INTERVIEW: Nadia George Stars in a Compelling Short Film ‘Along the Water’s Edge’
Along the Water’s Edge is written and directed by Jonathan Elliott, a film set in the near future that explores the long term impacts of the water crises among Indigenous communities across Canada. Actor, Nadia George, stars in the film and talks to Defective Geeks about what the movie means to her.
Tell us about your upcoming short film, Along the Water’s Edge–– what does the movie and your role in it represent? How did you become involved with the movie?
I was fortunate to be offered the role. I had the pleasure of working with Writer and Director Jon Elliot before, on the film, Her Water Drum, back in 2018. Jon reached out to me and explained the concept of the film and wanted my thoughts on it and asked me if I would also do the narration. I’ve always been a big fan of Jon’s work, and was honored that he had thought of me for this project. The topic of the water crisis is also one that sits close to home for me, as my father’s health was once affected by contaminated water; so It was important to me to be a part of this story.
Can you give us a history of the water crises affecting the indigenous tribes of Canada today and how this movie explores what could happen? Feel free to share resources our readers can explore further on the topic as well.
I’m not sure there is enough space to give a full history. The water crisis has been an ongoing issue for hundreds of years all across Turtle Island (North America); this is not just a Canadian Issue. As of February 2020 it was reported on the Canadian Government’s website that there are still 61 communities on long term water advisories. And it has been known in the past that even when a water advisory has been lifted, that it hasn’t been a permanent lift. If someone wants to know more about it, all you have to do is Google Canadian or American water advisories. There is an abundance of information available. This movie highlights different situations and ways Indigenous communities are being affected, both mentally and physically.
I imagine working on a film like this would be compelling and emotional. What was it like working on Along the Water’s Edge with the cast and everyone involved?
Most of us have worked together before on different films, so there is always laughter. However, when you get into it, the mood changes because this is not a fictional tale. The people in this movie, and even some of the crew, have been affected by this issue. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know for me it was a mixture of feeling empowered and saddened, the fact that this film even had to be made is incredibly heartbreaking.
What kind of message do you hope this film will deliver to its audience? What do you hope it will inspire in people who watch it?
The seriousness of the issue presented, and hopefully encouraging them to support the very necessary changes that needs to happen. To join us as allies and do what’s right.
What has your journey as an actor been like? What has inspired you? What kind of challenges have you faced in the industry and what kind of advice would you give to other people?
It’s been fun and scary [laughs]. It’s like a roller coaster, one minute you’re on cloud nine because you booked a role, and the next, you’re questioning your abilities because you haven’t booked in months. The biggest challenge is actually the continuous learning curve. Like the do’s and don’ts of self-tapes or auditioning in person. What makes a good demo reel, or how to find an agent. Another challenge is keeping yourself in a good head space, it’s easy to get down on yourself and want to walk away, but you gotta pick yourself up and keep trying. I would recommend TRAINING, TRAINING and more TRAINING! Like any other career path you have to do the work. Also be patient with yourself, most actors didn’t become successful overnight.
Do you have a dream project you hope to do one day? Where else can people watch you now?
I hope one day I will get to work on the set of a M. Night Shyamalan movie. I’m a huge fan, and I love how he tells a story. He takes you on this incredible journey, gets you feeling a certain way about a character and before you know it you’re all turned around, and can’t believe your opinions of a character could change so quickly.
Tell us about your own advocacy work outside of acting. What is MotiV8 Canada and how did you get involved with them?
MotiV8 Canada also known as Influencers Motivating Influencers, advocates for the Mental, Physical and Emotional Wellness in Indigenous Communities through Artistic and Expressive Workshops.
I joined the organization as an Ambassador in November of 2019. I was approached by a follower on my Instagram whose work I had also been following, and we sat down for tea. I was humbled that she had thought of me, and I was eager to join the team. Being disconnected from my own Indigenous culture as a young child made it awkward to re-engage; I don’t want any indigenous child to feel that way. So I felt that being able to help promote empowerment of culture and healing was right up my alley. During our tour we facilitated Wellness Film Workshops and Art Workshops, encouraging the youth to take the lead using cameras and sound equipment, writing stories and painting; letting them explore their creativity in a safe and supportive environment. In both communities of Sachs Harbour and Aklavik, they facilitated on-camera documentation of the Elders and Youth sharing knowledge and traditions. I love the work that the organization does, and was honored to join the team for their Northwest Territories Tour.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Nadia! You are already a superhero in real life, but we want to know–– if you could pick one super power, which would it be and why?
Ooohh, this is always a toss up for me between being invisible and flying. But I think it actually would be cool to be able to carry myself to different places with the snap of my fingers and saying where I want to go.
Follow Nadia on Instagram.