Anu Valia is an Indiana-born, New York-schooled filmmaker whose award-winning short films have screened across the country and abroad. Her short film, LUCIA, BEFORE AND AFTER, won the Jury Prize for US Fiction at Sundance Film Festival. It was also an official selection at festivals around the world including South by Southwest, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, and Seattle International Film Festival. LUCIA was a recipient of Refinery29's Shatterbox Anthology grant.
Anu is currently developing her first feature, WE STRANGERS, which is supported by Cinereach, Sundance Institute, Women in Film, Tribeca Institute, IFP, and Hamptons Screenwriters Lab. Anu has directed episodes for Comedy Central's THE OTHER TWO, created by former SNL head writers Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly and Parmount's FIRST WIVES CLUB, created by GIRLS TRIP writer, Tracy Oliver. She is the Director and Executive Producer of Adult Swim's, SOFT FOCUS WITH JENA FRIEDMAN. Anu is a Big Vision Empty Wallet 2018 fellow, a New York Film Festival 2017 Artist Academy Fellow and is an artist resident of SPACE at Ryder Farm. She is also an ambassador for the American Film Showcase, a U.S film diplomacy program promoting arts involvement and education abroad.
My Goal of the Day: Which day?! Any day? Today? Goals change all the time! It’s nice to remind yourself to be grateful. I also want to write a poem down that I read. I will make sure to do that today.
My Thought of the Day: “Think about your mistakes. Focus on them, learn from them.”
My Action of the Day: Gotta write that poem down, can’t forget to do that!
What do you love most about Your City?
Life is a lot of sublets at the moment. I just changed my voting address from New York to California, so I guess my new city is Los Angeles. What I love about both NYC & LA is the access to culture and education!
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I love breakfast food, but I don’t like eating it at breakfast time. I could eat an egg white, avocado, tomato, and spinach sandwich from almost anywhere. Make it a wrap, I’m down for that, too. I’m currently filming in NY & staying a block away from Court Street Grocers in Cobble Hill. They have some of the best sandwiches in NY.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – If I’m filming or editing, I’m wherever I’m supposed to be at whatever time I’m supposed to be there. If I’m not filming, I’m probably sleeping. I wish I was working out, it seems like other people are working out at this time. I think I’ve worked out at 6am once in my life.
10:00 AM - See above for filming. Life looks very different when I’m working versus not working. If I’m not on set or in the edit, I’m probably answering emails I have let slide. Or going down the list of projects I need to return to & using the few hours of good morning brain I have on them. I’m using good morning brain on this interview oh no!
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
I’m a breakfast-food-for-lunch lady. I’m not much of a breakfast person, so I’ll eat that egg sandwich around noonish.
7:00 PM - Maybe my life would benefit from some routine. 7pm is the new 11pm! Or is it the new 4pm? Honestly, answering these questions has made me realize how little routine I have day to day.
11:00 PM - God I have no idea. If it’s a good day, I’ve snuck away and am watching a show or movie I’ve been dying to watch. Or catching a late night flick at Film Forum, Angelika, or Lincoln Center.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
For a few weeks I’d wake up and drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. This made me feel like Jennifer Aniston. I have since stopped for no real reason, and now I wake up parched and confused. I’ll have coffee at some point in the morning time, probably a couple cups without thinking about it.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Have you used Genius Scan? It’s a really helpful scanning tool, and who has a scanner lying around! I also just started robo investing with Charles Schwab—lost $200 in the past few months.
Now that it seems like I don’t just use my phone for Instagram, I am addicted to Instagram. It’s one of the best image aggregators! Every image from @another_kind, @artclassified @jokimbo is inspiring. I also am really loving @megantruebloodart paintings! They’re very fun.
What should everyone try at least once?
VOTING! Try it more than once! But not in one election.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I love going to areas with art galleries and just wandering around. Chelsea, Lower East Side, parts of Dumbo/Brooklyn Bridge Park. It feels so good to be surrounded by other people’s art.