Saras Gil '08 admits that she's been lucky -- after all, how many twenty-
somethings can boast numerous advertisements, three movies, and various
sitcom roles? But audacity and curiosity might have just as much to do with
Gil's story as luck.
"When I graduated from Knox and started working, I remember a cold day in November after having driven to work in the snow to my grey cubicle staring at a picture of the Sagrada Familia and realizing that this was not my life," said Gil.
Incited by the cold, Gil took off for Spain, where she signed up with an agency and soon found herself a part of the vibrant cinema community in Barcelona.
"There seems to be more opportunities to do short films or to do little projects here in Spain that might be very difficult to do in the States," said Gil, "and this gives you the opportunity to practice working and have more experience to later present yourself for bigger projects."
Yet this wasn't the first time Gil had traveled to Spain. While a student at Knox, she'd spent a semester studying in Barcelona, during which she felt as if she "was coming home rather than studying abroad."
Recently, Gil found herself exploring her own student days as she prepared for her role in the movie Puzzled Love, in which she plays Sun, a young student who comes to Barcelona for a year. Sun ends up sharing an apartment with another student, Lucas, and despite a rocky start between the roommates, a star-crossed affair ensues.
"Who hasn't had the ups and downs of a turbulent relationship?" said Gil. "I took the pain and the bliss of my own understanding of love and tried to feel them again as this new person."
"If you've ever taken a Liz Carlin-Metz acting class, you know that your body is a very important tool in discovering character," said Gil. "I think without the prior training that I had in Knox, I would have gotten choked up on trying to ‘act' instead of just being in each moment."
Puzzled Love has received a unique amount of attention -- in part because of its innovative use of 13 directors to tell a single story. The film was chosen for the San Sebastian International Film Festival, which is on par with Cannes, Venice, and Berlin Film Festivals.
With critical acclaim coming in each day, Gil admits that she might not technically be a student anymore, but her approach to life hasn't changed.
"We are eternal students," said Gil. "The moment that you think that you have a grasp on how to do things or you start to form an opinion, you know that you should try to do something new."