March 10, 2017

This year’s Sundance Film Festival included a panel discussion on Women in Film, a topic that the New York Film Academy has discussed often and broken down in an infographic. Among the panel members was current producing student Daniela Lavender, who is already a successful actress and producer in the business.

“I went empowered by knowledge,” said Lavender. “For the first time, instead of thinking of how I’m perceived or whether I’m being accepted or all these ego-driven thoughts we invariably conjure up in situations like this, I was able to listen because I had knowledge; I knew why I was there and what I had to offer. That knowledge had been enhanced by my joining the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.”

Born in Bahia, Brazil, Daniela Lavender has been training and pursuing the arts since the age of eight. She began by exploring ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance, and eventually stepped into acting. Her theatre credits include a British Shakespeare company production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” playing Hippolyta and Titania and a one-woman show, “A Woman Alone,” written by Dario Fo. From there, she went on to appear in film and TV series, including the independent film “Emotional Backgammon,” where she was awarded Best Actress at the Denver Film Festival.

As vice president of Lavender Pictures Productions, which she co-owns with her husband Sir Ben Kingsley, her company has produced “A Birder’s Guide to Everything,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival 2013 and was awarded the Heineken first runner up audience award; “Learning to Drive,” directed by Isabel Coxiet, which won the Audience Award at Provincetown Film Festival; “An Ordinary Man,” directed by Brad Silberling; and “Backstabbing for Beginners,” directed by Per Fly, which will be released in 2017. Lavender Pictures is currently developing “Cousin Bazilio,” a 6-part mini-series; “TAJ,” an 8-part mini-series; and “Jutland,” a futuristic war drama.

“All the successful women I came across were successful because they were outstanding at what they did,” said Lavender in regards to the women at Sundance. “Yes, the fight for women’s rights is important as women have been discriminated against in the past, and still have room to progress until they are treated equally in every area of society, but nowadays we all have opportunities, and the most powerful way to succeed is to be great at what you do.”

Lavender’s company currently has two TV miniseries and a war film in development. She also plans on shooting two films as an actress, one in March called “Nomis,” and another one in April called “Intrigo,” directed by Daniel Alfredson (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Trilogy).