"Connect with other people in your field, volunteer on sets, enthusiasm and skills can go a long way.”
Millefiore Clarkes - One Thousand Flowers
Never underestimate the power of a broken heart. If it hadn’t been for a break-up, Millefiore Clarkes a filmmaker and documentarian based in Belfast, PEI, never would have packed up her gear and hit the road traveling across North America asking everyone she met about their views on love. One year, and more footage than she could ever use, later, Millefiore was back on the Island and in the editing suite. The end result? “Stalking Love” a feature-length documentary that went on to play at film festivals across North America and broadcast on CBC’s documentary channel...and this was just the tip of the iceberg. “Piecing it all together is what really made me fall in love with filmmaking.”
It wasn’t long after this when Millefiore realized that she wanted to formalize what she was already passionate about - filmmaking - and decided to go into business. The timing of when she first launched her production company One Thousand Flowers was instrumental to her success as a filmmaker. She started at a time when businesses were beginning to embrace digital platforms and everyone recognized the need for storytelling on their websites. When she was first getting started Millefiore was one of the only filmmakers on the Island who was producing pocket docs for clients but the industry has grown significantly on the Island over the years. “It’s important to be open to working with people that might be traditionally viewed as your competition. It opens up other opportunities and is usually so gratifying. Building the bonds creates more work, not less.”
Over the years Millefiore has worked on a variety of projects. She has produced a number of experimental videos, music videos and documentaries which have played at festivals across Canada, the US, and internationally, as well as broadcast on TV. Millefiore is currently directing her third documentary for the National Film Board of Canada, a project with Catherine MacLellan about her father, songwriter, Gene MacLellan exploring their relationship and the impact that family has on all of us. “Documentary filmmaking is the creative interpretation of reality.” Her previous two NFB documentaries are Island Green, about organic farming on PEI, and On the Road about the Canadian music legends Blue Rodeo. She also recently produced a short doc Little Bay Islands for BravoFACTUAL with director Jason Arsenault.
Millefiore, who clearly loves every aspect of her work, focuses on working collaboratively with people that she knows and trusts often working on projects that are based locally, but she is ready to challenge herself to produce bigger projects. “Whether you’re working on your own or it’s between you and client the collaborating process, the ability to grow something from a random idea to a finished product is pretty fantastic,” and based on what we’ve seen over the last few years we know that Millefiore is going to continue to grow and be at the forefront of documentary filmmaking on the East Coast.