- CULVER CITY, Calif.
Director Emilie Silvestri, whose client list includes Lyft, National Geographic, Zacapa Rum, and the New York City Ballet, has joined Contagious for spots and branded content. Silvestri’s work spans narrative and documentary filmmaking, supported by beautiful imagery rooted in her background as a cinematographer shooting all over the world, mostly on independent fiction films. The signing with Contagious marks the first production company affiliation for Silvestri as a director.
“There’s a unique, thoughtful rhythm to Emilie’s work,” said Contagious executive producer Natalie Sakai. “Her fluency in two very visual languages--cinematography and dance--makes her a powerful storyteller, adding intentional movement, and breathing life into her films.” Sakai discovered the director while watching a short film about two aquaculturists, The Sea Farmers, that Silvestri helmed for the Maine Aquaculture Association. “Emilie crafts emotive, energetic and visually stunning stories,” said Sakai. “Signing her was kismet, and very organic, because our roster focuses on growing storytellers, and Emilie shares a common circle of talented friends, including Brandon (Bray, also on the Contagious roster).”
“Over the past few years, I’ve been able to see firsthand the care Contagious takes in developing its directors, and the growth the company itself has experienced,” said Silvestri, who studied English Literature and Japanese before earning her Graduate Film MFA at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore. She has directed several short films in addition to working as cinematographer on narrative films shot in Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, China, Guatemala, Norway, and the United States. Her first narrative short, Teinen, was shot on location in Tokyo and premiered at Aspen ShortsFest.
“I’m attracted to passion,” Silvestri explained. “Regardless of the medium, I draw inspiration from those totally committed to their sport, art, or craft.” Indeed, Silvestri’s branded work for Zacapa (profiling a photographer for International Women’s Day), New York City Ballet (the process of a visual journalist for its 2020 Art Series), and Lyft (exploring the road to recovery via the brand’s philanthropic partner N Street Village), exemplify her dexterity with style, pacing and tone, yet each is infused with fervor and intimacy.
Originally from New York City, Silvestri divides her time between there and Portland, Maine, where she finds it “inspiring to have such beautiful nature and landscapes so close by,” working on narrative and documentary films, television, commercials and branded content. Her graduation thesis film, April In Winter, was shot in the north woods of Maine and premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. April In Winter won the First Place Panavision Gold Circle Award from the Caucus Foundation for Directors & Writers in Los Angeles and was a Wasserman Award Finalist.
Silvestri joins a Contagious roster that includes directors Bray, Andrew Laurich, James Mann, Jeff Jenkins, and Tamara Rosenfeld.
Contagious is a WBEC certified woman-owned and NMSDC certified minority-owned company.