Filmmaker Q&A with Director Upneet Kaur-Nagpal

Is there a particular documentary film or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?

Black Cat, White Cat + Dancer in the Dark


What motivated you to make your impact video?

To give light to the issue, to inspire a fresh perspective , and to humanize the issue that is homelessness.


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.

Basic equipment, Sony Nex5 and Canon C300


Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your film to help tell your story.

Avoided stereotypical images of homelessness, and added a glitter of positivity together with their unique personalities.


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

I wanted to film 3 people, but was drawn to tell stories of 5 people instead. My overall story turned out much better thanks to their unique personalities and their willingness to share their intimate stories.

Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this film.

Getting to know the individual people and their stories behind the often broad-brushed issue of homelessness.


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

Be sincere about your story, and just go for it.


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

Editing is packaging the magic which you’ve experienced, to experience with others, and en route refreshing tired perspectives and making a change.


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why?

Empathy, because there’s no point having extra battery if there’s nothing to film.


Please share a personal story about your experience making this film.

We spent 3 hours filming each story, but overall, the film  offered an experience that would last a lifetime.


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

Technically, we had a basic mic which accounted for a major sound clean up. Also, the first interviewee wanted her entire face to be concealed, even her close ups after our private screening – which we respected.


What do you want audiences to take away from this video?

Anyone of us can be homeless anytime due to unforeseen circumstances in life, it’s not a choice.


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

Avoiding stereotypical images which portray homelessness in the mass media, showing each person in their true uniqueness and unveiling their talents/experiences  for everyone to appreciate.


Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the film. How have things changed or not changed?

It’s an ongoing battle, homelessness has its roots in many problems which first need solving. More creative approaches will help draw more awareness and hopefully change in perspectives.


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

To help those in need directly, nip issues in the bud before homelessness rears it’s ugly head, and to keep raising awareness through creative means so more people will take fresh perspectives on this condition.


Please provide any additional resources (websites, links to additional videos, forms, articles, etc.) relevant to the context of the issue discussed in your video:

Unseen Tours, Sock Mob.



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