This past week, I listened to a group of filmmakers come to grips with the idea that Trump will be our next president. With the media and filmmaking communities reeling, there's an enormous task and responsibility ahead. As storytellers, artists, filmmakers, we need to understand that our primary job is to listen, and when I say that, it doesn't mean selective listening.
The first thing we need is to get out of our own echo chambers. We're all guilty of surrounding ourselves with news and communities that reinforce our beliefs. To actively seek out other points of view and step out of our comfort zones is hard. We've got to work against that, and work with media makers and artists to create dialogue.
Next we need to start screening our films and media and accessing audiences that normally wouldn't see these films. How can we take our film to people in the community? How can we distribute to a wider audience by partnering with national organizations? How can the right and left come together in the age of fractured media?
Finally, we need to work to de-privilege ourselves. It's a privilege that I get to tell other people's stories. But giving others the tools to tell their own stories empowers those individuals and provides real context to what people experience rather than seeking out your narrative arc. We all have very different versions of reality. I never really understood this before but now more than ever, find your characters, and wait for the story to unfold.