Joelle David is a force to be reckoned with. Her passion for film, social equality and to make a change, not only by talking about it but also doing something about it, is one of the many reasons why she is our very first guest in this special feature that we will bring you every month from now on.
Joelle is from East London and has worked in the Film Industry for years. She created her production company, Bluebird Pictures, and the first Film Festival in Barking&Dagenham called World Cinema Film Festival. Her main goal is to bring opportunities to emerging filmmakers believing that the film industry should be accessible to everyone, despite their economic background and fights for inclusion at all levels.
What women are an inspiration for you?
I have been inspired by so many incredible women throughout my life that it would be impossible to list them all. I owe a lot to the women who raised me (my mum, my sisters, my cousins, my friends) because without their love and support I would not be where I am today. I was raised to go for what I wanted in life, even if I didn’t fit the narrow box of what society says I should be or do. I was raised to be supportive of other women and uplift them whenever I can. I was raised to think of myself as equal and never less than my male counterparts. I was raised by kind, generous, loving, black women, who pushed me to be the best possible version of myself.
I have always looked towards other women for inspiration from Michelle Obama, Ava Duvernay, Melina Matsoukas, Lena Waithe, Tamika D Mallory, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, Bernadine Evaristo, and so many others whether it be for their fight for equality, breaking glass ceilings or their talent. Women have played a massive role in the reason why I started my own business and why I fight for inclusion in the film industry and equality in the world.
If you could tell your younger self a piece of advice what it would be?
That education is not enough. Getting a degree is not enough to be successful. The greatest lessons I have learned in life have been outside the classroom. So, in theory, don’t worry if a school, college or uni is not going the way you thought it would, because there’s so much more to learn that can’t be taught within the confines of education. Educate yourself, have more experiences that challenge you, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be scared of success.
If you could choose a superpower what would be, and why?
I think my superpower would be the ability to freeze time so that I can take more time for self-reflection and to pause the world when it’s feeling really heavy.
As women, we are often told not to be emotional or sensitive. What experience did you have where having these qualities actually worked in your favor?
I think working with young people and being able to tap into how they are feeling has been something I have been able to do because I am connected to my emotions. I also think being in any position of leadership, being emotional or sensitive is actually a huge advantage, despite what society may want you to think. With both running a business and working with young people emotions have never stood in the way for me, it has actually allowed me to feel empathy, to understand, to rethink things, to examine, and to ultimately make better decisions.
What would you say to a young woman who thinks their gender is stopping them from achieving their goals?
I would tell them that all successful women they look up to have been in that same position, the difference with them is that they felt scared and did it anyway. So, feel scared, embrace it, and do it anyway. If you fail, you’ve learned something, if you win, bring other women along with you.
Discover more about Joelle David and her work :