National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Scholar

National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Scholar

Ella Thomsen, a film student at Minneapolis College, enjoys making films that make the audience feel seen.

“There are a lot of people who don’t see themselves represented accurately,” said Thomsen, who just graduated high school in June. She feels teens specifically aren’t represented well on screen.

“I have always been really frustrated by the teen dramas that come out on Netflix,” said Thomsen. “I think in growing up there is a lot of heartbreak and also joy that I would love to see expressed realistically. I just know comparing the teenhood I have lived to what is seen on screen is just so different.”

She has been making films ever since elementary school when her parents bought her an ipod with the iMovie feature on it and they would make short films in their backyard. Thomsen thought she would pursue a career in acting having done theater in middle school and high school, but soon became drawn to writing scripts and directing. “Eventually I just really fell in love with the idea of storytelling. I thought I would really find more empowering ways to do that behind the camera.”

The film student draws inspiration from Director Greta Gerwig. “I always feel really seen by the films that she makes. I can relate to the characters. I think she is really good at grasping emotions that women and young people go through that aren’t always expressed in the right way.”

Connecting with the audience isn’t the only part Thomsen enjoys about filmmaking. “I really thrive with the problem solving of things because having that lightbulb idea that is going to change everything is a really cool feeling,” she said when describing unexpected things that happen during filming such as something breaking or someone making a mistake. “Sometimes those unexpected mistakes that happen end up making the film so much better in the end.”

Before attending the College, Thomsen did her research about a college program that would be the best for her. “A lot of people in Minnesota who have been successful came from MCTC,” said Thomsen. “I was always told that people from MCTC stick together which is a good thing because so much of filmmaking is collaboration.”

After graduating from Minneapolis College, Thomsen plans on finding work and continuing to write scripts, and within four years after graduating shoot a feature full-length film. Earlier this year, Thomsen received the Ulysses Carlini Media Scholarship from National Academy of Television Arts and Science Upper Midwest Chapter. 

Share This Story