CAAM Fellow Kimi Takesue Reflects
By Kimi Takesue
2013 CAAM Fellow
One of the highlights of the week was spending time getting to know “fellow fellows” Derek Nguyen and Ernesto Foronda (unfortunately, Eric Lin couldn’t attend). Filmmaking can be a lonely pursuit, so it’s inspiring to connect with other like-minded artists who, despite challenges, continue to dream, persevere and find creative ways to make work. As a group of mid-career artists, we shared our experiences and spoke candidly about the ups and downs of our respective careers. One of our mentors, Angela Cheng Caplan, asked us to reflect on basic but essential questions:
-What do you want?
-What do you want to achieve?
-What are you most proud of?
-What are you most proud of that you’ve achieved?
-Why are you doing this?
-What are the obstacles that stand in your way?
-What is not working?
-What is working?
While these questions may seem simple, they resonated with me in a profound way. In part, it was because Angela asked the questions with genuine interest and compassion. She asked each of us to be honest with ourselves. It’s so easy to get on the filmmaking treadmill and loose touch with oneself never stopping to ask: Why am I doing this? And what do I want?
Under the leadership of Karin Chien and Sapana Sakya, the CAAM fellowship has been meaningful in many tangible ways—I’ve met talented fellow filmmakers, connected with a fabulous mentor (Claire Aguilar/ ITVS) and feel supported on my upcoming documentary projects, LOOKING FOR ADVENTURE and NINETY-FIVE AND SIX TO GO. But, the fellowship has also offered important intangibles; it has provided space for me to pause and reflect and has also challenged me to tackle both external and internal obstacles so I can better realize my creative goals.