“Eye-opening, overwhelming, and very humbling.” These were three adjectives given by the long time movie fanatic from Fredericton, New Brunswick to describe New York Film Academy’s Advanced 1-Year Screenwriting Program. “I came into my first class at NYFA thrilled with the idea that I could now actually be part of a world that I loved, but also with a naiveté thinking that I knew everything I needed to know about film just because I had spent all of my money growing up on popcorn and movies,” says NYFA graduate, Jon Mann. “NYFA quickly gave me confidence that my passion and hobby could be translated into a craft that I can continue to humbly learn and work on every day.”
With the skills under his belt, Jon took to documentary filmmaking, completing his first documentary, Project Power. Jon’s film documents how the people of New Brunswick came together to oppose the attempted sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec. Jon says the most important aspect of Project Power is the fact that ordinary people can still play a critical role in impacting economic and social policy; and that those in positions of governance, like our elected officials, need to be cognizant of that and show leadership in terms of inclusionary democracy.
“We’re at an interesting point of human history, and the fact that a grassroots campaign like the ‘No to the Sale of NB Power’ worked in a Canadian province like New Brunswick is a huge boost to the confidence of citizens everywhere — their views, ideas, and values matter.”
Jon recently edited a trailer for Project Power and will be pushing the documentary at this year’s film festival circuit.
“As a documentary filmmaker, the most important goal of any documentary film you can hope for is that people will see your film, and hopefully learn from it. With Project Power, there are lessons to be learned from all aspects of life, whether it is private sector and public, government and the people it represents, race relations, language relations, etc.”
Jon hopes to continue his career in the field of documentary filmmaking, with his next project focusing on birth order and how it affects people’s lives. His father’s wisdom — “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” — is what inspires him to work in a field that he feels is a privilege and not a job.