Amen Jafri - Documentary Filmmaker and Coach, Creator of The Secret Lives of Public Servants


(Amen J.) #61

Honestly wish I had some big master plan to reveal, but it was several weeks of crying at home and crying at work, stressing out my husband and ranting to everyone around me. And then one day I thought, I am not doing this anymore. I don’t know how this is going to work, but I will find a way to make it work. I’d already started developing the coaching idea a couple of months prior, but now I can properly focus on it.

I also need to give a lot of credit to @Alex_LeMay who was my coach starting in September and not that he pushed me into any of this, but a lot my personal development and realization of this was due to our conversations.


(Meg Carroway) #62

What kinds of things are you thinking of offering?


(Amen J.) #63

For coaching or doc projects?


(Bri Castellini) #64

Gotta love @Alex_LeMay. Now I think I saw something recently about you potentially moving to the states? Is that still on your radar, and if it is, why the move? Canada has way better opportunities for grants in digital content


(Meg Carroway) #65

Consulting :slight_smile: But doc projects too! I wanna know what’s next! I remember watching your Secret Lives show when it was a Stareable Daily Pick and it was so cool!


(Amen J.) #66

My dream, like pretty much every other creative out there is to go live in New York/Brooklyn! I love your city. And I will find a way to do it, even just for a month, because I think we owe it to ourselves and life is short.

I am actually extremely frustrated with the risk-aversion and passivity in the Canadian scene. I don’t want to necessarily leave here, but the grant and funding model is terrible and not helpful to filmmakers, especially those who just want to get moving on their projects.


(Jaime Lancaster) #67

This seems like a good thing to ask in the last few minutes! I am also kind of new and if I’m being real I’m really having a hard time :confused: I’m not in film school so it’s been a PROCESS


(Amen J.) #68

Thank you, I am so proud of it! I’m working on a narrative pitch (originally was going to be a doc) for a brief put out by Flare Studio for a film on menstruation and finding a positive way to talk about it. And I have another idea I’d like to pitch somewhere (maybe NYTImes Op-Docs) on a flexible society that doesn’t just support early risers and what that looks like.

For coaching I truly want to help people like me, who are creatives but don’t even know it, who feel stuck in the 9-5 hamster wheel and want to know what the alternatives available to them are, to feel happier in their lives.


(Bri Castellini) #69

I mean… at least there is a grant and funding model. Though I suppose there’s more doc funding in the USA than there is narrative so that’s something. I’m not gonna lie, though… I would not complain if you were chillin’ in Brooklyn for a while!


(Meg Carroway) #70

Ooooo I could use some help feeling happier LOL! Any free samples of that? :wink: :wink:


(Amen J.) #71

Yes and you CAN do it. I have a few worksheets that I have available on my website (subscribe to the newsletter and you’ll receive it shortly). A lot of is around networking, believe it or not. But you can build up your skills over time through volunteering, internships, your own projects, etc. all of which is super important to build up your film resume.


(Amen J.) #72

There’s a lot more hustle on your side and willingness to invest in the entertainment industry. Over here people are less likely to invest in something if it hasn’t already been proven to work in other countries. But yeah, I want to be in Brooklyn for a bit, just to give myself some of my dream and chill with you all :wink:


(Bri Castellini) #73

Alright folks that about does it for today! HUGE big thanks to @SecretLivesPS for being here today and sharing her knowledge! Check out her series and more on amenjafri.com :slight_smile:


(Jaime Lancaster) #74

Thank you Amen! See you around the forum!!


(Amen J.) #75

Thank you @Bri_Castellini and to the rest of you wonderful folks in the web series community. I love all our conversations, they totally make my day.


(Meg Carroway) #76

Thank you!


(Rodrigo Diaz Ricci) #77

Thank you!


(Alex Le May) #78

Amen is an immense talent. She really took to the idea of looking at her filmmaking career in a wholistic fashion. How does it fit into every aspect of her life. I think because of that she’s building such quick influence in the business. All of that drive and thought is so present in her work. So proud of you Amen.