“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
RAZELLE IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS, AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
1. Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
As an indigenous woman, my home is anywhere my family is, anywhere my ancestors and relatives are buried, and anywhere my fiancée and I are currently living. With that being said: My heart always yearns to be in: Pine Ridge, South Dakota and Rough Rock, Arizona. I belong to the Oglala Lakota and Diné peoples and our homelands are of both those regions. They are beautiful homelands, complete with robust sunsets, fresh air, and the most open skies. The winters on the prairie in South Dakota are frigid and quiet, and the summers in Northern Arizona are busy and hot.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I recently spent time documenting indigenous artists and with that often times found ourselves engaging in conversations of how complex identity is and how much it plays a role in our mediums and practices. I’d say that spending time with these individuals has been incredibly inspiring and extremely validating. I recently lost a loved one and have ceremonially cut my hair to honor her passing. Grief is inspiring when you let it be. Being away from home has sometimes allowed me to “conveniently forget” when things got too hard to process. My hair being cut is a constant reminder that I am grieving and it’s something I can’t run away from. Instead I let myself feel in all capacity when I need to, knowing that I’m healing and growing with each day that passes. I think allowing myself to experience a plethora of emotion during this weird time in the world and the hard times in my personal life has been unintentionally inspiring to me as a filmmaker. I’m exploring story like I have never done before and turning that vulnerability into a strength in my writing has been cathartic.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
I went through some major growing pains being in the Grad Film program, which I knew I desperately needed to get over in order to become the director and screenwriter I want to be. I wouldn’t have been able to overcome those growing pains without an amazing class who I bonded with instantly during that first week. I know I’ll be friends with some of these people for the rest of my life (you know who you are. :) So in short, my classmates, professors, and faculty have been the most rewarding experience. This program is difficult sometimes, and I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for the support and kindness of my friends in this program. It’s really hard to be socially isolated these days but I’m hopeful that we will one day resume in-person.