By Ozzi Ramirez
Let’s give a warm welcome to new NYWIFT member Amanda DiMartino! Amanda is a director, producer, and editor committed to audience engagement. Some of her career highlights include collaborations with brands such as Harper’s Bazaar, Peloton, NBCUniversal, SYFY, Complex, KIDZ BOP, The Berlin Film Festival, Standard and Poor’s, and The Hollywood Reporter. Altogether, the 500-plus videos she has worked on have garnered more than one billion clicks and views while generating more than $1 million in revenue.
Additionally, Amanda has participated in the production of the short films Kissing Kerouac, Plunder, Gone But Not Too Far, and Taffy, directing the latter!
She spoke to us about working with Bad Bunny and Usher, and why exploration is key to success!
Tell us about yourself – Give us your elevator pitch!
Hello! My name is Amanda DiMartino and I am a Queer Director, Producer, and Editor from New York. I have created content ranging from commercials to one-woman band social media videos.
As a director, editor and producer you have worked on over 500 videos and your content has garnered more than one billion clicks! That’s quite impressive! What keeps you going?
I really love what I do and think it is so important to be passionate about the work you create. As a creative person working on content a lot of the time, sometimes it can become monotonous. And that is why I always try to foster a creative, diverse, and fun environment. We’re all here because we thought it was fun at one point, right?
As of today, what are some of your career highlights? What has been your most rewarding experience so far?
I truly feel like every project I do has its highlights. However, if I had to choose one, I would say it was directing a video for Harper’s BAZAAR that features Bad Bunny and was shot in Puerto Rico. That video had many challenges, one being that it is entirely in Spanish and the concept changed one day prior to shooting. However, I am so proud of how it came out and very thankful to the incredible crew who helped me create it!
My most rewarding experience so far has been directing KIDZ BOP’s “7 Rings” music video. I had to cast five additional extras for the video, and for a lot of them, it was their first time on a “big set.” They were so appreciative to be there, and it was incredible to work with young talent thrilled for the opportunity. It also helps that this was definitely one of my favorite videos to work on.
You’ve worked with some familiar faces while creating a lot of your content. What are some of your most memorable encounters?
I’ve had a couple, but one of my favorites has to be Usher. I directed and produced a behind-the-scenes video for Peloton’s Dance Cardio class, where he was featured. He was very kind, came over and chatted with me, and told me he loved my sloth necklace.
Two of my other favorites have to be Renee Zellweger and Tessa Thompson. Both of them were so sweet! They asked each one of my crew members’ names and thanked them for their work on set.
The last one who comes to mind is Stephanie Hsu from Everything Everywhere All At Once. She has such good energy! We even had a party where we danced to the Spice Girls!
What brings you to NYWIFT?
I enjoy creating relationships with fellow individuals in this industry. When someone asks me to recommend someone for a role, I love having the ability to pull a bunch of names out of my pocket that I know could help cultivate a more diverse set. Doing so always makes the content stronger.
How did the pandemic shape influence your work experience?
The pandemic truly changed everything. When I got into film, I never thought I would be able to do my job from home and was constantly traveling and working on set for hours, days, weekends, holidays, etc. Then everything stopped and I was suddenly able to stay home and Zoom in to direct. Finally, I was able to decompress and take a much needed rest. Upon doing so, I reflected and created goals for myself.
Between 2020 to 2022, I was able to create more content, work with more talented creatives, direct more pieces, and push myself creatively more than ever before. It was a challenge that I was ready to take on after taking a beat.
What is the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Hmmm. The best advice has to be, “Say yes to everything.” It is the reason why I am where I am today; I keep saying, “Yes.”
The worst advice I have ever received is, “Stay in your lane.” If you don’t explore, you will never know what you are capable of.
Connect with Amanda DiMartino on her website, www.amandadimartino.com.
Welcome to NYWIFT, Toby Perl Freilich! Toby is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and writer, focusing on cultural reporting. Her work explores all sorts of perspectives, from senators to artists, spanning across the world. She co-produced and co-directed Moynihan, a film about the late New York senator, policy expert, and public intellectual. She also directed, produced, and wrote Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, about one of the world's longest running and most successful experiments in radical, secular communal living. Right now, she is producing and directing I Make Maintenance Art: The Work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles about the pioneering ecofeminist and the first Artist in Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation. Read about Toby’s inspiring past and future projects here!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Melisa Ramos! Melisa is a filmmaker and professor from Puerto Rico, bringing 14 years of post-production and motion graphics experience to New York. Her first production, Puerto Rican Voices, a docu-series about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Following Puerto Rican Voices, Melisa continued to share Puerto Rican and Latin American stories. In 2020, she directed and produced From Performers to Spectators, a doc-series showcasing New York City performers during lockdown. She is currently in production on Hoop Warrior, her first feature film. Read all about Melisa’s journey as an editor and artist here!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Victoria Duncan! At age 12, Victoria began making films, struck by her power to engage an audience using her imagination. This led her down an exciting path to SNL, The Blacklist, The Sinner, Vice, and branded content for huge companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon, just to name a few. Her LGBT+ ballet film I Am Enough was adapted for the stage and performed at New York City’s iconic Lincoln Center. She is currently working on the screenplay for a feature film. Victoria walks us through her incredible journey, from her childhood favorite movies to presenting a piece to the United Nations.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Amy Tiong! Amy is a director, writer, and production coordinator whose stories bring underrepresented voices to the forefront. She directs both narrative films and documentaries, which received recognition from Bustle, NBCNews, PictureStart, Coverfly, and the NAACP. The vulnerability in her work empowers others and shines a light on topics such as disordered eating, grief, and sibling love. Amy tells us about working on a microbudget project during pandemic times, collaborating with friends and her new horror immigration feature film, When You’re Ready to Go. Read all about it here!READ MORE