Magna Mater Pictures - A Bold Voice Production House
Everyday we meet people who want to bring about a positive change in the world. Art is the truest form of expression and a creative way to motivate the society. I recently chanced upon Magna Mater Picture Production and loved their initiative. Founder Sasha Thurston has been in the film industry for over 3 1/2 years. She set her expertise to start this production house after she recently lost her job due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. She is passionate about revolutionizing the industry by working for and with women, the LGBTQ community and the ostracized sections of the society.
Support her vision by donating to the wonderful cause here. In an exclusive tête-à-tête we reveal her powerful journey.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Sasha Thurston. I am the owner and founder of Magna Mater Pictures LLC and I have been in the film industry in Nashville, TN for close to four years.
The inspiration behind starting the production house
The inspiration to start my own film production company stemmed from the lack of acting opportunities I was presented with. I am a 5'1, thick-bodied, mixed ethnicity woman. I don't exactly look like Jennifer Anniston, over here. However, I am talented at telling a story and entertaining people. I have always had the ability to spot quality work and have higher standards than some (in my own opinion, of course) in this industry when it comes to telling a narrative that captures the attention and emotions of an audience. With the rise in stories of assault, racism, sexism, and bigotry in the film industry, I felt compelled to start a company with a much healthier culture and environment. I believe that would give a better environment for one to be creative and work hard. The film industry has always been a bit of a boy's club where stories have been written by men. Even stories marketed to women are from the viewpoint of a man, so it often feels condescending when watching a film that is about a woman's life, regardless if it is how she approaches to love, life, or her private struggles.
Any particular incident that made you believe in reaching out to the LGBTQ community
I have friends and family who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. I was raised to reject these people, that these people were bad people and should be exiled from society. I could never bring myself to believe these notions. LGBTQ+ people have been some of the most wonderful, loyal, loving, and understanding people to have ever graced my life. The number of cases about violence and ostracization towards LGBTQ+ people worldwide has never sat well with me. There has to be a shift in our society's way of thinking about these individuals. They don't want to destroy anything. They just want the same rights to work, love, and provide for themselves and their families. I want to work with these people because I know that if given the right opportunities, they will do great work and I want to be a part of that.
As a female what are the changes you wish to see in the current film industry?
I want to see more women in every position in the film industry whether it be a director, DP, writer, electric, etc. I want to see the boys club in this industry dissolve. The idea that women should do less and have just one or two specific roles because of the simple reasoning that they are women is not only insulting, but it is also a very archaic way of thinking. If history has shown us anything, it has shown women are more than capable of taking care of business. The more male allies we have that support and give us more platform to grow, the better off our world will be. I want to help provide opportunities for women can grow their careers on their terms without permission or apology. Strong women make the world go round.
What projects are being taken up currently by your production house?
At this time we have a few short films and commercials scheduled. Since COVID-19 has put a halt on the industry here in America, we have had to put our projects on pause. Safety is a priority and unfortunately due to certain leadership in our current government, I don't see it clearing up any time soon. Once the cases begin to lower to a more reassuring level, we will go immediately into production where we will be following proper safety protocols to keep our cast and crew safe.
How will you bring the change for women's rights with your production house?
By providing not only more work opportunities but also hosting an environment that has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment. I want my team members to feel safe. Their focus should be on their quality of work, not on being harassed and being afraid to come to work.
What are your future plans?
The skies the limit for what I aspire Magma Mater Pictures LLC to be. We are looking for financial backers to really get us off the ground and achieve our goals. I have started an Indie-gogo campaign to help fund our projects. If you go to the campaign you will see how much funding we need and where the funds will be going. At a point where my company has grown large enough, I aim to provide opportunities to others world-wide; not only within the U.S.
Message for future film-makers
If someone tells you you can't do something, they are just projecting their limits onto you. If you want it, find a way to make it happen. Don't rely on someone else to have the opportunities sitting around waiting for you. Make your own opportunities. If your family doesn't support your aspirations, go out and surround yourself with like-minded people. You will find a new family in them and you will flourish with that support.
Any other point or mission you wish to add
Don't worry if you are inexperienced. Teach yourself, learn from others, heed the advice of those who are more experienced, and don't be afraid of making mistakes. Learn from the mistakes, grow from them, and treat everybody with respect, even if they don't show you the same in return. Trust me, you'll sleep better at night knowing you took the high road.
Wow! That is explosive and inspirational. We are honored to have such bold and futuristic female film makers emerging in the industry. Looking forward to witness the creations from Magna Mater Pictures.
If you wish to follow or contact Sasha:
Facebook: Magna Mater Pictures LLC