Remember that tweet/Instagram post that I sent out last week about the lovely woman that shot a special episode of Cable 14's Hamilton Life and made my day by giving me a notebook to write my goals and dreams in because they'll be 46% more likely to happen? (That was a mouthful and a half). Well, she (Cher Obediah) just so happens to be this week's #WCW honouree! Check out our Q&A below:
When and how did you decide to connect with your roots?
I started to get curious as a teenager and seemed to gravitate towards the Native kids in high school. I ended up joining the Native Club. Since then, I found ways to incorporate culture into different chapters of my life. When I wanted to go to theatre school, I applied to the Native Theatre School in Toronto. When I studied Journalism, it was at First Nations Technical Institute in their Aboriginal Media program. I also worked at a First Nations production company.
Having said that there's a very distinct difference between having some level of understanding and an actual sense of belonging and connectedness. Becoming a powwow dancer last year has begun to fill that void in a powerful way. I'm extremely proud of myself.
Did your past experiences in the television and film industry help you make Don’t Just Talk About It? In what way(s)?
I've grown comfortable taking concepts, and adding elements of good storytelling. I started in the news with 90 second clips and got more in-depth at a production company where I really zoned in on all areas and honed my craft. I moved on from there to start my own production company and naturally progressed into film. I'm at an exciting point in my life and career where the hunger for more is being fed in various ways. I feel like a sponge and I'm loving it.
What can we learn from watching and supporting this?
Don't Just Talk About It has broad appeal. We've all had moments of accomplishment and know how great it feels. The film represents it's title and encourages people to listen to their intuition and live the life they were intended to live.
The inspiring messages are delivered through my personal story of transformation from city girl to powwow dancer. Ironically the dance I learned is Women's Fancy Shawl, also known as the butterfly dance. In essence I emerged from my cocoon with colorful wings of dance that for so many years I thought only belonged to the privileged. The story may be mine but it offers strength and begs the individual question of positive transformation.
The accompanying interviews, educate on the power of mind, human psychology, Indigenous culture, regalia, dance and history. The motivational messages throughout help guide us through the stages of accomplishment.
How can we support the doc?
Unless you're involved in the industry you may not fully understand that the landscape for documentary funding has dramatically changed. As a member of the Doc Institute, I attend their networking and educational opportunities where the bleak reality of funding is almost always a topic of discussion.
Indiegogo is a crowd sourcing platform originally born for filmmakers and has become a viable way to bring projects to life, build an audience and network with like minds. I currently have an Indiegogo Campaign running and it can be found on the web by searching Don’t Just Talk About It Cher Obediah. All the project details are there with an option to donate or donate in exchange for perks. I decided to run my Indiegogo for a quick 30 days because research supported that, however I also chose flex funding which means the project is set up to accept donations past the deadline. Since this is my first one I was worried it may not be enough time to connect with the right eyes.
Are there more documentaries in your future or are you going to see where this takes you?
I’m going to be a documentary-making machine! I have so many inspiring ideas I want to share with the world! I do currently have three other projects I’ve researched and plan to move forward with. I have to pace myself sometimes because I see so many areas where education and awareness can lend significantly. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of the need or causes before and I always did what I could on an individual level, however now I feel like it’s my job if not my duty to use my creative talents in a purposeful way on an international level.
It doesn't matter what nationality you are or where you are in your life, we can ALL relate to Cher Obediah and the message that she is trying to send with her documentary. That is exactly what was discussed on Hamilton Life Lessons. We all eventually go on a little adventure to find ourselves. Some find themselves sooner than later, and others may always be drawn to a certain way of life (like Cher) but may not get the chance to discover why. It's all very mind-blowing to me.
I think that this documentary could really make a difference in the world and if you feel the same way, you should consider supporting the doc, or at least sharing the link. Please feel free to follow and tweet Cher here. Your support will help tremendously with the smallest actions like being an active supporter on social media.