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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gilmour


The past couple of months have been nothing short of magical.

First, I would like to share an exciting update.  I have been selected as a 2015 participant of the documentary Channel Doc Accelerator Scholarship Program! They featured me in this ad and in the promo video above. The clip even includes a shot of my dear friend Sarah Campbell, an inspiring activist who encouraged me to learn American Sign Language (ASL) and whose passion is now leading me to direct a documentary about the Deaf community in Montreal.

In other news, I recently finished directing a short film for YES Montreal – a documentary providing a portrait of Québec artists. You can watch Create Connect Discover here.

The experience of creating this piece was deeply moving. I had the privilege of working alongside a talented group of people – notably Marco Battista, Jennifer Cooke, Mario Clarke, and Catherine Brisindi. It isn’t everyday that one finds such a healthy and supportive team environment, and the benefits should not be understated. I am beginning to believe in what I will here term work chemistry.

To reach one’s full potential as an artist (or perhaps any profession), it is vital to find coworkers who empower and uplift one another. 

Interestingly, as part of our contract, we also filmed the YES Artists Conference, which featured a discussion panel with creatives from a variety of fields (such as Mila Aung-Thwin, film producer at EyeSteelFilm). At one point in the discussion, a member of the audience asked these special guests to describe what kinds of qualities they look for in potential partners for projects. Every single answer emphasized the same two ingredients: humility and rapport.

And this is why it was such a delight to work on this documentary. We all had the freedom to share our ideas and collaborate as equals, giving us space to explore, imagine, and create. By the end of the project, I found myself emotionally enraptured by a renewed zeal to seek out more possibilities to document life, to dialogue deeply with other artists, and to collaborate on meaningful pieces.

As the sun was setting on a long drive back from a shoot in rural Québec, it became evermore clear to me that filming was only half the assignment – the other half was relating to each other as a team.

After all, if we don't value connecting with each other, then how can we expect audiences to value and connect with our films? And so there we all were, at first mere strangers, delving deep into discussions about politics, philosophy, spirituality, culture, and more.

This production experience left me inspired. What more could I ask for?

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