Priscila Zortea’s first love was dancing. Growing up in Brazil, she started dancing young and a few years later, she fell in love with acting as well.
She went on to be a professional dancer for LA KISS, and in terms of acting did stage plays and musicals. When the feature film A Journey to a Journey came along, Zortea really got to show the versatile artist she always was.
A Journey to a Journey is a satire on the hazy goals that keep society running. After a brilliant university student is rejected from a prestigious research program, his subsequent investigation uncovers the shocking truth about the nameless, timeless society in which he lives. The film, shot in June 2015, has been receiving attention. There was a screening in Los Angeles last November, and this month the film will be screened at the Indie Gathering International Film Festival in Ohio, where it won first place in feature sci-fi category. The film is currently a semi-finalist for Los Angeles Cine Fest.
Zortea plays the role of Mysterious Girl in A Journey to a Journey, an important and unique role.
“She’s not exactly real, she only exists in the imagination of the main character of the film, John,” described Zortea. “It was my first feature film on a leading role so this experience will be unforgettable for sure. I love the character because she was extremely playful with John and dared him to be courageous and fight for what he believed was right.”
Zortea had the challenge of playing a pivotal role in the movie. Since Mysterious Girl is only seen by one character in the film, she had to dominate the screen in each scene to truly bring the story to life.
“I really enjoy playing mysterious characters that you don’t know exactly what their story is,” she said. “This one in particular we don’t even know if she exists, so it was really fun.”
Not only was it Zortea’s first feature film, but it was also the first film for many involved. She says this made the experience extremely special.
“Every scene of the film has a different light color and it looks great,” she added.
The role brought challenges for Zortea that she overcame magnificently according to writer, director, and producer Barry Germansky. Zortea describes a scene in particular where her character is supposed to appear to John, played by Riley Neldam, from under his bed and that one was particularly tricky to figure out a way of shooting it to make it look magical.
“It was a pleasure working with Priscila from beginning to end, and it was magical to see her bring her character to life. She appears in one of my favorite sequences in the film: when John, the main character, has a surreal encounter with her in his apartment,” described Germansky. “Not many actresses could have risen to the challenges posed by that sequence. She had to make it believable that she had entered his apartment out of nowhere; she crawls out from under his bed. She performed the sequence in a matter-of-fact sort of way, and this decision went a long way to making the sequence successful.”
Germansky says Zortea conveyed the right balance of mystery, sensuality, and sophistication to portray the role of Mysterious Girl.
“She plays the main character’s imaginary lover, so all of the aforementioned qualities were essential,” he said. “Priscila is dedicated to her art, and her passion at once fuels and cements this dedication. Collaborating with her is always a rewarding experience. I know she will show up ready to perform, and I know that she will put her entire body and soul into her performance. Loyalty is one of the qualities I admire most in a person, and Priscila has it in spades.”
Working with Germansky and Neldam was a wonderful experience for Zortea. Because the character of John was the only character that could see her character, the only actor Zortea had the opportunity to work with was Neldam. This led to a great partnership.
“Since before the shoot, Riley and I got together to speak to Barry about the script and it was great to hear him talk about it and explain each character to us in detail. I had seen a play written by Barry in New York City but I was very curious to see what he would do with this film and his directorial debut. I think he did a great job. And working with Riley was great, he’s a very talented and well prepared actor and I think we got along really well, he made me feel very comfortable and made my work easy,” she said.
Zortea had been looking for the opportunity to be in a feature film, and was excited when Germansky invited her to act in A Journey to a Journey.
“I feel like this character is a great one for me since she’s very mysterious and it’s not specified where she comes from. The character is completely ambiguous and I feel that way in the casting world, so to find a character like that, well, it fit like a glove,” she said.
Zortea believes she has a few similarities to her character of Mysterious Girl.
“I think we’re both quite inhibited and say whatever comes to mind,” she said. “But, of course, I live in the real world.”