Dear Future Filmmaker

3 min readSep 4, 2023

This is an entry post after completing internship for Solel Congregation at University of Toronto. The experimental film “Solel- Pathfinder” was shot using super 8mm film and self edited. Locations included cathedrals and botanical gardens.

  1. Focus on making something special, not perfect. A film is meant to be shown. Because making visual art requires a display it can be difficult not to fall into people pleasing. The essence of art is interpretation, and you should feel free to create what is your own even if it is only loved by few. Falling into craving acceptance means a lack of genuine expression- this will always come across on screen. It is not lies that speak to us, it is truth. Saying something genuine also doesn’t require saying something new. Take the pressure off yourself, find a unique way to express an old truth. In the case of my film it is appreciation being displayed. A genuine perspective is a statement, it is an experience. You don’t need to worry about making your viewpoint compatible with the rest of the world. What is the fun in that?
  2. What is your inspiration? Inspiration is the axis and your art is the earth. Find what makes you spin. If you cannot find inspiration you cannot progress. If you encounter any sort of “creative blocks” ask yourself what is inspiring you, and is it still? This may change throughout your creative process- and that is alright! If it is no longer inspiring, then time to seek out new inspiration. Inspiration can be anything. It does not have have be tightly bound to your work either. Inspiration gives you momentum, this is not the same as an attempt for recreation. One of my inspirations was the Greek Orthodox Church I grew up in. This was not present in the film, but I captured a perspective that I believe to be reminiscent of its beauty. Another inspiration would be interactions with wildlife I had in my youth. It was important for me to capture the animals I came across while filming for this reason. The main purpose of the film was to show a vast admiration and connection for the natural world and spiritual world. How better to do that than capturing the variety of creatures we cohabit with? For me, capturing animals life was necessary.
  3. Did your product transform? From start to finish films encounter a various array of problems. What was part of the conception may no longer work. Sound, visuals, writing can all change as the process goes on. You have to integrate this as you go. The product should be the best version of itself, which means letting go of previous versions that did not work. Allow it to develop. The first version is never the best and it is often only feasible in your head. Become a sculptor. Work as you go to reveal what is in reality rather than creating something from nothing. Everything must have a source.
  4. If you are working as the next filmmaker for Solel Congregation, use the land as inspiration. As I said, the images don’t have to be what inspired you. But spend time at the location, and have a moment of appreciation. See if you can garner the essence of it and from that make art. When I visited I was enchanted by the stones and decorations at the synagogue. It brought the building to life, and spoke of the people within it. The building was an expression of life not just shelter. It was this sort of imbued experience that made me want to create a film purely for admiration. We don’t often take time to simply experience positivity anymore. So much of news and media inspire negativity rather than appreciation. A film can be used to communicate anything you want. I hope that my film allows for a lighter breath to drawn. An experience of vastness and appreciation can lead to a perspective of renewed hope- something so desperately needed in the world.

Filmmaker for Solel 2023,

Sofi A.