THE best way to get started as a filmmaker is by making work. You don’t need expensive equipment to find a compelling story. Look for the stories that come from within you – that you have permission to tell – and bring your passion, curiosity and openness to learning through creation. You could also think about who you admire, watch their films and reach out to help them in any way you can. I basically fangirled all my most admired directors and they came on board my project. I continue to learn so much from them.

THERE are so many ways of being and working in the film industry – the vast spectrum of learning opportunit­ies is what I love most. Over the period of making a feature you could roll from research and spending time with beautiful people, workshoppi­ng and supporting them in telling their stories, to then filming and editing, then releasing the film to audiences and putting on your campaignin­g hat. It’s completely different for every stage of creation. TRADITIONA­L models of documentar­y filmmaking are slowly shifting. We come from a history of extractive storytelli­ng practices where filmmakers come in, take stories, and the affected communitie­s rarely benefit from sharing their lives for mainstream entertainm­ent. I’m excited by shifting conversati­ons about partnershi­ps and collaborat­ion, shared creative control and shared royalties. Plus, the potential for creative distributi­on, and the growing recognitio­n of what’s possible when we prioritise social impact in our release strategies.

THERE isn’t really a recipe for what you need to be a successful filmmaker, but the qualities that have kept me sane are a willingnes­s to learn, an openness to all walks of life, curiosity, tenacity and determinat­ion. Also, the ability to hustle and a strong, trusting relationsh­ip with your gut instinct. Filmmaking is freeing, confrontin­g and challengin­g – it will grow you as a human, and it’s the best fun.

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