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Denouncing racism through a powerful short film

Avatar Voices of Youth
Member since February 5, 2013
  • 122 Posts
  • Age 32

A still from the 'Correcting the Chalkboard' film.

A still from the 'Correcting the Chalkboard' film.

Interview with Elisa Moar. Learn more about Elisa's filmhere.

What is your video about?

This video was created to denounce any form of verbal violence and racism against aboriginal youth. Racism and insults are present every day in the lives of many young aboriginal people.

Why did you make this video? What motivated you to make it?

Everything started with a project called ‘’project footprint’’ that my high school in my community participated in. The original idea came from the AssociationENSEMBLE pour le respect de la diversité. We were all very motivated with the idea of creating a video to change people perception about us (aboriginal people). Correcting the Chalkboard was a collective creation where everybody helped and participated in.

What would you like to tell to global audiences about the subject matter of your video?

I am hoping that the audiences and public will see how racism can affect aboriginal youth like it does in my community. It is so important to remember to go beyond a simple skin tone because what really matter is the individual’s heart.

Was it difficult to get access to video equipment to make your video?
We are extremely lucky. In my community, an organism called Wapikoni mobile comes and teaches First Nation youth how to create films to express ourselves. This travelling-studio offered us the opportunity to have access to all the equipments we could need to make this film happen!

Was this your first video? Correcting the Chalkboard was my first video. Since then, I have filmed 3 others shorts films that have been screened in festivals around the world. All these videos are exploring topics or emotions that are really close to my heart.

Do you think that what is shown in the media changes people’s perceptions and opinions about issues? How?

I believe media is a very powerful tool to influence people perceptions and ideas. I think this medium is a great way to get a chance to be heard and seen by people that would otherwise never knew about the damage racism does in our lives . I am hoping people will remember after seeing this video to take a stand against racism towards aboriginal people.

Why do you think it is important for young people to make videos and to produce other types of media?
Videos are the new tool for social-change, with internet even remotes communities can have their voices heard. It is important to have young people making videos to create awareness about our realities. But also, videos are a great way to simply express yourself!

Do you think youth-produced media deserves better channels of distribution?

I think it is important that young filmmakers obtain a better visibility through mainstream media distribution. There are so many talented young filmmakers and activists that want to change things to build a brighter future. We deserve a solid structure of distribution, network and financial support to allow our visions and ideas being heard and recognized.

What advice would you give to a young person who would like to make a video?

Find a subject, topic or a story that inspired and passionate you. It has to be something you feel strongly connected to. Make a plan and open yourself to suggestions, ideas but always remember the core of your topic. Have fun doing it enjoy the journey this project will give you.

Are you producing another video?

I recently produced a new video titled ‘’Pearl’’, created during a workshop at l’Université du Québec à Montréal, this autumn. I co-directed the film with Marie-Pier Ottawa. We explored the concept of women, body and pressure with an experimental approach. It was a topic we both, Marie-Pier and I, wanted to develop for a while. Pearl received the Award for Best Short Film during this workshop. We are very proud of it.

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