Thanks to our speakers and The Mixed space community, this year's August Meetup was enlightening and inspiring. We came together to reflect on the many biases that exist in media content and the production industry.
Our hosts for the evening, Lili Stiefel and Ariel Bastida, began by framing the discussion in a historical context and shared a video of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award.
We took a moment to honor the unseen people of the industry, stories that have been silenced, and the truths that have yet to be shown on screen. Our panelists shared their unique and varied points of view on past, present and future realities facing the media industry.
The panelists, CA Davis, David Garcia, and Maris Lidaka introduced themselves and the companies they have created along their journeys, showing us how to create our own pathways for the content we want to see in the world.
CA Davis has always gravitated towards storytelling and history. He studied telecommunications and started film editing after college. He currently works as a Digital Storyteller at Northwestern University and is creator of the Latto Thought Podcast. His perspectives shared during the meetup reflect his involvement in academia as well as his continued passion for civil rights, history, and truth telling. He reminded us to recognize the camera as a colonizer's tool, forcing us to face the political motivations behind the history of media.
David Garcia, an experienced professional in the film and media production industry, is also Media Director for The Mixed Space. Throughout his career, David has ensured that ze creates safe environments on set for both physical and mental health. David’s knowledge about film technology is immense and ze is very open to sharing this insight with others. At the meetup, ze reminded us of how accessible content creation is at the time we are living in today. David compares the camera to a pen, because the camera can rewrite history or even tell untold stories. There is power in storytelling.
Maris Lidaka is a long time lover of film who has worked across all different types of media for decades. He shared his learnings with us about how the production industry works on an executive level and also how to create work that brings your passions to life. Maris himself is the founder of The Blended Future Project, which empowers the Mixed experience through storytelling. At the meetup, Maris shared the idea that film can pass down values through generations. He also encouraged those who aspire to have careers in the media industry that success is a marathon, not a sprint.