GoPro for a Cause is proud to support The Redford Center, a non-profit environmental media organization that accelerates environmental and climate justice, solutions and repair. They recently opened their 2020-2021 grant cycle. For the third cohort in a row, GoPro will support the new grantees with camera kits, training and technical support. Below, Alizé Carrère and Daniel Sherer share how being Redford Center Grantees has shaped their lives. We’ll let them take it from here.

My name is Alizé Carrère and I am a Redford Center Grantee from the 2018-2020 filmmaker cohort. I first learned about The Redford Center through a mutual friend, who suggested I look into their grant program for a film series I’ve been working on called ADAPTATION. Along with my two team members, Daniel Sherer and Kyle Corea, the grant allowed us to film the final episode of the series in western Kentucky.

ADAPTATION highlights people and communities around the world who are coming up with innovative ways of living with environmental change, such as sea level rise, glacial melt, drought or invasive species. I focus on the positive examples of human resilience and ingenuity, because I think those are the stories that inspire and motivate us at the end of the day. My friend knew James Redford, co-founder of The Redford Center, and said Jamie was interested in exploring the idea of climate change adaptation. With The Redford Center’s support I have been able to bring my series to life in ways I couldn’t imagine doing before. The Redford Center is an extraordinary place for filmmakers to learn, grow, collaborate, and build both their film’s vision as well as that of their broader career.

Daniel Sherer, GoPro Associate Creative Director: I was a Redford Center grantee in support of Alizé Carrère’s series ADAPTATION. We met at a film festival in 2018 and I was able to support her with the GoPro production aspects as well as story development for her short film ADAPTATION: Kentucky. It's about the complex and creative relationship between a non-native fish in the Mississippi and Ohio waterways and local communities. My connection to The Redford Center is multifaceted, but I've known about The Redford Center and followed their work for years. I've always been a fan of their support for independent filmmakers working to tell impactful and cause-related stories. 

Alizé: I feel so fortunate to have had access to the incredible group of mentors and resources available to grantees. I was particularly impressed with the Storytelling Summit held at Sundance in October 2018, where we got to meet with different experts and gain insight into both the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking. The collective spirit there was infectious. The Redford Center did a wonderful job connecting us with people and partner organizations to expand our work, which included GoPro and the (very generous!) gift of GoPro equipment for our filming needs.

Having the equipment support from GoPro to help film this series was life changing. The stories covered weren’t always easy to get to: from hot, flooded waterways in Bangladesh, to filming invasive Asian Carp leaping out of the Mississippi River, to capturing underwater coral reef restoration projects. We simply could not have done it without the small, versatile and compact camera capabilities that GoPro provides. And the need for waterproof equipment at nearly every turn! GoPros were indispensable. 

Perhaps even more importantly, GoPro equipment is discreet. Most of the stories I focus on are in areas where having big, hefty camera gear is not only a distraction but can oftentimes be unsafe. I appreciate the flexibility and ease that GoPro gear provides, getting points of view and perspectives a larger camera can’t always capture. Since I work on stories that involve people and their day-to-day lives, GoPros also help with easing people into having a camera around. It’s made certain experiences for me as a filmmaker more intimate and personal.

Daniel: As an independent filmmaker, you quickly realize you can't learn how to do everything it takes to make a film, to get it seen after it's made, and for it to have impact as well. There are so many moving pieces. Having an organization like The Redford Center to help you through each step of the process is incredible. Their team is well-connected to the documentary network and know how to navigate that world well. It's truly an incredible partnership for anyone interested in telling impact driven stories. 

To apply to be in the 2020-2021 cohort of Redford Center grantees visit the website. Open call runs from April 1 to June 1, 2020.