1) Why did you decide to get into this industry?
I was always a creative person, using a camera as my main medium of choice. It was not until I was in my second year of a Bachelor’s program at Parsons School of Design in New York City that I realized my true strength was in telling stories authentically through documentary filmmaking. It took me 32-years to find my own voice and feel comfortable sharing the story of traumas I had experienced. That journey has fueled my passion to use documentary film as a tool to give others a platform to be seen and heard. Hearing other human stories offers a great deal of connection and unity. I create short-form documentaries for individuals, small businesses and organizations that want to share their stories and the meaningful work they are doing. I use this as an effective way for their audience to relate to relate to them, and to understand the value of the work they’re doing.
2) What’s a defining moment in your life?
Can we amend this sentence in the answer of the second question to: As I mentioned, finding my voice was a 32-year long journey. In 2019, I felt the call to share my own story, after years of sharing the stories of many other beautiful humans through documentary film and my storytelling platform blindfoldmag.com. I worked with a speaking coach, Eduardo Placer of Fearless Communicators, who motivated me to speak my truth in front of an audience. It was very surreal, and quite transformative in my personal growth. Doing this opened up a new layer of compassion to have for myself, and also for the audience members who identified with the pain I was recounting in my story. After that experience, I felt as though the weight of those traumas became less intensified. I realized that I had likely gone through those experiences and eventually would do the healing work around them to then help others use their voices to share their stories.
3) What is your biggest concern with the future?
I think that humans have incredible willpower within them, and they have the ability to tap into it when they are pushed far enough. If you look into your own history, and the history of our planet, you will see that this is true. By embracing these stories of our past leaders, we can identify them as evidence of our own capabilities. As tragic events continue to unfold around the world, I have no doubt that every person, not just appointed leaders, will gradually recognize the power in their actions, their intuition, how and where they spend their money, and how they use their voice.
4) What is a successful moment in your career so far?
I am directing a documentary film called The Often Forgotten on the exploitation and trafficking of boys and young men in the sex tourism industry of Thailand that addresses the challenges that activists who are fighting for their rights have faced. In Fall 2019, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise finishing funds with Producer and Human Trafficking Activist Alezandra Russell, and we are now wrapping up post-production. It feels great to see a story you have been pouring your heart and skills into for so long come together in a beautiful way. I am hopeful that it will have positive impact on the lives of these boys and young men, as well as the audience watching it.
5) What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
You have just as much value as any other being on this planet. Take up space, and surround yourself with people who empower you. Always follow your heart, and what you know to be true.
6) What, if anything, do you collect?
I work with essential oils, as part of self care to keep myself grounded and calm. They have their own shelf, because I have so many of them. I also read lots of spiritual books. The spirit world really fascinates me, and I feel comforted by reading about it. Here are a couple of the books I’ve read, recommended by Spiritual Coach Jaclynn Pearse, that I’ve really enjoyed:
7) What are you working on next? In addition, if people want to find out more about you, where can they find you on social media?
My personal Instagram handle is @jackiesinlove. Send me a DM and say hello! I’d love to connect with you. I have produced a series of Mini-Docs for people doing meaningful work on my @blindfoldstories storytelling platform. You can also follow my documentary film’s journey at @theoftenforgottenfilm on Instagram. As for what is next in my career, I will continue telling stories. I’m doing some research on what my next documentary film subject will be. In the meantime, I will be submitting The Often Forgotten to film festivals, and hosting some screenings to educate people on the issue.