LAURA AND VANESSA MARANO [SAVING ZOË]
WORDS BY IRVIN RIVERA
Warm – there is definitely warmth in meeting the Marano Sisters and their mom. They embrace the team with smiles, they welcome you with enthusiasm and they are just genuinely open. Often times, it gets tricky to work with family especially in doing business but the Maranos definitely got something right. By working together in the film Saving Zoë, Vanessa, Laura and their mom Ellen proved that persistence in pursuing your passion and the intense desire to share an important story can make anything possible. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to make it. If you know you’re going to make it, you will eventually make it.
That’s part of the backstory of Saving Zoë. It’s not an overnight thing as most people may think. It took 12 years of hardwork, perseverance and patience before they can finally share the story and hopefully inspire a discourse about the sensitive topic of sexual exploitation.
In the short time that I spent with the sisters, I developed a deep sense of admiration to them. Not only because of their beauty and talents, not only because of their accolades, but also because of their tenacity to share their truths in whatever they do. They are young but they are hardworkers and it is evident in their works.
In this exclusive interview, allow the Marano sisters to take you to a spin around their world as multi hyphenate artists through the deep, dark, spaces of Saving Zoë and out into the open as relentless storytellers in their respective crafts.
Tell us about your film, Saving Zoë and what it’s about.
Laura: Saving Zoë is a movie that Vanessa and I are starring and playing sisters. It’s the first movie we’ve ever produced. It’s coming out July 12th in limited theaters and VOD (Video On Demand) in America and soon to be in other territories worldwide. Basically the log line is that it takes place a year after the older sister, Zoë has been murdered and Echo, her younger sister finds her diary and realizes her sister is not the person who she thought she was and that there is more to her murder.
Vanessa: Yeah, more than originally meets the eye. It was crazy too because we, together with our mom, had the rights to this book for about 10 years before we were able to get it made so it was very, very exciting to finally get to produce our first project. We’ve been with the project for so long and so passionate about it and it took it another 2 years to get it distributed and we’re pumped that it’s finally going to be out there.
“I think that our movie does dive into a subject and potentially subjects that are uncomfortable and hard to talk about but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t talk about them. If anything, it probably means we need to talk about them more.” - LAURA MARANO
What important message do you guys hope that people can take away from watching Saving Zoë?
Vanessa: Wow, that’s a great question! There are a lot of things that we want to take away from the film. From our journey of making the film, we hope that the audience gathers that you can do anything you set your mind to. It doesn’t matter how long you’re holding on to something or how many times you’re told no. It’s all about just wearing people down and not giving up on what you’re passionate about. That’s what we hope people get from this journey. From the actual film itself, there are lessons within the story of grief and loss; the bond of sisterhood as well as the horrors of the world of online sex trafficking. We really hope that a conversation starts and that we realize how it’s a far more prevalent issue than before and that action is needed to be done. We need to start talking about it. A lot of times people don’t want to talk about taboo subjects. The only way to end something is to start a conversation about it.
Laura: I think for sure that we just want people to become aware of these issues and hopefully become a little more educated and be inspired to educate themselves even more. I think that our movie does dive into a subject and potentially subjects that are uncomfortable and hard to talk about but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t talk about them. If anything, it probably means we need to talk about them more.