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Modern Day Icons

Leoni Kibbey.

Leoni Kibbey

A love of film and the arts drove Leoni Kibbey to create her own film festival, providing a much needed enriching and cultural boost to her community. From screenings, workshops and acting lessons, the not-for-profit event provided a wealth of fun and feel-good events for residents and helped to shine a light on young aspiring filmmakers from St Albans to Sao Paulo. She drew attention to the Bechdel test during the festival, which measures positive depictions of women, long before it became dinner party conversation.

A true leading lady, the charitable mother of two ran a marathon for Shelter at the same time of the second film festival, proving her philanthropic prowess has no bounds. Her day-to-day involves helping actors realise their potential and securing them life-changing roles, while she prides herself on committing to projects and helping people. We spoke with Leoni to find out more about her passion for film and for finding time to push people’s potential.

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How would you describe a Modern Day Icon?
Someone who is confident in themselves, a person who exudes the purest form of themselves with no pretension. Someone kind. People who stand up for what they believe is right. People who make decisions for the good of others. People whose style reflects themselves.

What is the greatest decision you’ve ever made?
To commit. To both work and relationships. It took a while for this independent woman to realise commitment is a great thing.

What inspired you to put on a film festival in St Albans?
I wanted to shake up the city where I live, to introduce some culture. It is a stunning roman city with some great venues and really dynamic people but not enough good quality arts were happening here. I wanted to create opportunities and to build a community event as well as celebrate the local film heritage. I also wanted to be creative, it has been fun to curate such a vibrant festival full of screenings, talks and parties that attracted filmmakers from around the world.

How would you describe your style in three words?
Eclectic, Feminine, Playful.

If you could have a part in any film, what would it be?
I would like to play Edith Piaf so I could combine my love of singing with screen acting. I would also like to play a strong shakespearean role on camera, a character from a Greek tragedy, a warrior or possibly a female Mr Bean, I love comedy and have a childish sense of humour, that combined with a flexible face I think I could play someone really quirky like that.

What are your three favourite films?
Elf, Napoleon Dynamite. The Breakfast Club.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Empowering advice from my mum.

Is there a particular motto you live life by?
Do something that scares you every day.

Is there a favourite time in your life you have helped someone out?
It was a great time during the film festival to be able to help aspiring filmmakers of all ages to have a platform to get their work seen and to offer work experience to students during the event.  Right now I love helping actors to develop their careers at Top Talent Agency - one of my clients has just been cast in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End and we are having some great on screen successes. On a personal note I like it when I can help a friend through a hard time or simply, like the other day to help a single mum friend let the boiler repair man in when she was at work. But most of all I like to help my daughters every day to find their way through life and become confident happy individual people.

img

How would you describe a Modern Day Icon?
Someone who is confident in themselves, a person who exudes the purest form of themselves with no pretension. Someone kind. People who stand up for what they believe is right. People who make decisions for the good of others. People who’s style reflects themselves.

What is the greatest decision you’ve ever made?
To commit. To both work and relationships. It took a while for this independent woman to realise commitment is a great thing.

What inspired you to put on a film festival in St Albans?
I wanted to shake up the city where I live, to introduce some culture. It is a stunning roman city with some great venues and really dynamic people but not enough good quality arts were happening here. I wanted to create opportunities and to build a community event as well as celebrate the local film heritage. I also wanted to be creative, it has been fun to curate such a vibrant festival full of screenings, talks and parties that attracted filmmakers from around the world.

img

How would you describe your style in three words?
Eclectic, Feminine, Playful.

If you could have a part in any film, what would it be?
I would like to play Edith Piaf so I could combine my love of singing with screen acting. I would also like to play a strong shakespearean role on camera, a character from a Greek tragedy, a warrior or possibly a female Mr Bean, I love comedy and have a childish sense of humour, that combined with a flexible face I think I could play someone really quirky like that.

What are your three favourite films?
Elf, Napoleon Dynamite. The Breakfast Club.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cant do something. Empowering advice from my mum.

img

Is there a particular motto you live life by?
Do something that scares you every day.

Is there a favourite time in your life you have helped someone out?
It was a great time during the film festival to be able to help aspiring filmmakers of all ages to have a platform to get their work seen and to offer work experience to students during the event.  Right now I love helping actors to develop their careers at Top Talent Agency - one of my clients has just been cast in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End and we are having some great on screen successes. On a personal note I like it when I can help a friend through a hard time or simply, like the other day to help a single mum friend let the boiler repair man in when she was at work. But most of all I like to help my daughters every day to find their way through life and become confident happy individual people.

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Image credits: Native Eye; SA Film Festival YouTube; Top Talent Adults Twitter