In a recent conversation with Kim Holl, the filmmaker behind the new film we unveiled at our 55th Anniversary Legacy Concert on June 28, we asked about her motivation for being involved in this project. The following are some of Kim’s observations during the filming process and some simple advice for supporting our next generation of leaders.
Why did you want to be involved in sponsoring this project?
In my previous life, I worked as a facilitator working with young people and many of them who were at risk. I’ve seen the plight of what young people have to go through and I’ve seen how hard it is sometimes to fit in – to be welcomed sometimes into their school – into their communities. Many young people feel on the fringe with no friends, no connections. And I think the most common thing that all young people want is that sense of belonging that is sometimes absent. So when I heard about the project, it struck a chord and I knew automatically, without even thinking, that I wanted to do the film.
Why did this strike such a chord with you?
Because young people are going to be the next generation of community leaders, voters, sponsors, volunteers, and we need to listen to them now, not when they come of age.
Can you explain your process when filming young people?
Filming children and youth is all about building trust. So I sit very quiet and very still and I listen. And sometimes it’s just sitting in union with young people, even if you’re not even talking very much. They’re getting to understand you. They’re getting to feel your energy and it’s then that they can begin to trust you. So I think as an adult, it’s really important not to assume what young people are thinking about or their ability to speak for themselves.
Can you talk a bit more about the value in listening to one another?
I think it’s really important for the elders of communities to really listen and be still. Young people have so much to offer and visa versa, elders have so much to offer youth as well and if we can find a way to bridge that gap where we can each learn from each other in a real safe environment, that’s when the magic happens.
You had a great conversation with one of our Child Youth & Family coordinators, who was featured in the film. Can you tell us a bit more about some of his insights?
We spoke at length about the challenges youth are facing now and that the whole environment has changed. Today is not like it was a few years ago. The generations today just face so much more in this changing world and that has caused a lot of anxiety for youth who don’t cope well with change. SOS has created such a nurturing environment for these kids, a place to feel safe, to be themselves and to feel grounded. It’s a place where kids can talk to an adult, get services and most importantly, talk to other young people who are going through similar things.
There’s a lot of news these days about youth feeling pessimistic about the future. What has your experience in working with youth told you about what kind of world they want and how they think they will fit into it?
It’s not just the young people. It’s older generations as well. It’s eco-anxiety and many have a very negative view of the world. But I’ve found that young people have ideas and they are so resourceful and so creative and innovative when given the space and time. So when you create an environment of acceptance that nurtures belonging like SOS does, it’s easier for kids to find meaning and purpose, which ultimately helps them to become happier and more resilient as they go through their teenage years and into adulthood.
After speaking with Kim and listening to the youth and SOS staff featured in the film, we are even more energized to ensure that local youth have what they need to feel heard and inspired. For it is they who we will pass the torch to as we are all ushered into the future.
We would love your feedback on the film and any comments you would like to share about your own observations about today’s youth and how we can help them prepare for the future.
With our grateful hearts,
SOS Executive Director
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Kim Holl’s filmmaking process, you can check out her website at https://storiestoldonfilm.ca/
To continue your support of the next generation of citizens, donate here.