Meet Imbar Slavat
“If you feel you might regret not making a film on a topic, then that’s the project you have to do.”
In a world of endless and noisy digital content, hyper-stylized storytelling, and growing divides among people of all backgrounds, Imbar Slavat uses the raw style of documentary filmmaking to bring nuanced understanding to sensitive topics.
“Documentary films have the power to shed light on obscure details and events, to bring important context to the life stories of people living in the world today.” For Imbar, being a documentary filmmaker helps her fulfill what she sees as her Jewish obligation and responsibility to repair the world.
“My parents taught me to stick up for the little guy because that’s a big part of what Judaism is. We help those in need because we know what they’ve been through, especially because we now have the capacity and the influence. You can’t stand by and let people suffer when you know what it’s like to be the minority.”
Giving back to the community, an integral educational component of Imbar’s upbringing, is what made her go into media studies. “I still want to help people like a lawyer or doctor does, but I have to do it my way, using my strengths and abilities.”
The documentary film process is one that takes devotion to a craft – a commitment to sensitively listening to and documenting people’s experiences. “Working as a documentary filmmaker takes blood, sweat and tears. Your entire life becomes devoted to the project. If you feel you might regret not making a film on a topic, then that’s the project you have to do.”
Imbar is currently working on a documentary film on LGBTQ Jews in Toronto. She felt compelled to work on this project because of her connections to individuals who identify as both LGBTQ and Jewish, and who have experienced difficulty coming out to the community. “I want to help them share their experiences, to show people that there is support out there.”
For Imbar, raising awareness through education is the guiding principal of her work. She believes deeply in the wisdom of Jewish values and their power to help us navigate our lives. “Judaism is beautiful and insightful. It has shed light on challenging times throughout the ages. I am making this documentary to help draw connections between the wisdom of our traditions and the plight of good people.”
Follow Imbar and her team in the creation of this film on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their page on Indiegogo!
Imbar Slavat is going into her fourth year at Ryerson’s Media Production program. As part of her fourth-year thesis she is creating this documentary and hopes to make an impact on the Jewish community. Imbar hopes to continue to make meaningful documentaries and touch people through film.
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Jumans of Toronto is a window into the lives and passion of Jewish young adults making their mark in the world. A 50-part series, Jumans is inspired by Humans of New York. If you’d like to recommend someone awesome to be highlighted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Adina Samuels