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[Tuning In] Michael Raimondo of Green Renaissance on inspiring change through film

Written by Joanna Ng Published on 

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Telling the stories of ordinary people through film has always been their dream, and they managed to turn it into a reality.

In this article, we reached out to speak to Michael Raimondo of Green Renaissance. Made up of two self-funded filmmakers residing off-grid in South Africa, Green Renaissance seeks to spread positive messages from uncovering personal stories of ordinary people on film. Their films cover a wide range of universal themes including nature, love and even death. Holding close the belief of making these films free for everyone to watch, the team has since captured conversations with more than 170 people which are shared on YouTube. You can watch their videos here

This article has been edited for brevity and clarity.

KrASIA (Kr): How did you and Justine start out on this journey of filming videos?

Michael Raimondo (MR): We used to do client-based projects, mostly for environmental organizations globally. In those 15 years, we visited many places and met interesting people along the way. We would often say to ourselves, “It would be so amazing to tell the story about this person,” but we were paid to make what others wanted. It was always a dream for us to make the stories we wanted without an agenda. We didn’t want to sell anything or have a corporate agenda attached to it, but to simply tell a universal story about what it really means to be a human.

About 4 years ago, we finally decided to experiment with this idea. In the time gap that we had between client projects, we would just take our equipment and start filming these short stories of ordinary people to put on the internet. It was something that we eventually wanted to do full time. 4 years later, our dream has come true, and this is all we do now. But it had started a very long time ago with the question of “is it even possible?”

Kr: Where do all your inspirations for the film come from?

MR: The process of finding someone to film is quite difficult. To give you an idea, we talk to about 10 people, and the result is one film, so research is actually the biggest part of the filmmaking journey.

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