Young filmmaker hopes to document good in the world

sunrise project marla kasha_6777
Filmmaker Kasha Slavner, right, is shown with her mother Marla Slavner at the Fox Theatre. Kasha is now raising money to produce a documentary about what it means to be a global citizen. The Fox Theatre donated on-screen advertising in support of the campaign, which wraps up Dec. 30.
PHOTO: Jon Muldoon

An ambitious teen and her mother are in the middle of a crowd funding campaign for a documentary about what it means to be a global citizen. If all goes to plan, Kasha and Marla Slavner will fly out from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in March, for six months of filming around the globe, searching for people doing good in their communities.

While she’s only 15 years old, Kasha already has a history of putting others first, said Marla.

“She started being a social activist when she was 8.”

After being inspired by the people at the Free the Children organization, Kasha started a Me To We club at the Beaches Recreation Centre with “a good group of girls who are passionate about changing the world.”

The idea for the film, to be made under the banner of the Global Sunrise Project, came after the two returned home from a United Nations women’s conference.

“She came back so inspired. The embers sparked and she sort of came to life,” said Marla of her daughter.

Kasha said the sunrise theme was chosen as a symbol of positivity.

“We all wake up to a new day. It’s kind of a sign of hope. It’s a symbol for us of making a change,” she said.

Kasha’s promo film was written, filmed and edited in about three months, just in time for a live pitch to a panel of film experts at Live! Ammunition!, a pitching contest run by Raindance Toronto.

The panel included long-time Beacher Gail Harvey, who was impressed enough to lend words of support to the Global Sunrise cause.

If the funding goes through, Marla said the timing is perfect for Kasha, a Grade 10 student at Monarch Park, to take some time off school and for Marla to take time off work to make the documentary. Kasha will soon be focused on university preparation, so the chance to seek out the good in the world is one both are looking forward to.

“The classroom offers one lens, and the world offers another,” said Marla.

Kasha agreed, anticipating that the process of filming will likely precipitate big changes for her.

“I think the journey will kind of shape me, and the film,” she said.

The ideal result for the young filmmaker is to push other teens to expand their own horizons.

“I kind of want to inspire my peers to go out and explore the world, not just what’s created for tourists,” said Kasha.

Funding is around the one quarter mark of the $25,000 goal. The campaign runs until Dec. 30. Any funds raised in excess of the goal will be donated through Free the Children to support aboriginal education initiatives in Canada and alternative income projects for women around the world.

Local supporters are also invited to an upcoming fundraiser held on the winter solstice, Dec. 21, at the Beaches Recreation Centre. For details on the solstice party, to check out Kasha’s promo film or to learn more about the project, visit See for the fundraising campaign.

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Love your concept….

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