Yesterday we hosted a gathering of alumni of the Rebel Heart Film workshop. Chris and I wanted to connect again with everyone who’s been a part of it, find out where they are with their projects and how we can help them, and crucially to connect them with each other. The more workshops we’ve led, the more we are convinced that the key to success for all of us indie filmmakers lies in creating a strong community, a community which supports, emboldens, encourages, provides resources and knowledge, celebrates, educates and inspires.
We now know that gatherings like yesterday have to be a regular event for our alumni. Getting together in person, we learn so much and grow so much. We hold each other accountable to our goals, we keep each other on track, we support each other however we can.
I recently learned the Sanskrit word “mudita” which means a vicarious joy that arises from the good fortune of others. It’s the opposite of schadenfreude. It rejoices in others’ achievements. I honestly want to experience mudita with every person who comes to our workshops. I want to sit in the audiences of their films’ premiers at top festivals, I want to applaud when their films win awards, I want to watch them achieve all their potential and more. I want to see them fly.
Something that really blew me away yesterday, as I looked around the room, is how diverse the Rebel Heart Film community already is. Black, gay, Latino, trans, queer, female, over 40…basically every demographic that has been traditionally shut out from mainstream filmmaking was represented in that room.
And to me this is the exciting thing about the new model of community based filmmaking – that diverse voices are empowered and will be heard. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the stories we tell don’t just reflect the world, they create it. When we have stories from diverse perspectives on our screens, this enriches us all…and it can change the world. I truly believe that.
Together I think we can do it: we can make films that reflect our true values and experiences, films that bond us, connect us, help us evolve individually and collectively, that disrupt the status quo and make the world a better place.
Rebels unite, because together we are unstoppable.
Vive la revolution!
PS one of our Portland Alum, Alicia J. Rose, is currently crowdfunding for her new web series project, THE BENEFITS OF GUSBANDRY. Join the indie-filmmaking revolution and support her wonderful project here. It takes a village…and we’re in this together.