Television Studio Production (a great module about broadcasting) and directing. The latter was fundamental for my personal growth. It was taught by Annette Haywood-Carter, who directed both Angelina Jolie and Leonardo Di Caprio in her career. The module gave me the confirmation that a directing career is what I want to follow, and it was Annette herself that suggested me to apply to USC in the first place.
One of the main reasons I chose the University of Kent was the opportunity to spend a term/year abroad, so I already knew from the beginning that I wanted to go to Los Angeles.
Would you recommend a term abroad? How did you find the whole experience?
Of course I recommend a term abroad to students that are considering it. Since I am Italian, my entire experience at Kent was itself a long period abroad and I think it is necessary to increase one’s personal growth and to learn more about new cultures and people. I know it is difficult to start all over again in different places and probably it is better to spend an entire year abroad because if you only spend one term, the moment you get accustomed is the moment you have to go back home. However, the term abroad is great and was my choice because it allows you to spend a period abroad without adding one more year to your degree. In my case, the term abroad was fundamental to understand that LA is the place in which I want to study, and possibly work someday, and it is the reason why I applied to USC.
Congratulations on the nominations in numerous festivals for your short film, ‘The Voice Within My Silence’! Could you tell us a little bit about the film and how it all came about?
My passion for directing that I developed during my years at Kent led me after graduation being nominated at several film festivals including the including the Rome Independent Prisma Awards and the Global Indie Film Fest for my short film, The Voice Within my Silence. The short film, which I directed for my ‘Microbudget Filmmaking: Fiction’ module during my last term at Kent, is the story of a singer who loses her voice after a vocal chord surgery and discovers that the sign language can be a new way to express her feelings through music.
My short film, The Voice Within My Silence, that I made with my fellow classmates Andreea Vijulan and Lorenzo Gianni, will be available on my YouTube channel after the mid of April, since it just finished its festival run. However, on my YouTube channel, you can watch Blue, the first short film inspired by true events that I made with Marisol Bassino and Wassiq J. Ahmed during my second year at Kent for the Genre Filmmaking module; Blue was nominated at the American Student Film Festival.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the immediate future are organising my departure for the US, as I will start my MFA at the end of August. Professionally speaking, I aspire to become a film director and I believe USC is another step into the right direction. However, I was offered this opportunity also because of the great education I received at Kent and, in particular, the support I received from Lawrence Jackson, for which I am very grateful.
You can keep up to date with Max’s work on his YouTube channel and also on Instagram @maxfolgo.