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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Filmmaker Lucia Grillo Launches New Show

Lucia Grillo with her vegan
cacio pepe at NYC's Osteria 57
One of Italian Cinema Today's frequent collaborators and favorite female filmmakers, Lucia Grillo, recently launched Lucia’s Vegan Lifestylea new show dedicated to one of her passions- plant-based living. In talking with her about this new venture, I was surprised and thrilled to learn that a conversation between the two of us planted the seed for the project.

I've admired Lucia for her activism since we met four years ago. Since then, she has been my go-to person whenever I've wanted to approach an interview or story with her unique point-of-view. A couple examples include our in-depth interview with Irene Dionisio, filmmaker and director of the LGBTQ Visions Film Festival and a special story on animal welfare that was inspired by actress Claudia Zanella's veganism. 

I asked Lucia about this new venture and where her stories can be seen.

What is Lucia’s Vegan Lifestyle?
Lucia’s Vegan Lifestyle is a show that focuses on the all-around vegan lifestyle: from daily living to special events. As people are becoming more conscious – environmentally, health-wise, and about animal cruelty in the various consumer industries: food, fashion, cosmetics, etc. – veganism is becoming more popular and more diffuse, people are more open and at least experimenting. 

Tell me a little about your experiences that led up to this show.
A near-lifelong vegan (vegetarian from age 12 and vegan since 1996), it is my normal, and I hadn’t been very involved in the vegan movement… until I had an opportunity to produce culinary segments for a cable program I was working on. I informed the station that I am vegan therefore would not promote any animal-based dishes, and they went with it, giving me carte blanche. The station itself has a reach of 7.3 million broadcast households in the New York metro area and my vegan segments have had over 45,000 individual views (and growing) once uploaded to YouTube – a record for the specific show’s viewership as well as for the station, so I knew it was something for which there is a demand. 

What is the mission of Lucia’s Vegan Lifestyle?
The mission of the show is to facilitate compassionate living – for vegans, non-(yet)-vegans, and the vegan curious – the go-to resource for those who want to live sustainably, without compromising the Earth and its sentient creatures, and without compromising taste.

Pane e Cicoria during our Roman Vegan Foodie Adventures
How did the venture get started?
Actually, you sparked the seed for the show! Talking with you about veganism when we met up in New York and Rome and the transition from vegetarian to full vegan, you suggested I do a show dedicated to the vegan lifestyle. It stayed on my mind since then, and when another friend (a non-vegan) suggested I do a vegan lifestyle show, I picked up the camera and put my skills to use. I so far have episodes on where to get vegan shoes in New York City, Jamaican vegan food in Brooklyn, vegan skin care and makeup sessions, coverage of this year’s Animal Rights March, an interview with Dustin Harder/The Vegan Roadie’s book, “Epic Vegan,” a forthcoming series on new and secret places to eat in Los Angeles and so much more. 

Where can people see your stories?
The show currently “airs” on the Lucia’s Vegan Lifestyle Instagram “channel” and Facebook page, both @luciaveganlifestyle. The goal is for it to air on television so the pilot is in development. 

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