She went back to Europe several years later to study art in Madrid, finishing with a specialized degree in Fine Arts and Art History from CUNY Queens College.
As the years went on, Valado moved to Brooklyn, where she's lived in Williamsburg and Greenpoint since.
“I love the community,” she said of Greenpoint. “I think geographically it's just really beautiful.”
So, having been surrounded by talented experimental filmmakers for much of her life, Valado decided to use her art organization, Woven Spaces, to launch the Greenpoint Film Festival in the fall of 2011.
The festival is currently taking submissions for the fall of 2012.
“I thought that would be the perfect thing for me to do,” Valado said.
“Especially around all the changes that are going on and upgrades and environmental clean-ups,” she added, referring to major projects such as Newtown Creek.
Valado has a keen interest in the environment, so nearly 50 percent of the festival's films will involve that subject. Last year's festival had an entire day devoted to environmental films.
“I see the festival as a platform and an opportunity for a lot of people to come together,” Valado said. “The environmental section is also very exciting to me because I feel that in addition to being a very strong cultural program, we can also be of service to the Greenpoint community.”
This year's festival is taking submissions in both experimental and independent film. In the future, Valado said she wants to create more educational opportunities and involve more students.