My initiative of change was sparked in 2011 when I engaged in a month of filmmaking and dialogue alongside a group of Palestinians, Israelis and fellow Canadians. I left the program with a question: “How can filmmaking and dialogue be better fused as a tool for peacebuilding?”
One year later, I stood in a circle of filmmakers at a film festival in Vancouver, hoping to find an internship in film. When long-time Initiatives of Change film manager Chris Hartnell introduced his organization’s latest film An African Answer, he also mentioned that he was looking for a summer intern. A cup of coffee, two internships and one Caux Scholars Program later I found myself working under Chris’ mentorship as the Initiatives of Change Canada Communication Assistant.
Initially I was nervous about committing at all. I carried a fierce passion and meticulous plan to search out the answer to my question; I also feared that it wouldn’t happen if I didn’t start immediately.
Chris met my non-committal attitude to IofC with generosity, prayer and patience. I witnessed this peace-filled approach at work in IofC events, activities and each member I met. And slowly I settled in to accept that it takes more than my own passion and drive to make my dreams happen.
This year I felt that the time has come to move on. I will be working with a startup non-profit called I Am Filmmaker to train individuals and organizations in filmmaking. I hope that as I practice, I will learn what pieces of the training might be fused with tools from dialogue. I imagine that if using a camera and editing software can be as easy as picking up a pen and writing, then the technology is no longer a barrier to people with an incredible story to tell.
I am truly grateful for three years to work with Initiatives of Change before beginning this pursuit. I believe that my time here has allowed me to soak in such valuable lessons in teamwork, trust and listening. By watching them lived out among the team, I now consider these qualities an essential foundation for peacebuilding efforts. I hope to cultivate the same in my path forward.
Tim Hall, Surrey, BC