NAVIGATING THE GREAT WHITE WAY, 30min., USA
Directed by Jarred Bedgood
Follow along with Jarred Bedgood (director) as he interviews four Broadway performers and writers during the height of the racial unrest and the covid shutdown in 2020.
Making his Directorial debut, Jarred is pleased to be sharing his first project with the world. Normally a stage performer, Jarred was called to create this piece after being witness to many atrocities in his community. Creating a Documentary during a pandemic was nothing short of a struggle, however, he is thrilled with the finished product he and his team have made. This subject is very personal to Jarred and he thanks all viewers for accepting his vulnerability and also that of each speaker as well.
Get to know the director:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
The unrest of 2020 is the reason this film came about. We were already all stuck in our houses reflecting on our lives. When more and more deadly acts of racism were being broadcasted in the media everyday, my reflection turned more to my life as a black person. It was shocking to realize that many if not most of what I would call racist moments happened in theater. I think what made it apparent that this topic needed a bigger platform was a combination of seeing so many black artists sharing stories online and the non response from said industry curating these issues. This is when we knew we wanted to make a piece that was more personal and intimate.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took us about 2 years starting Summer of 2020.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
My biggest obstacle was knowing when I needed to step back and take a break from making the film. This topic is extremely personal to me so it was tough balancing when I needed to do work and when I needed to maybe decompress.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I always have a huge smile on my face when I see others’ reactions toward the piece. It truly warms my heart to know that not only do people enjoy the visual aspect but the actual content as well. So much hard work and vulnerability was put into making this piece. I’m so glad so many are leaving with something new to think about.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I don’t think it ever really crossed my mind that I could make films myself until we started this project. I come from the theater world so I’ve always enjoyed storytelling and I started to get the itch to be in front of the camera in the last couple of years. I never knew I could make them myself until I was doing it I guess. It’s crazy how having a vision can make you do things you never thought were possible. Now I know I can instruct and formulate stories via film, there’s so much more I can do now.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I’ve probably seen Cast Away the most times in my life. I remember I would watch it on repeat as a kid and sometimes just have it playing in the background. Something about the way it was shot and how Tom Hanks was able to tell a story by himself for 2 1/2 hours really captivates me.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Toronto has been great! We are so happy to have gotten feedback from those who are avid film watchers. Our team is so excited to be shared on your online platform as well! One of the biggest things our team is hoping for is that our film will have a permanent platform where it can be viewed by people around the world. It would be awesome to have viewers come together and have a discussion about what they saw in order to keep the conversation going.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway has been great. The setup is all very convenient and our team has really enjoyed using the site.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Salmon and veggies
11. What is next for you? A new film?
If I only knew I would tell you. I’m mainly a live performer so most of my energy goes toward that. After this experience though, I’m starting to figure out how I can incorporate more film making in my life cause I think I have the bug. I would love to continue making content regarding this topic. There is still so much to be said about this issue and many more stories to tell. I would also love to make another Documentary about a different social issue many may not be privy to.