I haven’t the slightest clue of how I ended up here, in this sector, doing precisely what I do. Well, yes, of course, I know perfectly well how the story unraveled, but I seriously would never have imagined that 12 years back, I, Claudia Biondini would be a Director.
I was born in 1984 in Milano, Italy and the local television at that time was run by none-other than the world renown Berlusconi with showgirls and soccer teams, and more soccer and more showgirls… Unfortunately, Italian television had started to become rather trashy… except from Commercials. Italian commercials were really rare jewels, real pieces of Art!
I have this memory of me, a 4-years-old girl in her linen shorts, watching television, actually GLUED to the TV screen watching a bread commercial and feeling completely enchanted. I found myself remembering how curious I was, as I wondered how on earth could they create such a magical shot – FOR A BREAD commercial, nevertheless!
I have to thank my parents, as we were not allowed to watch television too much as children, so I started to watch my father’s videocassettes – D’essai – compulsively: I went through Buñuel, Hitchcock and Risi. A love spell for images in motion awakened in me. The symbolism and the ability to compose a frame that is eternal, poetic and enchanting, and also very comforting, like the world feels like a better place.
Being an Italian, another awakening for me was food, food and more food.
My two grandmothers who were both very strong, Italian women, passed along the tradition of adoration for food. From a very young age they taught me the necessary skills to cook, and not just cook, but excel in cooking. At 13, I was already capable of baking and preparing various meals. Which is more normal nowadays, but was not so normal back in the 90’s.
I love being surrounded by colourful, luscious CIBO and the ability to cook for myself and other people. Discovering new ingredients and experimenting in the kitchen is another love spell that overbears the way I look at shopping in the food market. Cooking is the first – and the easiest – way to express my love. It makes me realize now how much the women in my family have shaped my life. Thanks to what my mum and nannas taught me I am able to finally express myself and become the woman they were not allowed to fully be.
Photo: private archive
It took me several years of traveling, exploring the world, and experiencing life, mainly focusing on myself independently, away from family & the city where I grew up: Milano. After the confusing, studying period at University (I can officially admit that at this point in my life), my traveling period of getting to know myself better and learning what I need to feel like I fit into this world, I finally understood what my calling is.
Buenos Aires – 2008 – a vision came to me, and this is where it all started. I was almost 30 years old and had no clue what I would do with my life and I was completely fine with it. For the first time ever, it felt good to feel the uneasiness of not knowing and to be 100% completely coherent and at ease with the fact. I’ve allowed myself to be lost, to be vulnerable, and to trust my intuitive side, which is by far my most advanced skill.
Everything from that moment there in Buenos Aires – a series of coincidences, people I met who helped me (a lot of women by the way), and random opportunities – had led me to becoming a Director.
I am striving for beyond average and sharing my passions, my loves and my hopes through images: creating that same piece of art work I found so many years ago in that bread commercial that left me in AWE at such a young age, and I hope that you will choose to follow this path along with me.
My love spell with images in motion, scrumptious colourful food and the creations that can come from it, my passion and knowledge for food and the creativity behind creating and presenting a meal, is all what led me to this moment in my life.
Looking back now, I think to myself: how fast it all fell into place. I started to sell cakes in restaurants (yes it’s true!), then write cookbooks and teach people how to cook and work as a personal chef, then I became a foodstylist, and after just 1 year I started to work in a directors’ duo – with a more experienced director – and yes, that was the hardest part, and also the most amusing. I had basically no clue of what this job was! But I had people trusting in my talent, in my passion and my vision, and I am very thankful for them believing in my love spells.
Nothing is easy in life, and my process was not a simple feat. But looking back, there was absolutely no other way to do it, I was driven by absolute passion for images and vision but did not know how this job was done! Maybe no one knows it at all honestly, but as a Woman, it felt even more frightening and challenging.
I remember so many evenings entering my home, crying after doing a set because of the accumulated stress and tensions or the anxiety attacks that I had when I had to speak in public and perform as a perfect Cicerone! But I survived, I followed my passions and I lived through the scary parts.
One of the reasons all of this happened to me was that I felt I wasn’t really allowed to show who I truly am. I wasn’t allowed by my mental heritage, nor did I have the courage or brilliant female examples in this field to follow in their footsteps. I felt my most feminine and sensitive side had to remain hidden in order to do the job correctly. HOW WRONG WAS I !? This is not true at all!
This job is made by a mixture of skills and the best way to do it is your own way. The more you know yourself, the more you will be able to express and find a unique vision that can enrich the world of images.
Now it is time to let the energy that is deep inside of me glow and grow; it’s a long way, but it’s worth it.
Having the knowledge and experiences that I’ve gained in today’s world, I truly believe that the more we allow this feminine side to be revealed, supported and integrated, the more we are able to shape a new way of working and interacting together. Things are changing and I can’t wait to show it through my work.