Veronika Vivien Biro

Filmmaker, Designer, Artist under the artist name of LilV, Singer – Songwriter under the artist name of Vivadila, Veterinary Surgeon. She was born 13.10.1978 and raised in Budapest, in the Hungarian capital. In 2014 she moved to Ireland where she is living recently and working as a veterinarian surgeon.

She started her artistic activity in 2020 with the design and make of leather bags. She paints, makes her music and short films. As she found filmmaking her biggest passion, she aims to become a full-time filmmaker to produce her films based on her stories. She completed her first course in filmmaking in April 2022 and with her student documentary project earned Film Awards as a Student Director.

Recently she is working on her next project, her first feature drama and two books. One of them is a fantasy trilogy. She produces her films and music under the label LilV Production, and does her art and design activities under the business LilV Art & Design.

She aims to share her experiences and what she learnt to help others find the way out from the darkness and to motivate them to work for a happier life. She wishes to show to the others how far we can go, if we stop questioning ourselves and we can do everything if we are willing to pay the price for it.

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?

My first short drama `Live Now!` is about unfulfilled wishes and the late realisation about how life should be lived. It is a reminder to everyone to not forget to live our dreams despite the difficulties of our everyday life. We never know how much time we are given here from the Divine. Waiting for the right time is foolish as it may never come if we just sit back and don`t do the necessary steps. The realization of how we would like to live happily sometimes comes too late and we miss the opportunity of a wonderful life. The film is about the last thoughts of a dying person and her journey between life and death with lots of symbolism. I tried to present the different stages of the departure from life as I imagined with intensive color editing and effects. I added my own self composed music and designed the sounds to magnify the emotions of my story.

What are your ambitions with your project?
My aim is to inspire and motivate others to work for their own happiness and to offer thoughts that help them find their own way to a fulfilled life.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
Strangely enough I didn't plan this film. I can say I am an intuitive filmmaker who always goes with the flow and my films are heavily based on improvisation. But that film was even more special. I just purchased my first professional camera and I tested it on my latest trip in South Korea preparing for my next project. I made up my mind about the future of my life inspired by the country that tested my will power and faith as achieving it comes with lots of sacrifice and unknown experiences. It scares me, but there is a saying I really like, `If your dream doesn't scare you it is not big enough`. So I will go for it. When I returned home and watched back the sequences I felt the need to tell this story based on my thoughts and fears in the past and at that time. I added a few sequences from previous shootings that fit my story nicely. The only sequence that I consciously shot for this project was the hospital scene as I had asked my friends to help me out.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
I can say this film for everyone, although I believe there is a need for a little life experience to understand it and be able to relate with it fully.

Why should distributors buy your film?
I think the story has deep thoughts that could inspire others. In addition, this time I really used the screen as my canvas so the pictures are visually pleasing, picturesque and bring lots of emotion to be able to touch many people, motivating them to think about their own life and choices.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
An inspirational message and artistic visuals.

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
It is an interesting story. I have never imagined that one day I would be a filmmaker as well as an artist, songwriter and designer. I have always been told that I don't have any talent and from my late 20`s that I am too old to chase my dreams. And I believed it. I lived a miserable life as a prisoner pleasing others and suffering silently until the day my world collapsed and I wasn't able to maintain my life as it was anymore. I was on the edge of the cliff with only two decisions left; die or stand up for myself. I was lucky enough to decide to live and fight, getting a second chance from the Divine. I went through a life changing transformation alone 3 years ago that was tough, painful and scary. I restarted my life from nothing, both financially and mentally. I had to learn strict self control and faced my own demons, fears and negative thoughts. But I found myself and became who I am today. As this process was very difficult and I know many people have the same struggles as I had, that is why it is important to me to share my experiences with others and encourage them to choose the path I chose finding themself and their happiness. . I turned to art to help me in my self healing process and realized I have some artistic ability, then I learnt how to play instruments and accidentally wrote my first song. I was advised by one of my friends to make a little video for that song and that was the start of my filmmaking journey. That opened up a door that I wasn't aware existed to me and my imagination got stronger and became more vivid so I started to make my little parodies. For fun I applied with them to Film Festivals Worldwide, and I was surprised when I got a lot of positive feedback. For the first time in my life I started to get recognition, the filmmaking community greeted me with open arms. As it built up my confidence and self-belief, my dreams just got bigger and I found filmmaking to be my biggest passion. I decided to go back to school to become a filmmaker as I felt this is a call to my destined path.

Who is your role model?
I don`t really have any. I like to be myself 100 %. If I need to name one director whose work I appreciate the most, I would say Federico Fellini as I can relate to his style and thoughts the most.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
Without any question, Federico Fellini's ‘Nights of Cabiria’

That film is the most tragic and the most positive film that I have ever seen. I saw it before my transformation and I never was able to forget it. Now I can see myself in that story.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
My stories are based on my life, my experiences and my thoughts. I gained a lot of inspiration from South Korea and its culture. I consider it my saviour as it provided me with the key experience to wake up and seek change. I’d like to travel more and get to know different cultures, adding more inspiration to my work.

Which topics interest you the most?
Spiritualism I interested in the most. Especially the journey of the soul and self healing these days.I consider myself highly spiritual and philosophical, I like stories with deep meaning, regardless of the genre or topic.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
My career as a filmmaker is only at the starting line, there is a lot to learn and far to go. I have enormous plans for my future. My biggest goal was to explore my ability of storytelling and for my thoughts to be appreciated. As a student director I won my first awards with my student short documentary, and now my first drama is also doing well as I already won one award with it in the `Best drama` category. I am very honored.

What do you consider most important about filming?
Storytelling that can deliver emotions and meaningful messages for the better. On the other hand, good humor is also important to get people out of the heavy thinking. It's slightly contradictory as the films that I`m thinking about usually don't give too much thought, just fun. But this is how they are supposed to be. And overall keeping the audience interested till the end is also very important.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
I like to experience the camera, I am just exploring it. Sometimes I get amazing results through `mistakes` that I didn't plan. I like to use different techniques with those compositions to be able to deliver my story the best.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?

I don't have a wide view on current filmmaking, as I rarely watch movies or anything else. I am extremely busy with my life, I am working as a veterinary surgeon 6 days a week, after work I concentrate on my artistic activities, not just filmmaking but as I am getting more recognition as an artist I am painting, designing and learning languages to be able to enter to the new chapter of my life next year. What I can say is that I am not a fan of remakes, and I appreciate other indie filmmakers` works. And about future filmmaking I cannot agree with AI in any kind of artistic activity, that may be visually pleasing but it always will miss the essence of art, the soul.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
Emptiness and lack of originality.

Who supports you in your film career?
Me :) I achieved everything on my own. Which is good and bad. It is good because it showed me my strength and how capable I am if I really want to reach my goals but doing everything on my own can sometimes be overwhelming.

I am very thankful to my friends and my mom who cheers me on with my little projects and is willing to help me out if I need a little help as well as my little community that supports me in my artistic dreams despite currently being a vet.