top of page


Filmmaker | Producer | Actor



After attending university in NY and England for her passions - performance and filmmaking - Vanessa Silva received a degree in Marketing and Advertising with an emphasis in Media. Ultimately, her lifelong passions propelled Vanessa in front of - and behind - the camera. She has acted, and continues to act, in an array of new media, episodic series, industrials, and short and feature films.

In addition to regional performance academies, Vanessa has trained with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting/Art of Acting for Acting Technique, The Juilliard School for Voice, The Groundlings School for Improvisation, and is a Specialized Training Alumni with The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Camera Acting for Film and Television.

Vanessa's also had a variety of skilled instruction, such as fight choreography with Stuart Wilson (Owner of Action Acting & Bruce Willis' stunt double), and has studied martial arts from an early age.

In addition to acting, Vanessa enjoys coaching and teaching fellow actors, and even ran a successful ongoing Actor's Masterclass at the former Hollywood South Studios through a program called "Footlight Acting." Today, she continues to coach privately, prepping actors for auditions and upcoming roles, and teaches workshops at various studios and schools in Southern California.

"I’d love to see [the industry] grow into something where we no longer have to worry about fighting for equal opportunities and it just is – all the while continuing to make something great with passion at the forefront. And, at the end of the day, I just want to be a part of that.”

IndieActivity Magazine
​"Interview with Filmmaker and Actor Vanessa Silva"




Vanessa's natural interest in filmmaking was piqued at an early age when her parents bought her a PixelVision PXL2000 that allowed for 11 minutes of black and white film and forced Vanessa to be creative with micro shorts. At 11, she wrote her first 20-page spec script for a then-popular sitcom, and at 15, worked in her high school's Television Studio,  began producing one take films, and crewed for the drama program before taking the stage herself. By 18, Vanessa was interning at Sunset Productions in New York City, while going to school at SUNY Westchester for film honors, and assistant teaching in her former High School's drama program. 

In 2014, Vanessa Silva and Heather Hentila developed Footlight Studios, along with Ainsley Strachan and Chelsea Gray, with the vision of creating characters they not only wanted to portray as actors, but to see more of on television and in films. Vanessa attributes the success of Footlight Studios - and herself - to unyielding teamwork and non-stop education, which is why every set aims to be a teaching set.


In 2019, she was a Sundance Co//ab Scholarship recipient and learned directly under horror & psychological thriller Screenwriter, Scott Kosar. Vanessa has also had training in conjunction with USC School of Cinematic Arts, Canon Hollywood, Shane Hurlbut ASC, AbelCine, ARRI Academy, Filmmakers Alliance, NBC, Alliance of Women Directors and more. In addition, Vanessa is on the Production Management team at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and an Advisory Board Member at San Bernardino Valley College's Institute of Media Arts. 

"Vanessa [Silva] is breaking new ground and pushing boundaries with her filmmaking. It takes a unique person who has the resolve and courage to be able to do that. A person with vision who can look past the standard tropes and clichés of our craft. Vanessa is that person. She is pushing herself, and the industry, with a fervor that will not be outmatched.

Script Summit
"In the Spotlight: Vanessa Silva"

bottom of page