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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Monique Dias: Living in fast forward

    Monique Dias
    Monique Dias

    For Monique Dias, the future isn’t as unclear as you’d think. An avid film lover, the 21-year-old media arts senior is headed to one of the most prestigious film schools in the country after graduation to study production design: the American Film Institute. 

    You would never know of Dias’ accomplishments by speaking to her, though. She has a humble attitude and an optimistic disposition toward her schooling.

    “”I’m very thankful for the education I’ve gotten here at the UA,”” Dias said. “”I mean, how could I not be? It got me into film for the love of it and now I’m headed to the best film school one can get into to get anywhere in this industry. I’m grateful for the opportunity.””

    Dias has excelled both in the classroom and outside it. Dias is a J. Michael Gillette Media Arts Production Scholarship recipient, given to fine arts undergraduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher who want to work in film or television production. Dias has also made movies simply because she can.

    “”A friend and I made ‘Kindle’ just for fun,”” said Dias, referring to their 10-minute short film. “”We got the opportunity to build a model cityscape and used perspective to make it look three-dimensional, but we actually carved the set out of a two-dimensional object: cardboard. I’m very proud of the final result.”” 

    But what about her best experience here? In the end, it comes down to the academics and the people. 

    “”Being a part of the BFA Media Arts program has been great. It’s a really tight-knit community and I’m proud to have done it,”” Dias said.

    However, it was not all about school for Dias. Her work now and in the future is a main priority.

    “”I have a lot of influences, but the commonality in my work is the bittersweet story. I’m very interested in people in a general way. I like to explore their complexities,”” Dias said.

    Don’t be surprised if you hear her name behind big-screen blockbusters one day.

    “”I’d like to eventually direct feature films,”” Dias said. “”The movie that got me into film was ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ with Johnny Depp. It pretty much showed me what I like. I’d like to do things like that.””

    In 10 years, Dias hopes for success, like other seniors. She may have bigger dreams than others, but in the end she’s happy with simple happiness. 

    “”Of course, with the ego I’ll have by then, I’ll expect multiple awards from directing films,”” she said, laughing, over the phone. “”But honestly, I’d just be happy working in the industry at all because it’s what I love.””

    Going forward, there’s no telling what Dias will do.

    “”I’m up for anything,”” Dias said. 

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