This much I know: Leanne Pooley

By Sarah Daniell

A few words from film-maker Leanne Pooley.
Film-maker Leanne Pooley. Photo / Doug Sherring
Film-maker Leanne Pooley. Photo / Doug Sherring

I'm almost always beyond the edge when I begin a new film. In the first weeks I'm overwhelmed with fear, I feel a fraud and expect everyone will soon notice. Then as I immerse myself in the subject I get swept along and I right myself ... until the next time.

As a film-maker I'm guided by the philosophy that I must take the audience somewhere new. If I do my job properly they will view, understand or feel things a little bit differently at the end of my film than they did at the beginning.

It would be my dream scenario to make a documentary with or about [former The Daily Show presenter] Jon Stewart. I've been a little bit in love with him for a long time.

When making 25 April I had some health issues and for a while I thought I might not be able to keep working. Thankfully the wonderful people around me gave me the support I needed to carry on. Through them I learned that creativity and love is the best medicine of all.

I look for friends who are truly engaged with the world. I love a lively discussion or an old fashioned political debate. There's nothing like being proven wrong to keep you on your toes.

I'm offended by the increasing trend toward "opinion" over understanding. The world is complicated yet we're bombarded with simplistic, ill-informed opinion at a time when considered analysis is needed.

I'm finding as I get older I'm increasingly sentimental. I wear my heart well and truly on my sleeve and I sometimes struggle to keep my emotions in check. It's odd, as I always thought the opposite would be true.

I don't think I'd swap places with anyone. I love my life, the work I do, and this beautiful country.

My work has taught me that few things are black and white. The reality is there isn't anyone or anything that is all good or all bad. I've seen incredible humanity in horrible places and extreme cruelty where I thought I'd find kindness. Documentaries are meant to reveal the "truth" but I've learned that word is itself a subjective one.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who is very lucky. I've been supported in my creative endeavours, I've a beautiful family and wonderful friends, and for now at least, I'm healthy. So lucky.

Leanne Pooley's 25 April is screening now.

- Canvas

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