Gabby Piamonte says her outlook on the media landscape changed the second she landed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was there to help produce a film for a filmmaker friend of hers who is Congolese. Before traveling, Gabby remembers being warned several times: “Everyone was like, ‘Don’t go over there. It’s dangerous. You’ll get kidnapped. It’s poor. You can’t drink the water.’” But when she ultimately arrived, it was nothing like what she’d heard on the news or from the people she knew. “It made me realize how we’re so deeply misinformed,” she shares.
That is part of what ultimately drove Gabby to share stories that offer a different perspective from those that have already been told, but through a very single-sided narrative. “My focus as a filmmaker is to counter sensationalized stories, specifically in marginalized communities,” she says. She’s also interested in telling compelling stories that have been overlooked or silenced for far too long.
Gabby supplements this goal with photojournalism, although she notes that her photography is much more personal for her. “It’s more of a way of really looking at the world. Because I think when I have a camera in my hand, I pay attention to things I normally wouldn’t pay attention to, and they pick up on details that I would usually just let wash over me,” she shares.
Gabby graduated with a BFA in Film & Television New Media. She’s currently co-directing and producing “Periferia,” a short documentary series about the resilience of the communities on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. An avid rock climber, Gabby also merges her love for the outdoors and storytelling into adventure filmmaking.