Meeting Indigenous filmmaker Jessica Brown
Her new documentary ‘Here to Stay’ features six local Indigenous artists
CAMERON KILFOY THE TELEGRAM cameron.kilfoy @saltwire.com @cameronkilfoy
Through her upcoming documentary, "Here To Stay", Jessica Brown sheds light on the resilience of Indigenous artists in St John's. This cinematic venture is not just a project for Brown. She said it's an exploration fueled by her personal connection to the Indigenous community. Before embarking on her film career, Brown's professional path took her from event planning in British Columbia to roles in health care in Labrador. Yet, it was her move to St. John's in 2018, driven by opportunities for her children, that became a turning point. Brown said her exposure to the art industry awakened her passion for filmmaking. "Moving here opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. Every corner exuded artistic inspiration," she said. Guided by her newfound passion, Brown said she immersed herself in workshops, learning the various roles one can play on a set. She collaborated with artists, shadowing them to understand their work. The steps taken by Brown helped hone her storytelling craft. All of which laid the foundation for what would become "Here To Stay", she said. Reflecting on her artistic evolution, Brown said, "I wanted to create space for Indigenous artists to tell their story, as opposed to me, telling their stories." She hopes that the documentary will uplift and celebrate the diversity of the Indigenous community in the metro area. The documentary, consisting of six 10-minute episodes, features six local Indigenous artists and highlights contributors who travelled to St. John's to share their artistic narratives. "Here To Stay" will premiere on Bellfibetv1 in the first quarter of 2024.