Name: Elena Rossini
Job/Company: Independent filmmaker, photographer, and multimedia developer.
Brief description of what you do in your role:
I wear many hats and I'm involved in several projects, which share a common trait: the desire to challenge the status quo.
When it comes to film, I produce, write, direct, shoot, edit, and even create motion graphics. I covered all these roles for my latest film: The Illusionists, a 90-minute documentary about the globalization of beauty ideals, with filming locations in eight countries, across four continents. I just completed the film and it’s set to premiere later this year.
Why does it make you feel powerful?
The relationship between power and the way we present ourselves is very close to my heart. For the longest time, I had problems being taken seriously in the world of film. There aren't many visible examples of young female filmmakers and whenever I had to pitch projects to production companies, TV stations, or simply present myself at industry gatherings, I would receive patronizing responses and hear phrases like, "You don't look like a film director." For years, whenever I introduced myself as a filmmaker, I would immediately hear the follow-up question: "Oh, are you a film student?" My male colleagues–even those younger than me–never had the same kind of treatment. I have to confess it made me feel self-conscious, and for a while I tried to underplay my femininity by cutting my hair shorter and wearing gender-neutral clothes, like polo shirts and jeans. And you know what's interesting? It didn't make a difference at all! I would still be asked if I was a film student.
Completing a feature-length film virtually all by myself gave me a boost of confidence. There's something that clicked in me, as if I unquestionably earned a badge of film director. Ever since that happened, I reverted back to a look dear to me: skirts, kitten-heeled boots, and long hair. This particular outfit invariably cheers me up: the words "Carpe Diem" are a powerful reminder to be bold. The same goes for the Tattly temporary tattoo "Believe" that I have been keeping on my left forearm for a year now (I bought a big batch of them that I renew every week). I’m reminded that I have to have faith in my abilities, and be daring at the same time.
What advice do you have for balancing self expression while still maintaining a professional look?
When it comes to creative fields, the more original, the better. I'm very lucky in the sense that I have the freedom to express myself with temporary tattoos, without being judged. On occasion, I have to don a more professional look, especially when I’m invited to women’s conferences that have a strict dress code. When that happens, I either rub the tattoos off (that's the advantage of Tattlys), or conceal them under clothes. I love their versatility and the fact I can display a different message on my arms every week. They're great conversation starters. Not a day goes by that I'm not stopped and asked about them!