Flora Zanfrisco is a multi-tattooed, outspoken social activist who wears her heart and art on her sleeve both in front of and behind the camera. She is one of those people whose energy precedes her when she enters a room. She is a talented storyteller whose tales unfold when she turns on her camera. Our paths crossed several years ago via a mutual friend, and I was astonished by the resilience exhibited by this filmmaker and mother of twin 16-year-old daughters.
Her company is called Freedom Films. She chose the name for her business after leaving a full-time job and she felt such a sense of emancipation from the stress involved. She describes it in this way, “I worked as a database admin at SEI investments in Oaks, PA, making lots of money but left it all. With a mortgage, car, bills and two kids, to follow my guidance. I ended up losing my house after my savings ran out but again I was feeling freedom and happiness during foreclosure, too.”
This was not the first time she faced adversity and overcome the odds to succeed magnificently.
Although she expertly films milestone events in the lives of others, it is her own biopic entitled This Is My Reality. What’s Yours? that is at the core of her creativity. She has invested a decade in its development and it remains a work in progress. In it, she seeks to open a window into her world and explain the emotional roller coaster ride she was on that culminated in a spontaneous Kundalini Awakening, which is a spiritual concept related to yoga and meditation. For some who experience this state, it resembles psychosis, with its accompanying sleeplessness, hallucinations and paranoia. When this happened to her, she was not prepared for the major changes it would bring about, but she has integrated the event and has emerged more open to life as it unfolds.
What were some pivotal occurrences early on in your life that created the person you are now?
Geez, so many! I have many pivotal events that many may see as “negative” events. These include being molested, beaten, humiliated, raped, years of drug abuse and promiscuity, which led to agoraphobia and not believing in God, just death.
What resiliency skills and supports kept you afloat during such tumultuous seas?
My parents, and sister, although they never knew what was going on. They could only assume. They were always there, even though I pushed them all away. I even left home and didn’t speak to them for a couple of years. But, I always knew they were there, always.
Looking back, what would you like to tell your younger self to encourage her?
Truthfully, not a thing. I am here because of how everything played itself out. If I wasn’t a believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. I would say to my younger self, “Keep going, don’t give up on life, all will be okay, remain positive in all situations.” “The Universe has you!”
What led you to become a filmmaker?
I had a mystical experience with the Universe. Some call it a Spontaneous Kundalini Awakening. I just know one night I was agoraphobic believing in death only and the next day you couldn’t keep me in the house. I started coloring, dancing, writing, speaking and just doing things I have never done or wanted to do. All things in my life shifted, just like that. It was crazy, and many thought I lost my mind. But, I was being guided at a very fast pace. 24/7 for three months, being spoken to by the Universe. It’s hard to explain and I guess for reasons. The universe put a camera in my hand, asked me to quit my high paying job and to follow my guidance and tell my story through film. Until I can get the funds and crew to make this film. I make videos to help others, showcase others, and help myself.
How did creativity help you heal?
I love editing. I love filming. Being creative keeps my mind moving forward and not become stagnant. The Universe wants to create, and I allow it to create through me. If I stop and just go get a “job” for money. I will just become depressed. So being creative helps me in a big way. Even doing puzzles, coloring, painting, writing, all these things keep me moving forward.
Are you still working on your film?
EVERY DAY! I will not stop until it is made and in the movie theaters. I am here to share my story. This is my purpose being here at this time. Not that I am anymore special. Not that I have had the hardest life. I am just here to speak and tell my story through film.
What are some of your greatest joys?
To me right now it’s just helping people in any way I can. Spreading messages of hope and love to all. It brings me the greatest joy ever.
What do you like about being a mama?
I smile reading this question. Watching them from birth until now and seeing their struggles and joys. Just watching them come into who they are meant to be, while gently guiding them. They keep me going and guide me as well, and I am so thankful for them in my life. They also let me know how thankful they are for me. They are the best. We are all very close because of our experiences.