Leaving the Factory

In elementary school, Alessia Cruci would always hear a story about a factory uprising every March 8 — International Women’s Day. The story stayed with her and inspired her film “Leaving the Factory,” one of the films shown in NewFilmmakers Los Angeles‘ recent In Focus: Female Cinema festival.

The film recounts how in 1910, a group of women decided to protest terrible working conditions in which they worked countless hours for a few cents. The film follows the story of Marina, an Italian immigrant who the filmmaker describes as “a mother, wife, worker, but above all a woman. A woman who will put her life on the line to fight for a better future.”

In an interview with NFMLA’s Danny DeLillo that you can watch below, Cruci says she wanted to make her film because the fight it portrays still isn’t won.

“Seeing how things are going in the world, the issues I’m talking about in my movie are issues that are still facing women today,” she says. “It’s one of those stories that still resonates nowadays in a very scary way.”

The film is a Santa Monica College production made collectively by the students in Professor Salvador Carrasco’s capstone class, “Film 33: Making the Short Film.” It was financed by Santa Monica College, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and Keslow Camera (through pro bono equipment). As part of their training the students also raised funds through an Indiegogo campaign.

Cruci is a producer, filmmaker, and actress born and raised in Florence, Italy. In 2018, she moved to the United States to study film and in May 2022 she graduated Magna Cum Laude at USC SCA with a BA in Film and TV Production.

In the fall of 2021, she produced her first short film, “D-Day for Denise,” with a budget of nearly $30,000, under union agreements. She was also the associate producer for a web series called “Imposter,” for which she raised over $55,000 in 30 days.

She is looking forward to working in narrative projects, especially those that are female-led. She is especially passionate about historic pieces adapted from true stories. You can find her full bio on her website www.alessiacruci.com, and follow her on Instagram at @alessia.cruci and @producedbyalessia.

Watch the NFMLA interview with Alessia Cruci writer and director of “Leaving the Factory”:

“Leaving the Factory” was part of NFMLA’s March film festival celebrating up-and-coming female talent in front of and behind the camera. The program included two shorts programs, along with award-winning filmmaker Dawn Jones Redstone’s debut feature.

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The day began with InFocus: Female Cinema Shorts I, a collection of films that explore motherhood, fertility, birth, and reproductive choice from a wide range of perspectives. The programming continued with the Los Angeles premiere of “Mother of Color,” the first feature from award-winning writer-director Dawn Jones Redstone. The night concluded with InFocus: Female Cinema Shorts II, an eclectic mix of short form work from emerging talent, whose stories explored body image, intimate relationships, work and its many struggles.

NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year in addition to its special InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion, and region. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects which will be considered for all upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the InFocus programming. 

Main image: “Leaving the Factory”