Between 2017 and 2022, Carlota Busquets studied UIC Barcelona Bachelor’s Degree in Audiovisual Communication + UCLA Extension Certificate Programme, which is a programme that allows students to expand their studies at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension, and do curricular work placements in most cases. Carlota fondly remembers her time at the UIC Barcelona Faculty of Communication Sciences, where she fell in love with television and cinema. She decided to pack her bags and head to Los Angeles, which she considers to be one of the best cities in the world to dedicate herself to the world of cinema. She has produced the documentary From the Inside, which deals with the situation of Syrian women in refugee camps in Greece, and was selected for UCLA Film Fest and presented at FOX Entertainment studios. In this interview, we accompanied her in her time at UIC Barcelona and travelled to Los Angeles and Hollywood to learn about her love story with the city, with cinema and television and the details of her documentary.
What was it like to study the Bachelor’s Degree in Audiovisual Communication at UIC Barcelona?
My experience was intense and beneficial. I ended up falling in love with television and cinema there. Although the path was not easy, I learned the fundamentals I need to focus on this industry and succeed in what I like. I started knowing very little about the industry and left with a lot of knowledge and desire to work. It was four intense but unforgettable years.
What is your best memory of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at UIC Barcelona?
One of my best memories is when we did the Workshop class. I had to create and produce a television programme, and this is what I like to do most. I grew a lot professionally in that class and I surprised myself by doing things that before I thought I was incapable of doing. I liked that subject so much that it made me focus my career on television.
What has it been like to study the Producing Postgraduate Certificate at UCLA?
It has been a very enriching experience. I have had the opportunity to learn from industry professionals in the city of cinema. The teachers, besides teaching the theoretical part of cinema and television, tell a lot about the reality of the industry in the United States and this is something that has surprised me very much. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in the sector here in Los Angeles and collaborate on large projects. I believe that my experience here can be very beneficial to my professional future.
What has been the most exciting thing about living in Los Angeles?
The most exciting thing about living in Los Angeles has been the opportunity to work in what I love most in one of the best cities in the world for it. Professionally I have met incredible people who have helped me to grow. Personally, I have discovered a different culture that has made me open my eyes and see life differently. And of course, I've met lovely people who I will remember for the rest of my life.
It seems like you've had a very enriching experience, but I guess you've also had some hard times too. What was the most difficult?
Without a doubt, the hardest part is living comfortably in Los Angeles when you only work part time. It is a very expensive city and to really live the American dream you have to get here with a good savings account. I am very happy to have been able to work at university while studying the Certificate Programme, as besides helping me financially it allowed me to meet incredible people.
However, one thing that is still hard for me is the distance, that 9-hour difference that separates me from Spain and my family and friends.
What was your day-to-day at UCLA like?
While I was studying Producing Certificate at UCLA my day-to-day was working at the university three days a week, and attending evening classes from 7 to 10 p.m. Postgraduate courses are designed for people who work. The classes don't take too much of your time, so I also had plenty of time to meet up with friends and visit the city.
Once I finished with the Certificate Programme I started an internship and, currently my day involves working two different internships and gaining professional experience.
You produced a documentary called From the Inside. What is the story based on?
From the Inside is about the situation of Syrian women living in refugee camps in Greece. It is made from the innocent point of view of Fatima, a 20-year-old Syrian girl who had to flee to Greece because of the war in her country. The documentary tells her story and the stories that other Syrian girls have experienced in the refugee camps. We realise how the place that should be your refuge ends up being your worst nightmare.
The documentary was chosen to participate in UCLA Film Fest. What has this recognition meant?
I was very excited that the documentary was chosen to participate in the UCLA Film Fest, as both I and my UIC Barcelona partners, Gisela Estrejer and Anna Escribano, worked hard to make this project to work out right. I never imagined that I would be presenting the documentary at FOX Entertainment studios and that I would receive this recognition in Hollywood. This encouraged me to continue creating content!
How has all the training you received helped you?
All the training that I received during these years has been essential for me to be able to dedicate myself to what I like. I learned a lot of things at UIC Barcelona and at Southern Utah University (where I was an Erasmus student), and also at UCLA, which later, I have been able to put into practice in my internships. I think that my knowledge of the industry will be very helpful in my professional future and I only hope that I will not stop learning and working.
What would you like to do in the future?
I would love to be a television producer, since I like to create and produce reality. But I don't want to rule out working in the world of cinema either, because from my experience in Los Angeles I discovered an aspect of cinema that I didn't know about and I fell in love with it.