A Focus on Film

Category: Entrepreneurship Indigenous business Startup

A lot has changed since we last spoke with Aretha Greatrix a year ago. We recently had the opportunity to catch up and chat about what she’s been up to. Her previous project, a documentary titled Journey Towards Reconciliation, is now released online and available for viewing. Aretha has also transitioned from working for someone to being self-employed full time, which allows her to focus on her business: Miyo Pimatisiwin Productions.

Exciting New Film Projects

Now that her business is her sole focus, Aretha has more time and energy to put into Miyo Pimatisiwin Productions, and is finding many opportunities coming her way. She is currently in the second phase of the Telus StoryHive competition. Already having won $10,000 in the first phase, Aretha will soon be completing the second phase, where winners receive up to $50,000 each to produce their projects as well as a showcase on TELUS Optik TV™ On Demand and online. We wish her and the team the best of luck!

Aside from the StoryHive competition, Aretha is also working on smaller projects, such as working with Nehiyaw (Cree) educator Reuben Quinn of the Centre for Race and Culture. Together they are creating Nehiyaw Video Resources that coincide with Reuben’s language teaching lessons, which will be available online when completed.

Working Towards Your Dream

With all these opportunities arising, Aretha went through a period where she was unsure if she should continue her education or continue learning on the go. Finding film schools very expensive, she decided to continue learning through more informal channels. However, while doing so, Aretha discovered that she felt the need to narrow down her focus. She found she was always drawn back to reconciliation, so decided to apply for a Master’s in Communications and Technology at the U of A. With plans to combine her passions for film making, reconciliation, and education, she has truly found her niche.

With her business on the rise, Aretha has also discovered a new set of challenges that she was happy to give advice on. She wants other entrepreneurs to know that even though she went from a 9-5 job to more of a 24-hour per day schedule, she is still happier doing what she loves rather than working towards someone else’s dream.

“If I’m going to be putting this much energy into something, I’m at least going to enjoy what I am doing.”

The Importance of Mentorship

Aretha believes that mentorship is very important, and she currently has mentors through the Telus StoryHive project. The film industry can be very fast-paced and at times she finds herself overwhelmed; that’s when it is most important to have her mentors available to give advice and suggestions.

“Find a mentor that is open to emails, calls, or texts to ask questions and build those relationships in your industry.”

2017 was an incredibly busy year for Aretha and she feels like 2018 will be just as busy or even more so! She will be entering the final stage of the Telus StoryHive competition this month with red carpet premieres of her film in both Edmonton and Calgary. She will also be starting her Master’s program in the spring, which will keep her busy. With her hard work, determination, and passion, we’re sure other opportunities will arise. We look forward to watching Aretha flourish as she follows her path!

Keep up with Aretha on her website or social media channels:   

 

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About the Author

Sammy Zoerb

Business Link

Sammy enjoys being the “quarterback” of the Indigenous Services (IS) team by handling the logistics and coordination of many different events. She is also excited to grow her client base by building relationships with Indigenous entrepreneurs and providing advice and support to ensure their success. When she isn’t taking her kids to hockey practice and dance class, Sammy enjoys taking her family to cultural events.