Today we’d like to introduce our readers to Author and Independent, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Joan Montreuil.
Joan, thank you for spending a little time with us today.
“It’s my pleasure. Thank you for the invitation.”
So Joan, briefly walk us through your journey. How’d you get started? And how’d you get where you are today?
Well, it all started when I was a child. I was always a funny, caring and optimistic little girl that loved her mother. We were very close. Her love taught me how to show compassion and love to those in need.
At age10, I would portray my 4th-grade, school teacher and feed kids on my block, even though we had very little ourselves. Nevertheless, showing compassion and making people laugh gave me an unspeakable joy. I can honestly say, creating characters in my mind, helped me get through the hard times. As my imagination and writing developed, I wrote my first play for a women’s organization, I formed, named “Sister 2 Sister”. We would perform stage plays in the community to help bring a message of faith to suffering women. We made the news, but the organization would not last long, due to lack of funding. The vision, however, would not die. The will “to write to inspire” became a constant tugging in my soul. It wasn’t until then, I began to grab a hold of plenty of faith-filled messages, my spiritual father, Pastor Antoine Barriere, taught me. It was in his teachings that I began to understand my mission and what to do with this rare gift of writing. For 10 consecutive years, my Pastor allowed me to stir up my gift at Household Of Faith Family Worship Church while my husband, Byron Brown of 32 years, supported my endeavors!! In fact, my biggest supporter is my family and beloved mother, Viola. God allowed me to operate in my gift through writing, directing and acting in most of the 30 stage-plays I’ve written. He trusted me to spread the message of faith to youth prisons, youth shelters, conferences, neighboring churches with love and compassion. Later ordained as a Minister of the Gospel, I would soon find out that I was not called to the pulpit behind the four walls of the church, but called to Film and Television, to spread the message of faith. My mission is to inspire; bringing hope to the hopeless and life to lifeless through the art of storytelling! My goal is to use this rare gift that God had given me to transform lives. As of today, My production Company Wisdom Production, LLC, celebrates 11 years of success. I am a published author of 3 self-help, inspirational books, “The Unexpected, Delivered From Destruction & Beyond The Vows. I co-wrote my first web series “Bayou City” with LaMarcus Tinker; A short film, “Consequences”, and nation-wide distributed films, “Closer To Home, Walk By Faith” which is endorsed by Houston Library and we are now in production on “Beyond The Vows”, the movie” inspired by my best-seller book.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story. Has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It can be challenging because it’s a lot of tedious work running two organizations but I made a promise to my family that I would keep the balance at home. It can also be challenging when you’re building promising relationships and in the same hand-shake are broken. Nevertheless It’s a part of building a brand, or an organization.
Oftentimes I am grieved due to the resistance of others criticizing the movement of BWIF organization because we are women filmmakers. We have not joined together to compete with anyone but to provide a platform for the next generation of women filmmakers. Our goal is to make sure women are respected for their craft, not their sex appeal. Of course, as women standing in the shoes of a male-dominated industry, we have to work twice as hard to prove that we are just as talented. Nevertheless, setting the standard for women through BWIF, has been a wonderful and fruitful journey. We are bombarded with compliments as well as information on how to run a professional set. BWIF’s momentum stems from years of learning the craft, failing, prayers, preparation, integrity, and tears. Working with such respectable men such as my sons, Sean Johnson, producer, and writer and lead actor of Down By The River; LaMarcus Tinker from Glee, Friday Night Lights, and Devin Brown, Director of Photography, has somewhat prepared me for where I am today. In addition, the team members of BWIF inspire me even the more because of their commitment and love for the craft! It’s unbelievable and they are unshakable too! They’re focused and ready to put in the work. Working closely alongside with founding team members, Nikol Johnson and Knycole Amerson, and a host of other great female entrepreneurs, have made the load easier and pleasant to accommodate the next generation of filmmakers. Our productions are productive, professional and friendly. In my opinion, we are jointly fit together to explore the impossible!
I believe that I have overcome the worst through prayers and by faith, but I’ve also been consistent in my belief that hard work always pays off and it did. I am humble yet godly proud to mention that the City of Houston has granted me a proclamation Day on April 6, “Joan Montreuil Day” for all of the hard work that God has allowed me to perform. I am grateful and honored to have the strength, the capacity, and the willpower to help others find their purpose in life and stick to the blueprint! I’m only paying forward what GOD has given me the grace to do.
Alright, so let’s talk business. Tell us about Brilliant Women In Film? What should we know?
On April 20, 2017, I ventured out and started BWIF. Our members are filmmakers, specifically women, who are committed to, but not limited to, cultivating the production skill set in other women. Considering the unsavory reports of misconduct on film sets, Team BWIF, is adamant about promoting and providing a healthy work environment conducive to learning this multi-faceted industry. Our organization is equipped to train beginners and cater to intermediate filmmakers looking to learn different production roles. Whether you’re a first-time screenwriter or interested in participating in the stages of project development, BWIF is the place for you. In the event you have completed your film and need distribution, designated BWIF members have viable resources to assist in that area as well. Although we are always looking for fresh, relevant, faith-based content, we are open to different genres, that encompass and project life-changing messages.
The Women of BWIF possess a plethora of experiences and truly understand the challenges of life that formulate the stories we want to tell and our writers room is designed to help upcoming writers articulate and share their stories. Are we a feminist group? Of course, not. We are committed to creating content that will speak on subjects that will make an impact and provoke a conversation that’ll make our communities and world a better place. BWIF continues to grow with women entrepreneurs that are in some way connected to film and television.
What makes us stand out is our goal to provide a cost-effective program.
Leadership, Good Character, Commitment & Integrity. Good leadership is hard to find. It has been said that women organizations never get past their first year of conception. Not true. Our team is connected with one purpose in mind and that is we all love filmmaking. We are committed to keeping each other focused on the sole reason why we joined the team. Our goal is to train our members under great leadership so when they go out into the community, they can pay it forward.Commitment-It’s difficult to keep a commitment when life happens. We are all striving to make sense of our lives despite the burdens we bear and the troubles we see, but we need all an outlet. We encourage our members to apply that energy to writing. You will be amazed to learn that 95% of our stories are birth from very uncomfortable places and circumstances.Character-I find that a person with great character goes a long way in this film industry! I can’t tell you how many individuals I’ve embraced and allowed into my intimate space, yet they disappointed me to the core of my being. I believe that, once an individual has mastered developing great character, God releases them into bigger opportunities because of their integrity.
Integrity-There are so many leaders who make promises and break them. Our team has an open- door policy; whereas every disagreement doesn’t need to call for an argument or a fall-out, but a decent conversation. Many organizations are separated because one person failed to deliver the goods or keep their word but when you are a team, there should always be a team member to take up the slack and assume the position with the understanding that if one fails we all fail.
Special Thanks to Tonya Netters
- Website: http://www.wisdom-productions.
com http://brilliantwomeninfilm. com
- Email: Brilliantwomeninfilm@gmail.com
Tonya Netters, Jayshell Moore