Talent Recap

Bella Thorne Finds Success On Her New Career Path in Filmmaking

Bella Thorne at GCDS front row Milan Fashion WeekWireImage

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Bella Thorne, widely recognized for her acting prowess, is now making waves in the world of filmmaking and festival programming. Having recently made her directorial debut with the short film, Paint Her Red, Thorne is taking on a new role as a festival programmer for the 2023 Taormina Film Festival.


Bella Thorne Finds New Career In Filmmaking

The Taormina Film Festival, held in the city of Taormina, Sicily, has a long-standing history of premiering remarkable films that have left a mark on cinema. From classics like La Dolce Vita and The Godfather to modern favorites like Mission: Impossible and Inglourious Basterds, the festival has consistently showcased exceptional storytelling on the big screen.

Now, Thorne joins the ranks of famous figures associated with the festival, as she takes on the role of festival programmer for the “Influential Shorts” gala programming. Thorne’s debut as a filmmaker with Paint Her Red has garnered attention and acclaim, sending her into the world of directing.

The short film, which she wrote, directed, and starred in alongside actress Juliet Sterner, explores themes of family dynamics, trauma, and the dichotomy of light and darkness in life.


The film’s story telling is provided by Oscar-nominated writer Oren Moverman. Thorne‘s directorial prowess and the compelling narrative of Paint Her Red have secured its inclusion in the Taormina Film Festival. Thorne’s shift from actress to filmmaker and festival programmer certainly shows her multiple talents and her commitment to the art of film.

Thorne Curates a Selection of The Most Influential Short Films

However, Thorne’s contributions to the festival go beyond her own work. Together with Taormina Film Festival Artistic Director Barrett Wissman, she has carefully curated a selection of shorts for the “Influential Shorts” gala. Among the chosen films is Don’t Go Too Far, directed by Saudi filmmaker Maram Taibah.

Don’t Go Too Far tells the story of an Arab man with an intellectual disability who gets separated from his sister on a New York subway, and then embarks on a journey to find his way home. Thorne’s selection of this film highlights her commitment to shining a light on important social issues, such as mental disability and the need for greater understanding and compassion in society.


In discussing her curatorial process, Thorne emphasizes the power of storytelling as a means of connection and reflection. She seeks shorts that delve into complex family dynamics, stories of trauma and internalized hatred, and also narratives that explore the relationships between parents and children. Thorne’s aim is to present a balanced portrayal of life, capturing both the beauty and ugliness, the light and darkness that permeate our daily existence.

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