Switching the Caribbean for Sheffield
Guild member and filmmaker Stephanie Saxemard recently relocated to Sheffield from Martinique in the Caribbean - we met with with her to talk about her work and find out why she chose to swap the sandy beaches of the Caribbean for the rolling hills of Sheffield!
What sort of work do you make?
I direct and produce documentaries with my company Creativ Sün Films. In 2016 I directed my first short documentary called “Not invited” which was selected for the Human Rights Film Festival of Guadeloupe. Right now I am working on a documentary called “Koudmen” about a team of volunteers who decided to create a citizen’s solidarity movement and launch an online fundraising campaign to help Dominican families after Hurricane Maria devastated the country in September 2017.
I also produce a web doc-series “Artist” in which I encounter creatives from around the world and discover their unique take on what it means to be an artist.
My work focuses on exploring cultural identity, migration, and the lives of persons of colour in Europe and around the world. I am in the process of writing a project on what it means to be black in Sheffield.
How long have you been living in Sheffield? What made you choose the city as your new home?
I've lived in Sheffield since February 2018. I'm originally from Martinique, a French island in the Caribbean. I've lived in England before, I worked and studied in London for a few years before returning to Martinique in 2013. In 2017 I decided to come back to England, but this time I wanted to try something different. I had heard about Sheffield through Doc/fest and after some research, I found that the city had the vibe I was after: creative, entrepreneur-oriented with a great outdoors scene.
What do you make of the city and its creative opportunities so far?
I try to get around as much as possible and meet as many creatives as I can. I find that Sheffield is a very supportive city for creatives and I was happy to find opportunities like the Google Garage, Business Sheffield and the different filmmaker's networks.
Do you have any favourite places in Sheffield yet?
I enjoy having a nice cup of coffee at the Showroom bar and going to my boxing gym on Allen Street for an intense sweat session. I particularly appreciate the peaceful haven that is the Winter Garden.
What are your hopes for your next year in the city?
I have met some really great people since I've been in Sheffield. I would like to continue meeting creatives, hopefully collaborate on projects with some of them. I also aim on producing my first short doc in the UK!