MAYA ALBANESE, DIRECTOR

HISTORY

 
 

HISTORY, GEORGIA PACIFIC

A diverse set of underdogs - a gay couple, a teenager with down syndrome, and an undocumented immigrant, each receive letters that change their lives forever.

Some press about this spot can be found here on SHOOT MAG: The Best Work You May Never See

 
 

Let It out

Let it out - Nomore.org

Melissa St. Vil is a champion boxer who should be known for her skills in the boxing ring, but instead the media has focused on her being a victim. In 2009, she was assaulted and almost killed by her then-trainer, Roger Mayweather. She was rushed to the hospital and treated for injuries from strangulation. The legal system debated his case for two years in a very public trial. He ended up accepting a generous plea deal that didn't include a single hour of jail time. It turns out that Melissa comes from an upbringing saturated with violence, including being assaulted by members of her own family. But the most important part of her story, which no one has depicted yet, is how Melissa has overcome darkness and found power through pro sports. Now, she wants to empower others going through similar dark experiences or struggling with painful memories, by encouraging them to stand up for themselves, let it all out, speak their mind, and push hard for their dreams. "Let it Out" is a poetic meditation written and directed by Maya Albanese and narrated by Melissa, which expresses the feelings that a sexual assault victim may go through, and how they may rise above. Yes, Melissa St. Vil is a victim. But, she is also a HERO.

Written & Directed By: Maya Albanese

Featuring: Melissa St. Vil

Produced By: Jonathan Biebl of Go Atticus, Inc

Director of Photography: Catherine Goldschmidt

 
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RITUALS, Manchester United

 

MEET AMANI

Amani runs 10 to 15 miles in the middle of the night to get to the famous pub in Hermosa Beach where every single Manchester United soccer match is broadcast. Because of the time zone change, this means waking up at 3:30 am and running for a 7:00 am match start. She never misses a match.

 
 

IBM WOMEN

 
 

IBM WOMEN - "YOU CAN'T BE WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE"

To commemorate IBM winning a Catalyst Award for its historically progressive policies towards women & diversity, Maya directed this spot showcasing how the company is working to change the gender gap in tech.

 
 

Dania RAmirez, a CINDERELLA IMMIGRATION STORY

 
 

WATCH THE STORY OF LATINA ACTRESS, DANIA RAMIREZ & FAMILY

Maya Albanese directed this spot for JCPenney to showcase the power and potential of immigration to America. Dania Ramirez was just 10 years old when she immigrated to America with next-to-nothing. She didn't even speak English. Today, she is a successful actress playing Cinderella on "Once Upon a Time" and she has her own Dominican-American family with film director, John Bev Land, in the beautiful city of Los Angles. 

 

 
 
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Generations, kids foot locker

Romy Samuel is Sneaker Mama! Maya found and directed this story of a woman sneaker collector whose love has been passed down for generations. Romy was the only woman featured in the Kids Foot Locker series and is an inspiration to women who love street style and sneaker collecting worldwide.

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Chef Nyesha Arrington is a rising star in the Los Angeles dining chef. The former Chef de Cuisine of Leona in Venice Beach is now on the precipice of opening two new much-anticipated restaurants. Nyesha comes from a family of artists and tells us why she feels she has found her own true artistic calling in food.

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CHEF REBECCEA MERHEJ - NIKE WOMEN

Chef Rebecca Merhej is the Chef de Cuisine at Love & Salt, a unique and delicious take on Italian food located in Manhattan Beach, California. Rebecca tells us how her Lebanese heritage has influenced her cooking and why her cultural legacy guided her into her life's calling.

artist IVETTE CABRERA, John frieda

THE STORY OF WYNWOOD FINE ARTIST IVETTE CABRERA

Ivette Cabrera came to the United States when she was just three years old on her mother's back, floating on a tire, to escape the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. Today, Ivette creates fine art and murals in Wynwood Miami arts district. Her portraits focus on female wisdom, history, and power — and much of that inspiration originated from her own background and evolution into adulthood.

 
 

SYLVIA's HARLEM - KETEL ONE

 

Heirloom Episode 3

To say that Sylvia’s in Harlem is a landmark would be an understatement. When the late Sylvia Woods opened her namesake restaurant in 1962, she put in motion a legacy that continues today. Sylvia’s defined soul food and put Harlem on the map for people who had never tasted it or set foot uptown before. The restaurant is still a draw for locals and food critics alike.

 
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LA GUELAGUETZA - KETEL ONE

WATCH HEIRLOOM EPISODE 1 HERE

You'll find no shortcuts at Guelaguetza restaurant in Los Angeles — no US-made tortillas in the kitchen, no chain-store Michelada mix behind the bar. Guelaguetza, in the Koreatown part of Los Angeles, takes real pride in bringing Oaxacan culture and food to hungry customers. Co-owner Bricia Lopez blames it on her family's perfectionism: "If we didn't care about the level of detail that goes into every dish, we would lose the essence of who we are," she says.

Owners Fernando Lopez and Maria Monterrubio came to the US with little money, speaking no English, yet they knew they wanted to open their own restaurant, serving their traditional Oaxacan recipes. With hard work, their family restaurant turned into a mini Oaxacan empire in Los Angeles, earning praise from critics like Johnathan Gold to mainstream media like Oprah magazine. When the recession hit the restaurant business, Lopez and her brother and sister decided to buy the restaurant from their parents to keep the traditions alive. The family's crowning achievement: winning a James Beard Award in 2015.

Feast on chapulines a la Mexicana (that's right, grasshoppers) while you sip on a cocktail, order the mole (it's the house specialty, for good reason), and stay for awhile — it's the way the family owners intended you to enjoy Oaxacan food.

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ANTOINE'S OF NEW ORLEANS - KETEL ONE

WATCH THE FULL FILM HERE

Antoine’s was serving crawfish and French delicacies to the gentility of New Orleans in 1840, and it has since withstood everything from the Civil War to Hurricane Katrina. Patrons today can still enjoy French-inspired cuisine while taking in Antoine’s green, gold, and fleur-de-lis splendor. Rick Blunt, the CEO of Antoine’s Restaurant, carries on the legacy of his great-great-grandfather by serving 100-year old recipes in New Orleans’ French Quarter. From Blunt’s mother, affectionately known as "Grande Dame," to members of the waitstaff who have taken over their parents' jobs, Antoine’s is full of strong characters and even stronger tradition.

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