writer / producer/ director
Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Lorenzo DeStefano is a Director member of the Directors Guild of America and past member of the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild. He is producer/director of the 2017 non-fiction feature, “Hearing is Believing,” about the young musician and composer, Rachel Flowers. He produced and directed “Los Zafiros – Music From The Edge Of Time,” an award-winning music film about the Beatles of 1960s Cuba. DeStefano produced, directed and edited the acclaimed public television documentary “Talmage Farlow,” a portrait of the great American jazz guitarist.
Current narrative feature projects as writer-producer include “Serpentine,” an urban thriller set in India and London, and “Hypergraphia,” based on “The Inman Diary,” published by Harvard University Press.
SCREENPLAYS include the originals “Serpentine,” “Lads,” and “Deep Inside.” Screen adaptations include “Hypergraphia,” “Creeps” (from the play by David E. Freeman), “Cropper’s Cabin” (from the novel by Jim Thompson), and “Appointment in Samarra” (co-writer - from the novel by John O’Hara), and “Creeps” from the play by David E. Freeman.
PLAYS include “Shipment Day,” the story of DeStefano’s cousin, Olivia Robello Breitha, a teenage girl diagnosed with leprosy in 1930s Honolulu. “Providence” is DeStefano’s stage adaptation of the screenplay by the late English dramatist David Mercer. “Camera Obscura” is a dramatization of The Inman Diary. Developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre, the play received its world premiere at the Almeida Theatre in London, both productions helmed by Jonathan Miller, the celebrated English director. “The Inman Diaries,” a chamber opera based on DeStefano’s play, received its world premiere in September 2007 at the Intermezzo Opera Company, Boston.
FICTION includes the novella “Serpentine.”
NON-FICTION includes the memoir, “Visitations–Finding A Secret Relative In Modern-Day Hawai’i,” “Calle Cero–An Encounter with Cuban Film Director Tomas Gutierrez Alea,” (Cuba Update) “Diary of a Nobody” (The Guardian),
and the photographic memoir “La Hora Magica / The Magic Hour – Portraits of a Vanishing Cuba” (Museum of Latin American Art).
THEATER DIRECTING includes “Shipment Day,” the 25th anniversary production of William Inge’s “Natural Affection,” Horton Foote’s “The One-Armed Man,” the world premiere of Robert Schenkkan’s “Conversations with the Spanish Lady,” and the world premiere of “Twisted Twain,” the one-man show by Bill Erwin.
FILM EDITING includes “Dreamscape,” “That Championship Season,” “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “Thrashin,” “The Killing Time” and “Gingerale Afternoon.” DeStefano was Supervising Film Editor and a Producer and Director for the four-season run of “Life Goes On,” the ABC/Warner Brothers drama series starring Patti Lupone.
PHOTOGRAPHY – DeStefano’s first thematic series as a teenage street photographer in Honolulu was “Rest Homes Hawai’i,” He continued to freelance in California before turning his attention from still photography to film. He credits his journeys to Cuba starting in 1993 with reawakening the photographer in him. His traveling exhibition, “La Hora Magica / The Magic Hour – Portraits of a Vanishing Cuba,” has been shown extensively in Cuba as well as in New York, Chicago, London, Havana, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. The entire photographic archive of DeStefano’s work in Cuba, “Cubanos - Island Portraits,” was acquired in 2016 by The Museum of Latin American Art, in Long Beach, California, and is now in their Permanent Collection.
DeStefano is founder and director of the Ventura Film Society, a California-based cinema cooperative bringing people together in the dark since 2008.
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Director’s Statement – Lorenzo DeStefano
Making a film about someone’s life, even a short period of that life, is not something to enter into lightly, for filmmaker or subject. It is a bond that has to hold for a very long time before fruition, and a lifetime afterwards. While I’ve thought of doing another music documentary, having already produced & directed “Talmage Farlow” and “Los Zafiros-Music From The Edge Of Time”, I’ve been focusing more on my work as a writer and director for theater and for narrative film. When I first heard Rachel perform in Ventura, California on January 18th, 2014 I had to adjust my plans to include the story of this remarkable young woman.
Rachel’s given abilities and the music that is her inspiration make her a talent that cannot be ignored. Everyone on our team believes that she is fully deserving of the imaginative and insightful film we plan to make about her. Rachel is a survivor who is fast maturing into a consummate musical artist. It has been critical to deal with Rachel’s blindness in a fresh and un-clichéd way, connecting the audience to the visual & tonal dreamscapes that inspire Rachel’s compositions.
“Hearing is Believing” captures Rachel’s joyous and free-flowing love of song, illuminating in the process the bonds of family and the mysteries of musical creativity. Astonishing as her playing and composing abilities already are, Rachel Flowers is not some curiosity. My goal has been to create a dynamic, engaging portrait of where she is right now and the amazing future that stretches before her.