Patricia DiSalvo Viayra Founder Of Lady Filmmakers Film Festival Celebrates Women in Film

By Mandi Renfroe

There is nothing that Patricia DiSalvo Viayra can’t do. Patricia is a writer, filmmaker, director, and a wife. If that’s not inspiration enough, she started and is president of the Lady Filmmakers which presents short and feature length films by women and men. This year they are presenting their third annual Lady Filmmaker Film festival October 14 -16 in Beverly Hills, California. I had the privilege of conducting an interview with Patricia.

CW: Why did you start the Film Festival?

PATRICIA: Lady Filmmakers was inspired after making my first film. I realized how rare it was to have a woman Director of Photography/cinematographer and a woman Director working together on films. This mix is virtually non-existent in the big studio world of filmmaking and thought that this should change. I thought we should inspire change through positive activism. We strive to do this by promoting the celebration of Lady Filmmakers and the men who collaborate with them. We like to show films that are made by women and men of all genres and subject matters. This makes us different because we accept and celebrate films that may have only one woman in a key leadership role of Writer, Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Production Designer, or Editor. Some films are all women department heads and some only have one.

CW: Are you a filmmaker? And if so what films have you accomplished?

PATRICIA: My background is in dance and theatre primarily and three years ago I decided to switch hats and became a filmmaker. I have made three shorts and a few commercials. I also have a TV Sizzle Reel being shopped around at the moment and numerous feature films in development as writer/director.

CW: What advice do you have for women that want to do films?

PATRICIA: Just do it. Don’t be afraid to hire very talented and experienced people that you can learn from. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. Listen to smart successful people in the business when they give you advice and be grateful they have given you their time.

CW: Could give me with details about the film festival?

PATRICIA: We are pleased to have 70 films from 18 countries! We are very proud of this year’s selection of films! We have young filmmakers to the very accomplished including well-known names such as Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Evans, Will Patton, Maria Bello, Olivia Wilde, Rita Wilson, Anna Paquin, Shane Hurlbut, ASC, Tennessee Williams and Ron H Gilbert to name a few…..

Our main programming themes are:
• Ladies Illuminate – films that bring social awareness
• Ladies Kick Butt – films that appeal to a broad audience
• Ladies First – films that are World, US, West Coast, or Los Angeles Premieres
• Young Ladies & Gentlemen – films made by students/youth
• Family Friendly- films appropriate for families with children
• Halloween Teasers- films that are horror, psychological thrillers, scary, creepy, and freaky!

CW: How do you balance your personal life with your business life?

PATRICIA: It’s a challenge that I work on everyday but my husband is very good at making sure we have time just to relax especially when we are in full production mode. But I really love what I am doing so it doesn’t always feel like work.

CW: What does the word courageous mean to you?

PATRICIA: Doing what you think is right and needed no matter what everyone thinks; unwavering pursuits even in the face of danger or strong opposition.

You can visit the website for the Lady Filmmaker Festival here:

About The Author
Mandi Renfroe is 22 years old and has traveled the world with her husband and daughter. She has lived in Korea, Texas and now finally living back home in California. She graduated from Allied University and is working on her first novel.

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