My WHY by Ola Soler

Have you ever heard of Simon Sinek? The other day my husband showed me a video, a TED Talk, called “How great leaders inspire action.” If you haven’t seen it yet, please do. It’s super cool!

The whole idea of the talk was to show how important it is for us to know WHY we do things. Not how and what we do, but simply WHY we do them. Simon Sinek gave an example of a couple of companies including Apple, which has a strong WHY statement in their business model. Their WHY was to be different and to challenge the status quo. Because of that model they can succeed no matter whether they create computers, music devices or watches. We just love Apple’s WHY.

And so I have been thinking a lot about that in past few weeks. What do I value as a dreamer, a women and as a filmmaker? I wanted to find out my WHYs so that I can do things with a purpose. 

I challenged our team to think about this as well and come up with some statements about WHY we are part of Neighbor project. Here is what I came up with. Stay tuned for Jessica’s statement coming up next.  

I am part of this project because I love my life. I love people and the stories they have. So often when I meet strangers and hear about their life, what they do and what they are about I think, “That’s such a cool story for a movie!” And that is so true of all of us. Each of our lives could probably be turned into a movie. We all have stories to tell. Our childhood, the relationships with parents, peers, coworkers, the struggles we face everyday like finances, personal conflicts, physical disabilities, buried dreams and hopes for future.

So when I make a movie I think about how many common components this particular story has that are part of our own stories. It’s so beautiful because it makes me realize how deeply we all are connected, we all are similar and we all are worthy. It makes me realize that living in the todays so individualistic world we actually really need other people and are often dependent on them. It makes me realize that life can be so beautiful when you share it with others, through conversations, through events and through movies.

That is why making movies plays such a significant role in my life.

Now Human Trafficking is important to me because:

  • As a dreamer, I dream about a better world.

  • As a woman, I cry for those who are oppressed and deprived of freedom.

  • As a filmmaker, I believe that movies move and change life.

I believe that this movie will not only raise awareness about Human Trafficking but most importantly it will serve many organizations and individuals as a tool to open conversations and encourage to take action. This could mean writing down a hotline number, notifying authorities of a suspicious situation, starting a conversation with a survivor and letting them know about their amazing value. So this movie is going to be great. But this movie is not a solution. It’s a tool to help us figure out the solution.


Ola Soler

Tony Gapastione