–Who is Rosalee Yagihara?
I am a thrill seeker from Vancouver, BC currently working in network television as an assistant director. When I’m not working, I love to be active, ride motorcycles, and make my own movies. Spending time in nature, doing yoga, and eating good food is essential in keeping me grounded while working long hours and pursuing my dreams. I consider myself to be curious and adventurous though also deeply introspective. These days I spend a lot of time contemplating how we can all thrive as a society while living in greater harmony with the Earth. I used to live in Tokyo as well as the mountains of central Japan which greatly informed who I am today
-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
My journey of becoming a filmmaker has been a long and windy one. In high school I studied acting and was a part of the drama department though later when I was in art school, I was a purist and focused on painting avoiding digital and film studies. This was all valuable training though it wasn’t until I was travelling around India with a digital camcorder that I fell in love with moving compositions. When I returned from that trip, I started focusing on video editing and incorporating corporate videos in my marketing consulting work which morphed into shooting musicians and music videos which morphed into documentary filmmaking. These explorations unearthed a dream I had as a child of making movies after being mesmerized watching The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Annie. I then studied Film Production at Vancouver Film School where I realized that this is what I am meant to be doing, it brought me alive in terms of work. I am fueled by creating and working on film sets.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
I absolutely do think that cinema is an essential part of global shifts within societies and liken the modern filmmaker to the medicine man from prehistoric times. Instead of gathering around a fire we gather around a screen and important ideas and concepts are introduced to us and are re-affirmed in a three-act visual story. Film can elevate the underdog, empower the defeated, and shine light on stories otherwise left in the dark. They start conversations. Through cinema we can empathize with a diverse range of peoples from around the globe. Movies can also be a cautionary tale like the myths of ancient civilizations.
–What would you change in the world?
For me the world needs more empathy and understanding, especially of ‘the other’, we are so polarized which sets us as a society backwards. I believe that communication grounded in empathy could de-escalate the current conflicts on this planet. I wish we
would stop engaging in destructive measures and war. If I could change just one thing it would be that we all have awareness that all life is precious.
Then there is the elephant in the room; we must take radical action on climate change which would mean we would all have to change our lifestyle for the greater good of all. We need some serious leadership in this department.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
I like to think that in 100 years we still gather to watch great films. VR is gaining traction though I caution that immersive technologies have potential to further isolate us when we have already lived through times of great isolation. Even with tech advancements I hope that cinema continues to be inspirational and community building, inspiring dialogue and change rather than purely be an escape in one’s bedroom.
I also hope to see the film industry fully embrace green technologies. Film productions in Vancouver make efforts to be sustainable though the industry can dive deeper into cleaner energy consumption. I’m hopeful that we have gender parity and sustainable production practices within the next few years.
I’m pretty sure that in the next 100 years we will be making space movies in space!