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Detroit filmmaker spotlights female artists creating change around the world

Jan 20, 2015

Filmmaker Sophia Kruz.
Credit Creating4Change

Michigan filmmaker Sophia Kruz is exploring the ways art empowers women all around the world. She is hard at work shooting what will be a full-length film called Creating4Change along with raising the money to make it.

Kruz is also an Emmy-winning producer at Detroit Public Television.

The film profiles four women from across the globe who are using art for social change. Kruz says the idea for the film started when she was told about Sohini Chakraborty, an Indian dancer and choreographer who uses dance and movement to rehabilitate sex trafficking survivors. Chakraborty has already helped over 7,000 survivors in Southeast Asia, and she is currently piloting a project that will help girls testify in court against their traffickers. 

Kruz’s film also took her to Brazil to profile Panmela Castro, who uses graffiti to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Along with her art on the street, Kruz says Castro has begun to work with boys and girls in classrooms to begin a dialogue about the issue. Students are invited to create a mural about their stance against domestic violence and the mural’s place in a public place can help start a larger discussion within the community.

Brazil’s first domestic violence law wasn’t passed until 2006, and Kruz says much of Castro’s work is about education on the issue.

Kruz also spotlights Anna Taylor, a young American fashion designer.

Taylor spent time working at a Kenyan orphanage while in high school and her experiences there led her to create products that can be made in Kenya by local tailors and sold in Europe and North America. Her clothing line Judith & James was recently shown at New York Fashion Week. Now, Kruz says, Taylor is in the process of training Kenyan women to become certified tailors.

Kruz was recently awarded $16,500 grant from the Michigan Counsel on Arts and Cultural Affairs, but she needs to raise a matching amount in order to receive the funding.

An Indiegogo campaign is currently underway to raise money for the film.

Kruz says she hopes her film "inspires people to think creatively for solutions to problems in their own communities."

Listen to the interview Sophia Kruz today at 3:00 p.m.