63 minutes | Aug 5, 2021

Back Home Again

This week, on The Conscious Consultant Hour, Sam welcomes movement makers, film producers, and conscious business owners, Charmaine Hammond & Michael Mankowski.Charmaine Hammond, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is a highly sought-after business keynote and workshop speaker, entrepreneur, author and educator who teaches and advocates the importance of collaboration, mental health, and healthy relationships. She has helped clients in many industries build resilient and engaged workplaces, develop high trust/high accountability relationships, and solve workplace issues and conflict that gets in the way of success and profitability. She also Executive Producer of the Back Home Again movie, working closely with Michael (Screenwriter/director) almost since the beginning of this project. Responsible for heading up the collaborations, partnerships and sponsorship for the project, she is passionate about this film because Fort McMurray was her home for 15 years.Michael Mankowski was born and raised in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo. Owner and operator of Alien Kow, an Alberta, Canada based award winning production house. A graduate of University of Lethbridge Bachelor of Management and Vancouver Film School 3D & Animation Program. Working towards a Masters in Stop Motion at BAU Design College of Barcelona.In 2017 Michael won an award for Excellence in The Arts by the RMWB and Arts Council Wood Buffalo. In 2016 WBP won a Leadership Award by RMWB and YYM Magazine. Satisfied clients include: Vice Media, Stuart Olson, Shell Canada, Bell Let’s Talk, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, Nexen, United Way, Canadian Red Cross, CMHA and Fort McMurray Firefighters Association.Michael has also produced passion projects on the side, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was the winner of the Best Short Film award at the Alberta Film and Television Awards in 2016.Charmaine and Michael will join Sam to discuss their new Film about mental health, Back Home Again.Tune in for this transformational discussion at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.Show NotesSegment 1Opening up today’s show, Sam reads and analyzes a section from his book Everyday Awakening. In this section, Sam discusses the nuances and benefits of letting go. After this short discussion, Sam gives a warm welcome to the first of his two guests this week, the executive film producer of Back Home Again, Charmaine Harmond. Sam asks why this film was so moving for Charmaine. Answering the question, she explains her personal connection to the Fort McMurray wildfires that the movie is based on. While she was not in Fort McMurray during the fires, she grew up there previously and returned during the recovery period. Continuing to elaborate, she talks about how much Fort McMurray means to her. Because she has such a strong love for her hometown and also a passion for having conversations about mental health, she feels lucky to have had this opportunity to work on the film Back Home Again.Segment 2Returning from the break, Sam asks Charmaine about why they chose to go with an animated film as opposed to a live action one. She explains that, oftentimes, looking at live images of a traumatic event can be retraumatizing, and that using animation instead can help negate this impact. Elaborating further on what the movie hopes to achieve, Charmaine describes Back Home Again as a family movie made to inspire conversations about mental health and coming together as a community. Charmaine talks about how important conversations don’t start because people don’t know how to talk about mental health or to access support. Hopefully, this movie can be a tool in starting these conversations. Back Home Again, Charmaine continues, is a movie that shares the stories of real people who experienced the fires and the fallout after them. Through the telling of these stories, Charmaine hopes to help people to understand the enormity of the tragedy. She also talks about how she hopes to shed light on how people can experience and process the same traumatic events differently.Segment3 After the second break, Sam welcomes the screenwriter and director of the film Back Home Again, Michael Mankowksi. Answering why he chose to work on this project, Michael explains that he, like Charmaine, has personal experience with the fires and also worked with Red Cross during the re-entry period following the wildfires. During the re-entry period, Michael talks about how he recorded over two hundred testimonials. However, he describes that he did not have control over the editing of these portrayals, and this led to a lot of frustration for him. He explains that he felt that the community and the experiences of the community were not accurately being portrayed. This inspired him to work on this project in hopes that he could accurately capture the community of Fort McMurray. Charmaine, Michael and Sam talk about how the vision was to create this movie as an educational resource for families, the classroom, or even the workplace. Ending this segment, they all discuss how lucky they are that they were able to attract such well-known actors to contribute to the project.Segment 4After the final break, Charmaine, Michael and Sam talk about some more goals behind creating Back Home Again. They discuss how they hope that this short will encourage people to stop talking about the fires themselves and instead focus on the rebuilding of the community. They also talk about how they worked closely with nineteen mental health professionals and psychologists throughout the process of creating the short and how helpful it was to have them as a resource. Next, they talk about when the film will be released. They are aiming for a broad release this fall, they explain, and have the world premier set for October 1st. To find more information on the Back Home Again movie, Michael and Charmaine let us know to check out the website backhomeagainmovie.com and to follow backhomeagainmovie on social media.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-conscious-consultant-hour8505/donations
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