Keep On Filming: Communications Alumna Caterina Fassina
Alumna Caterina Fassina grew up in Milan and studied foreign languages and literature in high school. She participated in the dual degree program in Communications between JCU and the Università degli Studi di Milano. Caterina is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Cinema, Television, and Multimedia Production at the University of Bologna.
How’s life after graduation?
I’ve recently finished Figlie, a documentary about Italian women, and I hope to promote it during film festivals. I am also producing and hosting Pachiderma Podcast on Spotify with two other JCU alumni, and we will launch it in September. It’s fair to say that life after graduation is rich in challenges and accomplishments, especially for those who graduated with a degree in Communications.
You’re currently pursuing a master’s degree in Cinema, Television, and Multimedia Production at the University of Bologna. How and why did you choose this program?
When I first moved to Rome, I was pursuing a journalism career. I was highly determined and did great work with JCU’s student-run newspaper The Matthew and Professor Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez, who is the paper’s advisor. One day, my friend and JCU alumnus Sandro Turchioe took me to the Communications TV studio to film a project he was working on. He put me in front of the camera with other students and told me to improvise. I fell in love with the camera and the process. Little by little, through projects and collaborations, I realized I had a lot to say, and written journalism wasn’t enough for me. I needed a holistic approach to storytelling, which involved writing, images, and music. This graduate program allows me to explore the multifaceted world of storytelling and gives me time to work on my projects.
You were a Staff Writer at The Matthew, and a freelance writer at Artwave.it. How did you become passionate about writing?
The honest answer would be that I don’t know, and it also happened in a clumsy way. I always had an empathetic and deeply sensitive side, accompanied by a rational mind. Before being introduced to film techniques, writing was my end goal. I was more focused on my abilities rather than on communicating something. When I came to JCU, I found out “I could write with a camera.” Now, writing has become a tool among others to achieve a connection with the audience. I believe writing becomes more honest and less judgmental when we forget mannerisms and focus on sharing a concept or an emotion. Now, I hardly write anything if I do not intend to share or transform it into a screenplay or documentary. Even personal experiences or what happens to my friends are excellent starting points for developing a fictional or journalistic story.
Which JCU classes and/or professors impacted you the most and why? How did your classes at JCU prepare you for graduate studies?
All my Communications professors truly impacted my understanding of myself and the world. Professors Antonio Lopez, Peter Sarram, Elizabeth Macias Gutierrez, Kwame Phillips, Marco Ferrari, and Donatella Della Ratta challenged my opinions, works, and worldviews. They helped me realize that ambivalence between reason and emotion is a talent rather than a flaw. I once submitted a treatment? for an audio-visual project, and Professor Ferrari told me there was something I wasn’t telling myself and my audience. He told me I should dig deeper. I trusted him, and it is the work I’m most proud of, even today. At that moment, I started thinking about studying Cinema.
What are your plans for the future?
Networking in my field is crucial. Also, I’m having fun producing and hosting Pachiderma Podcast. Pachiderma is a podcast on Spotify I am producing with two other JCU alumnae: Eleonora Scaiola, who co-hosts with me, and Martina Ianni, our post-production genius. Looking at the Italian podcast world, I noticed a lack of young female voices who discuss current events in a non-stereotypical way. As Italian women, we are often bound by social expectations to have it all figured out. Instead, our intent is to inform while being completely honest, allowing ourselves to make mistakes and change our viewpoints. We like to think of it as a safe space without the sometimes violent and judgemental approach we experience on many platforms and in real life, especially as women and feminists. There are no taboo topics or opinions with our guests, which I think is a first for an Italian podcast hosted by women. You can find a new episode on Spotify every Saturday, starting on September 17.
I’m also writing a tv series, and I definitely want to participate in film festivals with some short films and see what happens. Fun is another essential component of creative jobs because you’re facing crazy hours, especially in the beginning. It’s challenging because sometimes you feel stuck. Countless times I think I’ll never be able to pay my bills. Still, I’m too young to give up, and I’ll keep at it as long as I’m laughing.