The ability to create compelling, wondrous and absorbing pieces of art is the true test of an actor's ability. It is through dedication, commitment and passion that one develops the skills, confidence and talent to draw an audience in and hold their undivided attention for the duration of a film. Daria Sarmientos does exactly that in her award-winning performance as Eva in “The Death of An Artist,” an internationally acclaimed film by director Songhuan Li.
A powerful story of a budding writer who has contracted a rare disease in which she will soon lose her sight, “The Death of An Artist” explores the deep human connection between the experience of life itself and the world around us. Daria’s character Eva seeks comfort in a desert-based cult in which euthanasia is legal. Upon arrival, she meets the leader of the cult who takes her on a deeply personal and intricate journey of self-discovery.
“Her profound understanding of the human condition, combined with her relentless pursuit of authenticity, brought a richness and depth to the role that elevated the entire project,” explains director Songhuan Li.
“The success of ‘The Death of An Artist’ can be attributed, in large part, to Daria's unwavering dedication and her ability to breathe life into the character. The film's 44 nominations and awards stand as a testament to the indelible mark she left on the project.”
As we see Eva battle through the hardest stage of her life, in fear of losing her ability to do the thing she loves most, Daria’s gripping portrayal of the character captivates the audience in a uniquely tranquil yet hypnotic manner.
Being chosen as an Official Selection of 49 film festivals, “The Death of an Artist” took home numerous prestigious awards, including a Best Actress Award at the World Film Carnival Singapore for Daria Sarmientos’ knockout performance. The critical acclaim associated with “The Death of An Artist” is not only a testament to the dedication and passion displayed by the cast and crew involved, but it is also a celebration of Songhuan Li’s ability to create a film that develops emotion, intrigue and wonder within viewers. Li extracts the best of Daria’s acting skills in this movie, showcasing her undeniable capacity to portray a complex character with deep and intricate layers.
When asked about her relationship with Li, Sarmientos explains “I’ve worked with Songhuan Li before and I’ve always found his art extremely interesting. He is a visionary, he likes to challenge the audience and he’s really good at bringing the best out of his actors. There was no doubt that I wanted to join him on this project.”
Further detailing her experience of working on the film, Sarmientos praises the director for allowing her the creative freedom to incorporate her own ideas, feelings and sense of the character. She explains, “Being able to bring as many ideas I had, to feel part of the creation of something very particular and unique. Li gave me a lot of space to move into with my acting and my creative process.”
After an incredibly successful collaboration on “The Death of an Artist,” Li tapped Sarmientos to join him once again as one of the stars in his dramatic crime film “Last Dance.” Released in 2021, the film serves as an exploration of acceptance, realization, guilt and addiction, in which Sarmientos plays the role of a man’s subconscious that appears after his near-fatal drug dose. The character portrayed by Sarmientos is crucial to the man’s ability to come to terms with a traumatic and tragic event that happened earlier in his life. The role gave the actress further creative freedom to explore the possibilities of playing a character with a powerful sense of control, intensity and, in some ways, dominance.
“Choosing to collaborate with Daria Sarmientos on ‘Last Dance’ was an instinctive decision rooted in our deep creative connection and mutual respect. Having previously worked together on two projects, I had witnessed firsthand her unparalleled dedication and ability to bring characters to life,” explains Li about why working with Sarmientos was a natural decision for the film.
“Daria possesses a rare gift as a performer—a profound connection with her characters that transcends the boundaries of the script. Her unwavering commitment to understanding the intricacies of each role enables her to deliver performances that are captivating, nuanced and emotionally charged. It is this innate ability to delve into the depths of a character's soul that sets her apart as a truly exceptional artist.”
During the filming of “Last Dance,” Sarmientos faced some unique challenges as an actress that required her to portray experiences that, although quite foreign to her own life, were necessary for her to fully immerse herself in the character.
She explains, “My character at a certain point of the story was sexually abused, while she was in the hospital, in her bed. When, as an actor, you find yourself in a circumstance you’ve never experienced in real life, you need to do your research and find a way to make yourself believable in your character's shoes. That was a big challenge for me.”
An Official Selection of over 30 international film festivals and the winner of numerous awards, “Last Dance” did incredibly well on the film festival circuit, with Sarmientos personally taking home the Best Female Performance Award at the Istanbul Film Festival, the Screen Power Awards Honorable Mention Award and the Best Actress Award from ADIFF (Actors & Directors International Film Festival).
Over the course of her career Sarmientos has portrayed a range of characters with vastly different backgrounds, personalities, stories, emotions and depictions. In addition to her multi-award winning film work, Sarmientos has been featured in numerous critically acclaimed series, such as “Grace and Frankie” starring two-time Oscar Award winner Jane Fonda and Screen Actors Achievement Award winner, Lily Tomlin, as well as the hit show “In Ice Cold Blood,” where she took on the starring role of Dina Kichler in season two.
With an intrinsic fire that drives her to portray complex characters, a long history of successful film and television roles under her belt, and a well pool of creativity at her disposal, there’s no question that we will be seeing a whole lot more of Sarmientios on the big and small screen. In addition to playing a starring role in the upcoming film “Circle Bridge,” which is due out later this year, she has also been tapped to take on the role of Miss Thatcher in the upcoming film “The Cousin,” which is expected to begin filming later this year. The highly anticipated film “The Cousin” will as star Oscar Award-nominated actress Virginia Madsen from the hit series “Designated Survivor,” and memorable films such as the Oscar Award winning “Sideways,” “The Prophecy,” “Candyman” and “The Haunting in Connecticut”