My mission as a filmmaker is to explore the social, sub cultural and international aspects of our nation, one story at a time. I’ve been sharing this mission since 2011, through my work with Matemotja Productions. Our world is in crisis and I believe that art can heal. We as artists have the power to encourage dialogue for understanding, acceptance and compassion.
I believe stories that shine a light on issues such as police brutality, racism, homophobia, mental illness, homelessness, religion discrimination, addiction, equal rights for women, incarceration, child abuse, and elderly abuse; can help educate, inspire change and elevate our consciousness.
Because I was born in the former U.S.S.R. into a bi-cultural and bi-racial family, my perspective and experiences in this world have never been quite “ordinary.”
My black South African Father was a part of the political arm of the ANC, which helped him escape from the political oppression to study in the former U.S.S.R. In Kiev is where my Father met and married my Mother, a young Russian woman whose family settled there after the war. Kiev is also my birthplace.
As a consequence of my Father having to live in exile, by the time I was eight years old I’d lived in Russia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Arriving in America speaking only Swahili and Russian, I immediately realized that I did not fit in with other kids.
By the time I was a teenager, feeling like a misfit and growing up in the South Bay during the Reagan era, I naturally fell into the punk rock scene. Punk rock and Ska music expressed everything that I was and everything that I felt.
The legitimized anger echoed in bands like Crass, MDC, Uniform Choice, TSOL, The Specials, SSD Control and Operation Ivy was something that I related to on a visceral level and was not hearing about in popular culture in a way that I could understand. These early experiences coupled with my empathic nature helped me form my outlook on culture and race.