Our Bard Company is full of talented people who have projects, businesses and passions off the stage. This week, we’re highlighting Film & Podcast creatives! If you missed our second series featuring Artisans & Musicians you can see it here.
It’s more important than ever to support our arts community, so make sure to check out the work of these incredible artists and share with your friends. Scroll on to see who’s featured this week!
Ghazal Azarbad (Bard Actor)
“After our production of The Seagull at Soulpepper got cancelled due to Covid19, I knew I wasn’t done with Masha. Given the isolating circumstances of the pandemic and the need to continue her journey, I felt compelled to write from her perspective. To me, Masha is the perfect voice to capture the bleakness of what we continue to experience. Her humour, heart, and devotion to Konstantin held tons of space for exploration. I was delighted to be funded by the Digital Originals Grant to see the idea to its completion. Thank you to the Canada Council, Soulpepper, and Bard on the Beach for this feature!”
Paneet Singh (Bard Apprentice Director & Creative Cultural Consultant)
Paneet’s work in filmmaking is borne of his lifelong love of cinema, passion for storytelling and inspired by his Punjabi-Sikh identity, often being rooted in Sikh and South Asian cultures and themes. His work includes narrative shorts, commercials, and documentary, and is usually centered around historical re-imagination, complex characters, and dynamic relationships. Currently he is directing the Telus Storyhive funded documentary Press Breaker about Surrey’s Harleen Sidhu, the first South Asian woman to play NCAA Division I basketball.
AJ Simmons (Bard 2020 Digital Company)
An enchantingly unique twist on the immigrant story, Yasmina, is a dream-like, deconstructed fairytale exploring the intersections of identity and coming of age, while shedding light on a cultural conflict many 1st generation youth are constantly negotiating.
The project was helmed by a team made up of Women of Colour, driven to create a work environment in which respect, equity, diversity and inclusion are the foundation for the collaborations they endeavour to facilitate. Yasmina was created by award-winning producer Andy Alvarez, written/directed by actor-and-first time filmmaker AJ Simmons, and exquisitely shot by award-winning cinematographer Kaayla Whachell.
Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg (Bard Choreographer & Movement Coach)
“I love a good chat! Over the years I’ve had many an inspiring chin wag with the artists I work with in dance and theatre. So many artists were saying such good and important things. I thought ‘I need to share this stuff!’. So in September 2019 Talking Sh*t wth Tara Cheyenne was born. My main focus is on local, BC and Canadian female identifying and non-binary artists with at least 50% BIPOC artists as interview guests. There are so many amazing artists in our community and I’m really interested in learning about how they make work, stay creative, deal with disappointments, negotiate contracts, live in tiny spaces… with children, cope with agism/sexism/racism/ablism, work in isolation, work in collaboration…etc, etc. Being an artist is hard and multifaceted, so the more we can learn from each other the healthier and more creative we will be. And of course in these wacky bananas times it’s more important than ever to stay connected.”
Raugi Yu (Bard Actor)
“As a Film Director I’m inspired by the idea of magic in the real world and capturing those moments in camera. This comes from my never-ending fascination with watching people and witnessing these moments over and over. Sometimes they are beautiful and sometimes they are terrifying. Most recently I directed my first feature film, Attic Trunk. Everyone involved was all magic and the movie is the same. We are very close to releasing this film! I am very proud and excited. Our producers HLFÅS and Colleen Wheeler really supported us by mirroring for us in every moment the core values of how we work and how our set was run. Positivity and solution based problem solving with a real appreciation and acknowledgment of our hard working talent and crew. It was really life altering.”
Colleen Wheeler (Bard Actor & Artistic Associate)
“About three years ago my producing partner HLFÅS (heel-face) and I made a crazy short film over a weekend and we were hooked. HLFÅS had written a feature length script called “ATTIC TRUNK” and after some workshopping we shot it in October 2019. We are currently in the final phases of post-production and we are excited to submit to festivals in the coming months. Produced by our company HEELFACTORYfilm, it is directed by Raugi Yu and stars Andrew McNee, Josette Jorge, Jay Brazeau and Gabrielle Rose, with original score composed by Torquil Campbell.
We’ve really enjoyed making films. We strive to create a positive, supportive and solution based environment that promotes creativity and to ensure each part of the team feels appreciated and valued for their contribution.”