Between Filmmaking and Entrepreneurship: Leslie Lluvet

Leslie Lluvet

We don't often think of making movies as an aspect of running your own business, even though that's what it is, for a large portion of artists. Although we've come to equate acting, and even directing, with being paid to do a job, creative filmmaking has a powerfully entrepreneurial side to it, one that we find fascinating to explore.

This side can be better observed in some artists than in others, as is the case with Cuban filmmaker and artist Leslie Lluvet. After her family escaped the grueling Communist regime of Cuba, Leslie Lluvet grew up in Miami, and discovered a passion for filmmaking early on in her life, watching the movies of 20th century greats, such as Hitchcock, Spielberg, and Coppola.

"When I was little, I watched a ton of movies and watched 'Jaws', 'The Exorcist'. I thought it was so cool the way they executed those movies. It intrigued me and I decided I wanted to learn how to do this."

So Lluvet decided she would go to film school and figure out just how those people did what they did, though soon, she understood that it was more than a simple matter of artistic technique. The more she applied herself to her art, the more certain Lluvet became about how she wanted some things to look, and the more she realized she needed to take a more hands-on and involved part in her movies.

This meant switching her point of view from that of a creative to an entrepreneur (which, granted, is another aspect of the creative life). Lluvet began developing her brand independently, and applying entrepreneurial principles to her approach to filmmaking, and promoting her work and her movies.

"It [marketing] is very important because it creates an impact and also a huge way to show what your next project is through marketing."

Although Lluvet admits there are certain limitations that often disappoint her, from a creative point of view, she also talks about the new heights she's been able to explore through her career, and praises life as a businesswoman, as well as an artist.

One of her greatest pleasures and biggest accomplishments, she admits has been her most recent movie, "90 Miles", which tells the story of her parents (of whom, Lluvet plays the role of her mother Tammy), as they flee Cuba, and fight to escape the Communist regime instated by Fidel Castro.

"Co -Directing my movie, writing it and also being in it. 90 miles holds a close place in my heart," says Lluvet, with deep love for her creation. For the artist, directing her movie was a real revelation that showed her that this was what she wanted to do with the rest of her life - produce and direct her own movies. Immediately, the filmmaker fell in love with making her own stories in such an innovative way, and actually quotes "it's something everyone should consider doing that's in the industry."