Photo Courtesy of MLE DeJaco
From film festivals in Poland, L.A., Turkey, New York, and all over Florida, communications junior MLE DeJaco has done it all. Her most recent film “What No One Sees” won her second place audience choice in the Palm Beach International Film Festival, as well as second place experimental at the South Florida Student Film Festival, and top five experimental award at the All American High School Film Festival.
“I was always that kid that took the family video camera and recorded random things,” DeJaco said. “Film is a big part of who I am and how I describe myself. I can’t really imagine my life without it.”
Since an early age, DeJaco explained how she was continually intrigued with film. From playing with the camera to eventually making inspirational video to shine some light on the heavy topics there are today, film plays a big role in DeJaco’s life.
“I started getting interested in film when I was about five,” DeJaco said. “My parents sent me to summer camps so I wouldn’t bug them during break, they let me pick which camps I could go to and film camp seemed the most interesting. Even as a little kid I was always known as ‘the kid with the camera.’ Me without film isn’t me at all.”
Down DeJaco’s road of various films, she eventually made “What No One Sees” to show the major issue of child abuse which she entered in many film festivals which ultimately lead to students and teachers seeing this important topic in a new way.
“What No One Sees is a film about child abuse in which the sounds are delayed, but the visuals are in time,” DeJaco said. “The meaning behind this is that when you notice child abuse is happening it is usually too late to stop it.”
Finding the inspiration for this specific film and others is no easy task. Just like writers experiencing “writer’s block” the same can happen to filmmakers trying to find an interesting film topic that is both entertaining and meaningful. And sometimes, this can even require a process, but for DeJaco inspiration came from virtually everything.
“My inspiration comes from everywhere. I tend to make films about sensitive topics, so I usually get ideas through news and what I see everyday in the world, ” DeJaco said. “I also tend to watch T.V. shows and movies and wonder “What if this happened?” and sometimes that inspires me to make a film that answers that question.”
In result of this sort of brainstorming process, most of DeJaco’s films are realistic and have a point to them, whether that be to make an unknown topic more known or to make a well known topic known in a new sort of light.
“I like making films so that I can show people how I see the world. I like how I can tell one story in a million different ways all through film,” DeJaco said. “I like to tell stories that usually are censored or never talked about, it’s a good way to bring light to an overlooked topic. I like to make films to help people see a problem through someone else’s shoes.”