Actor, screenwriter and now new DIFF Programme Co-ordinator Tania Notaro has many strings to her cinematic bow. Here, she tells us about her love of film, how she got started in the industry, the barriers she has overcome and how she is looking forward to helping DIFF reach out to marginalised communities.

Tania Notaro’s earliest memories of film are of her Dad - a huge film buff - projecting old Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy movies onto the back wall of their living room. Although Tania was only 4 or 5 years old at the time, she loved Chaplin then and still does.

Originally a singer-songwriter, Tania never thought she was clever enough to be in the film industry. When a friend asked her to audition for one of his films, she got the part and met John Connors on the set. He asked Tania to audition for the award-winning film ‘Cardboard Gangsters’ and she fell in love with the whole filmmaking process from there.

Deciding to take this potential new career seriously, Tania trained at Bow Street Actors Academy, The Gaiety School of Acting and Momentum Studios and started doing auditions. Born, raised and living in Ballyfermot, Tania found that her background was a barrier in certain situations, but she has developed her own methods of overcoming this:

“Coming from Ballyfermot, I have quite a distinctive accent, which makes me very proud. However, I’ve had people mimic me in auditions which was just incredible to me.

The cost of some of the courses and classes just shows how the film industry is still a rich kid’s game which is kind of heartbreaking because there are so many wonderful artists who will never be seen because they’re priced out of it.

There are so many great incentives that are available to underrepresented people right now. I am definitely taking advantage of them. But I think perseverance and the love of the art has really helped me overcome many of those barriers.”

Finding early on that working-class actors were really only considered for working-class roles and that working- class roles for women were mostly reductionist caricatures, Tania decided to start writing her own, inspired by Oscar-winner Andrea Arnold:

“Andrea Arnold is my hero. She really utilises her working-class background in the most empathetic way, depicting female characters whose natural warmth and ambition have been dampened by their socio-economic situation, lack of maternal nourishment and trauma. Women who might have flourished under more ideal circumstances. It’s something I like to bring into my writing too. I try to be as brutally honest and as raw as her, always.”

Tania has a 1st class Masters degree in Screenwriting for Film & TV from The National Film School, IADT, which Warner Brothers offered her a scholarship to complete. This year she was also inaugurated into the Warner Brothers creative talent team as a one to watch.

Looking ahead to her new role as Programme Co-Ordinator at DIFF, Tania says:

“I really love the way DIFF is reaching out to marginalised communities. If I can help bring film and filmmaking into somebody's life who previously thought it was out of their reach, I’ll be very happy because I was that person.”

For further information on Tania Notaro, DIFF Programme Co-ordinator, visit https://filmfreeway.com/TaniaNotaro or drop Tania an email at [email protected]