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Rye film student is making waves in Toronto’s film industry

By Samreen Maqsood

For Angelica, also known as angelicamilash, her passion for directing started off at a young age, surrounding herself with local music scenes growing up.

Moving to Canada at the age of 14, Angelica began immersing herself within the industry as soon as she could. But, her love for filmmaking began in her high school careers classroom, when a quote sparked her interest. 

“One of the quotes was, ‘Don’t ask your child what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what kind of problems they want to solve,’” she said.

COURTESY: angelicamilash

Since high school, the third-year film student has hit the ground running. By the end of her first year at Ryerson, Angelica had scored an opportunity with a CBC Gem digital series The 410, as a second assistant director. 

“Directing films is definitely a mode of self expression, but it’s [also] so much more,” said Angelica.

Recently, Angelica was approached by ‘Free,’ an agency that works with the Hudson’s Bay and is powered by The Creator Class. Through ‘Free’, she worked alongside Topshop Canada, directing and editing their latest video campaign. 

“We just wanted to make something that was eye-grabbing [and] that elevates outerwear no matter the location,” said Angelica. “It [should be] relatable, catchy and edgy.”

When filming the campaign, Angelica said that everything was fast paced. It started when they got approval for the campaign on one day and shot it three days later, dropping the video a week later. 

For most of the production, a ‘run-and-gun’ technique was used, which in Angelica’s belief, favoured the energy of the campaign. 

However with Angelica’s success comes several roadblocks, especially in a field as demanding as the film industry. The biggest problem she faced was unpredictability, that anything could go wrong at any time for a planned shoot and it was out of her control.

“There’s no checklist, there’s no formula. The weather could go bad one day and that one shoot you had planned just doesn’t end up working,” she said.

“Directing films is definitely a mode of self expression, but it’s [also] so much more”

Though she was happy with all of her work, there are some days where she feels like she hasn’t lived up to her expectations.

“We don’t give our brain, our bodies or ourselves enough time to let ourselves process certain emotions and accept that you will make mistakes,” she said.

In Angelica’s eyes, there can be stress and pressure when it comes to filmmaking, as creators have a responsibility for the kind of content that gets created and consumed. To overcome those stressful days, Angelica said she tries to keep herself busy by throwing all her attention and energy into new projects.

Another challenge was peoples’ inability to understand the importance and need for film, as according to Angelica, many people have a difficult time wrapping their heads around this industry. 

“To some people it may seem like what kind of problems are you solving? But at the same time, [filmmaking] is a big part of life,” said Angelica.

Angelica is currently represented by HXOUSE,  a creative industries incubator created by The Weeknd, his creative director La Mar C Taylor and the rest of his team, XO. 

“Throughout their journey, the [HXOUSE] team has always put so much thought, detail and passion into the visuals surrounding the music,” said Angelica, who was also recently represented with Mad Ruk Entertainment, taking reigns as their only female director for music video production.

Angelica has also started to appear on well known platforms, such as MTV, BuzzFeed and 6ixBuzz TV, along with many others. 

With more upcoming projects, Angelica  said she wants to strengthen her skills and build onto her strengths, hoping to see the younger generation take a step back and follow their dreams.

The visuals people create resonate with people that view it, said Angelica, as it affects the way people live their everyday lives, from the way they dress and party to falling in love. 

“I can see how influential they’ve been on our generation … passion drives culture.” 

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