SiS Storyteller Profile: Lara Van Raay
How would you describe what you do?
I’m a filmmaker – which means I can and often do do everything that is required to make a film – from writing and directing to shooting and editing.
I have chosen this path because I love every aspect of filmmaking and don’t want to ever be stuck just doing one part of it – a decision I made when I was about 18.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love the incredible access that comes with holding a camera. People will reveal themselves and let me in behind the scenes of their lives or events, because my role as a story catcher gives me special powers. It’s an incredible gift and I adore the trust and the relationships that form because of it.
I love to share a person’s world with others as well and lift them up into the spotlight – it can be life changing for some, and if done right, is a deeply positive experience.
Who in your industry inspires you the most and why?
My peers. People who I work with everyday or who I have trained and grown up professionally with over the last 25 years. We all help each other every day, through tough times and good. These people are my inspiration to keep going every single day. They create beautiful things and we all delight in each others work, which is a truly beautiful community.
What’s the most memorable story you’ve been involved in telling?
Every story has a precious gem to it. I guess if I was to narrow it down, I would say the film I made in Palestine about a beer festival. This has a lot of incredibly beautiful moments of friendship, of adventure and of course being able to show a people and a place that is not portrayed in the media, especially here in Australia. I could talk for hours about the memories and challenges we faced making this film!
Why do you think telling stories is important?
Our stories are who we are. Our stories are what gives us a sense of community and culture. It is documentation of our past and present that can be shared to grow our understanding of who we are as a people.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a lot of things. I could say I am running my own production company, I am a CEO of my own media business, I am a teacher, I am a stay at home mum and I am unemployed – and all of those would be accurate