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2020 Festival Interview: Mindful Dating

Julie DeStefano explores the 2020 online dating culture with the film "Mindful Dating"

7 Oct , 2020  

Written by Hope Johnson | Posted by:

NewEnglandFilm.com talks with Julie DeStefano about her film Mindful Dating, which screens in the 2020 Online New England Film Festival.

Julie DeStefano explores the 2020 online dating culture in her latest film Mindful Dating. The film screens online as part of the 2020 Online England Film Festival.

NewEnglandFilm.com: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker? 

Julie DeStefano: I always loved films and was fascinated by the process of making them. I studied communication/media arts in college where I learned to produce, shoot and edit videos. I interned at a local access media center where I received my first hands-on experience in production.

NewEnglandFilm.com: What inspired you to make your film?

DeStefano: I was reflecting on dating experiences and realized how a first date can feel like a job interview in some ways. We ask questions to find out about the other person. We may have a predetermined set of expectations of our ideal significant other. And as we get to know someone, we evaluate our compatibility with the person to see if the relationship has the possibility of being long-term. 

NewEnglandFilm.com: How did you find your cast and crew for this film?

DeStefano: I found most of my cast and crew through newenglandfilm.com. The rest were friends, co-workers, and people I worked with on past productions. 

NewEnglandFilm.com: Any advice on making films you want to share?

DeStefano: Preparation is everything when it comes to filmmaking. The more you prepare ahead of time the less obstacles you’ll face down the road. It also helps to have a Plan B for when unexpected circumstances do arise. 

NewEnglandFilm.com: How does your film fit into today’s current social and political moment?

DeStefano: It touches on Internet dating, which is how a lot of people meet these days. It also indicates that most information you find out about a person on the Internet is on the surface until you meet them in person and form deeper connections.

NewEnglandFilm.com: What do you hope people take away from watching your film? 

DeStefano: My hope is for people to have an increased awareness of how they may be judging someone early in the dating process. They can reflect on their own dating criteria and question if they are flexible enough or too stringent. The problem with having too many expectations is it could close you off from potential partners who could end up being right for you. On the other hand, expectations could save you from being in a relationship that wouldn’t work in the long term. The idea is to have expectations but keep an open mind at the same time. 

NewEnglandFilm.com: Anything else you want to share that might be of interest to our readers?

DeStefano: I am grateful for having the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals on this project. Filmmaking relies heavily on strong teamwork and this film would not have happened without the hard work from a talented cast and crew.


Mindful Dating screens at the 2020 Online New England Film Festival at NewEnglandFilm.com.