World traveler Valeria Rotella is by no means your average film student. Although only a freshman in the Tisch School of the Arts, Rotella has already scored an internship with a documentary film production company. Her big black tote not only holds her academic necessities but has also been halfway around the world.
Rotella’s short summer excursions in 2012 weren’t exactly touristy beach vacations. She crossed Rome, Copenhagen and Madrid, among other cities, off her travel list. Besides her vacations, she’s lived all around the world. Rotella was born in San Diego, Calif., but has lived in Argentina, France, Spain and finally Washington, D.C., before starting college in New York. The contents of her bag reflect her worldliness and her aspirations as a film student.
Italo Calvino’s “Lezioni Americane”
A family friend gave Rotella Calvino’s book of transcribed lectures, which are an important read for anyone who aspires to work in the arts.
“It’s in Italian, which is a bit of a challenge, but I’m piecing it together,” Rotella said.
Rotella speaks three languages, none of which are Italian. She has been using a dictionary as well as her knowledge of French and Spanish to read the book in its original, untranslated form. “I think reading might be a bit of an exaggeration,” Rotella said.
Movie ticket stubs
As a student who plans to work in film, it’s only logical that Rotella watches movies frequently. A thick wad of ticket stubs from theaters both in New York City and Washington, D.C., are in the crevices of her wallet, including a hefty proportion of this past Oscar season’s nominees.
“I have tickets for probably everything I’ve seen since June,” Rotella said. “Sometimes I’ll reach in and pull one out and I’ll think, ‘Oh, I remember seeing that.’ Or I won’t, which probably doesn’t speak very highly of that film.”
Rotella keeps busy with work. When she isn’t in her room blasting European dance music or the occasional ’90s hip-hop while completing her Writing the Essay homework, she is in front of her computer with headphones on, polishing her film projects for class.
“I always try to keep a USB card on me in case I need to go to the editing lab,” Rotella said.
“I have an interest in cinema verite, in adapting real life for film,” Rotella said. “Right now, my focus is on writing and producing for TV.”
A version of this article appeared in the April 15 print edition. Ariana DiValentino is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]