Question and answer with Faith Shorts 2011 winner
The winner of this year’s international Faith Shorts competition delivered a very positive and mobilizing message in his award winning film “Be The Change You Want To See.” By way of song, the young Canadian Nadim Merrikh expressed that if you want change to happen, you have to make it happen yourself and that change is possible. This message was reinforced by the evident determination and optimism that radiated throughout the film. Merrikh’s fresh and innovative outlook was shared by all of the shortlisted filmmakers and is precisely what makes Faith Shorts such an exciting and often moving event. Naturally inspired by his optimism, I met with Merrikh in hope of understanding what motivated him to make his film.
Q: What inspired you to make a film about the Baha’i faith?
NM: I was a part of a Baha’i Junior Youth Group in Guelph, Ontario. One of their main tenets is that youth have a voice. Even though you are just one person, you can still make a difference. They teach us to put our words and thoughts into practice.
Q: How has your film been received by your Baha’i community?
NM: They were very excited, especially when I was shortlisted. My Youth Group and the general Baha’i community believe in the power of expression, especially expressions regarding of morality and community service. This is the focus of my film.
Q: What do you believe is the message of your film?
NM: The message is basic. Take your words and put them into deeds. Go out and do it, do it for positive change.
Q: What do you have to say to young filmmakers?
NM: If they have an idea, just try it out. Some of my ideas have worked, others haven’t. It’s all about trying something out because at the end of the day, it could work. Make sure to take time when editing your video, it is better to have good quality even if it takes a long time to get it. I spent a little over a month editing and got the input of my friends.
It is almost impossible to not be impressed by Nadim’s compassionate and contagious ideas. While it may seem simple enough, we often overlook the truth behind the do-it-yourself philosophy that he so proudly upholds. His award winning film provides a welcome reminder to viewers of just how much they can accomplish on their own if they so choose to. Considering his film’s ability to instill an infectious sense of optimism, I look forward to hearing about what Nadim will accomplish in the future.