Braun encourages women and youth filmmakers to find their voice

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Local filmmaker Mariah Braun hopes to impact the lives of youth and women beyond the screen.

The Grande Prairie resident will release “Life Without Diagnosis” on Feb. 25,  with her second film “Able” set for release next year.

“I would like to advocate for more women and youth to get involved in filmmaking, “Braun said. “It’s important for me that I see women succeeding and I know it is important for youth to see a role model that looks like them or that they feel they too could do what I am doing. I didn’t have that. I would never see a Black film-maker that was successful in my community.

“I think it is important for youth to see or get these opportunities because then it makes it a reality for them.”

Traditionally in filmmaking, it has been older white men who were given the opportunity to tell the stories, but having a female or youth perspective provides a different viewpoint.

A fresh viewpoint can be provided by having women and youth tell the stories of their peers and others in the community, which brings new insight to the audience.

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Braun said first got her start by taking a workshop in town.

“I took a workshop from the Peace Region Independent Media Arts Association here in town in 2016,” she explained. “It was a hands-on workshop. Really, I just wanted to learn how to operate a camera and shoot video or film. When I went there, I got to experience the different crew positions like holding the boom (mic) and operating the lights. From there, honestly, I just fell in love with the art of making films.

“I continued to take more courses through GPRC and any free opportunities that kind of came my way locally. I took every opportunity and just started making things. From there it just grew.”

Note Story has been edited to fix a typographical error. and to adjust photo.

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