Miranda Manziano is a NYC-based filmmaker with a fierce passion for telling stories that amplify underrepresented voices and deeply resonate with audiences. She graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn College in May 2020. “Velour” is her thesis film and directorial debut.
Many people have asked me why I wrote this story. For a long time, I thought that it was my fault as to why I was sexually assaulted twice by people I cared about and trusted. During my sophomore year of college, I apologized to my rapist the morning after. When I called a few people close to me for support, they blamed me because I was drinking. This should not be happening to people. But it is. Many others who worked on this film had similar experiences and heavily relate to Valentina.
This film is about the challenging process of healing from trauma.
After my assault, I became fascinated with dominatrices. I was drawn to the power they hold, their confidence, and their community. I wrote the first few drafts of the script and realized I was doing the BDSM community an injustice by trying to tell their story by myself. I reached out to pro-domme Neena De Ville on Instagram in June 2019, and she responded by warmly inviting me to get coffee with her. As Neena told stories about her life and shared her creative ideas, we slowly morphed the script into a more authentic version of itself. We wanted to portray how seeing a dominatrix is a journey. BDSM can be healing and loving. Dommes are empathetic, not cold-hearted man haters. A session doesn’t need to consist of whips and chains. I wanted Valentina’s experience with Velour to be tender, sensual, caring, and vulnerable. The night she spends with Velour is liberating.
The majority of us on set were queer women who are passionate about telling diverse and genuine stories. There simply can never be enough.