A Passion for Change – Noemi Weis

noemi-weis1-e1411538311210-229x300Noemi Weis describes herself as driven by a passion for social justice, and her films, some of which are harrowing, bring needed attention to a range of social issues: the damage domestic violence wreaks on children, homophobic discrimination that forces gays to flee their home countries, the search for the missing grandchildren born from the disappeared in Argentina, and the horrific chastisement Indian widows face – blamed for their husbands´ death and banished from their homes. Most recently her film ‘Desert Riders’ shows the plight of child camel jockeys, trafficked to the Middle East, abused and injected with hormones to stunt growth.

Noemi started out working in advertising, but her passion is for making the world a better place, she says: “I have always had a strong sense of justice and human rights. When I started Filmblanc back in 1998, I was very busy with my own advertising agency. It was created with an anthropological approach, my business plan was to create an association with producers around the world. I intended to continue the advertising work.”

“Once I started to make documentaries, it took a life of its own and my time to become completely absorbed by the stories, by the places, by the mission, by where I had to travel and be part of, which was not always next to me at home, so it took a life of its own.”

“I become very emotionally involved with my films. Being a maker of human rights films, I don’t have fear when I am so focused on the message of the film even in situations that are quite risky. Every film I make afterwards I sit and say ‘I need to be more detached’ but the next film, of course, I get just as emotional.”

“Making films about social issues for me is about giving people who would otherwise be voiceless a voice. The power of film is very important, you can show people’s stories around the world, stories that need to be told. Just to see the result, the film can have a result, you see that changes that happen through bringing awareness to issues through film.”

“Passion drives me particularly to make the kinds of films I do. The kinds of films I make are very rewarding to see. Once you make a film and it makes a difference it’s kind of addictive, you want to do it again, you want to make a difference.”

Noemi drives the film projects she’s involved with as a Producer or Executive Producer, showing enormous devotion and tireless energy to get films up and made, she says: “I have worked with wonderful directors, they also felt every time we got involved in any of the films there was a reason we were doing this and we wanted to be able to raise the voices of these people in the world. Maybe I came to this life to have this kind of mission – that someone needs to bring the voice of the most vulnerable. I am driven by the passion of wanting to help.”

“The medium of film, with voice and images, is really powerful. I always say that if I am able to change one life, it´s all worth it. My films have been able to make a difference in communities. They´re out there in classrooms and universities and they do make a difference, or also in inspiring people to change their lives, provoking change, and that´s what keeps me going.”

Lucy Rhoades September 2014


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