Find hope. Be resilient. Take Action. A 16 year old takes a year off school and travels for six months to document real life stories of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.
Interview with Writer/Director Kasha Sequoia Slavner
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I made it because I wanted to share the brave ways people are overcoming the issues and challenges they face within their communities. I wanted to share the ways people are striving to make positive change and show that anyone is capable of doing so as well. I also wanted to show that there was an alternative & more hopeful narrative to the mainstream than we were getting.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It is so easy now to see what’s happening in the world and feel small, disempowered, and overwhelmed. The stories are of everyday people in communities around the world who are courageously rising above their circumstances. They serve as role models and inspiration for others to reflect on the good that the world has to offer.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
This film balances the themes of hope and resilience. Everyone deals with challenges in their lifetime, but resilience is not about the lack of struggle, rather our response to it. Hope is for the future. It is what kept the characters in the film motivated to carry on with their missions and triumph over their circumstances.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
I interviewed over 30 people initially, but ended up narrowing it down to 7 stories over the course of scripting the film (the script was done after I returned from filming to help me get organized before editing the film).
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I am happy that the film has received very positive feedback. It’s had a few standing ovations too which took me by surprise. Audiences have shared with me that the film inspired them. It’s also received a lot of great industry feedback and testimonials, including an endorsement by UN Women.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I still have so much to learn about filmmaking. The reception it has been getting is surprising to me as I’ve never had film experience before and this is such a personal project that is so dear to my heart. Every time I sit in a theatre with others to watch the film my heart still pounds so rapidly. The main thing I care about is that it’s making impact, inspiring people and getting them motivated to take action in their own lives and communities.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I am so grateful to share this on a website that is highlighting incredible work done by the women in the industry. Expanding my audience is very important and I’m glad to be sharing my work with other people who are passionate about film and promoting the voices of women in film.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I’m looking for anyone who has experience in distribution & sales. It is a field I am learning about as I go along, and it’s still quite confusing. Having someone to guide/mentor us in the right direction would be so helpful. I’m also looking for educators who would like to share the film in their classrooms and of course press to promote the film and help grow its audience.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want this film to drive people to act, especially youth, who I know care deeply and are so passionate about the world around us to begin with. I want to encourage others to remember the message of the film, and take that inspiration into their own lives with issues they care about.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How can we all be global citizens? What issues are you most passionate about and what can you bring to the table to help change things?
Would you like to add anything else?
For additional information visit www.thesunrisestoryteller.com
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Currently I’m working on the impact/outreach strategy. I’m developing an educational toolkit for high school students to be paired with the film. I will definitely do another film soon.
Interview: September 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
The Sunrise Storyteller
Find hope. Be resilient. Take Action.
Director: Kasha Sequoia Slavner
Producer: Marla Slavner
Writer: Kasha Sequoia Slavner
About the writer, director and producer:
Kasha Sequoia Slavner is a 19 year old award-winning 1st-time documentary filmmaker with a decade of experience as a photographer/entrepreneur/social justice advocate & 6x UN Youth Delegate.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): buyers, distributors, journalists, grants/donations.
Social media handles:
Facebook: The Sunrise Storyteller
Where can I see it in the next month?
Check thesunrisestoryteller.com screenings page for film festival details.