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Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Chundria Brownlow of ‘Dare To Love’ Is Helping To Change Our World

An Interview With Edward Sylvan

I am using my success to inspire the next generation of leaders, journalists, and creatives through my MediaMasters Program for teenagers and young adults. My media career was inspired by seeing people who looked like me working and succeeding in their art. I want to inspire, encourage and empower youth and young adults to express themselves through the media arts and enter a life-changing career in the process. I will teach all media facets from writing, producing, camera operating, and editing, and public speaking, and on-air hosting. I will build confidence and teach skill sets that participants can find value in and utilize in their daily lives.

As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chundria Brownlow .

Chundria Brownlow is a Chicago-based Television Talk Show Host and Filmmaker. She is a dedicated self-starter, passionately creative, and an inspiration to others to set intentions and go boldly after their dreams. As a proud graduate of Columbia College Chicago, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Television with a concentration in Production/Directing. Chundria hosts and produces The Chundria Show; an independent TV Talk show that discusses entertainment news, health & wellness, love & relationships, and lifestyle topics with special guest experts. The show broadcasts on local Television in 200 US cities and streams on many podcast platforms, including Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more. After recently launching Chundria Brownlow Media LLC, Chundria recently wrote, produced, and directed her first short film called Dare To Love under the new media production company. Produced in Chicago, the film tells the story of a young engaged couple struggling to find common ground.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

My late father was a Camera Operator at a local news station, so I grew up around the media, and I love it ever since. Although I wanted to be a meteorologist and radio personality as a child, I began to enjoy the media arts after taking a High School Summer Video Production Program after my Senior year at my alma mater, Columbia College Chicago. I continued and earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Television: Production/Directing. Shortly after, I began producing and hosting an independent entertainment program and then my current TV talk show, which broadcasts on local TV in 200 US cities. Before the pandemic, I wrote and cast a TV series but missed the opportunity to film it when the entire world shut down due to Covid19. In December 2020, I decided to move forward with production under my new production company, Chundria Brownlow Media, LLC and filmed a short film called ‘Dare To Love’ instead.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?

As a first-time, I was so excited about my first short film. Despite being a Chicago native, I never expected there to be a blizzard happening during production. With more than 10 inches of snow continuously falling, my cast and crew braved through the harsh weather conditions. This is one exciting production experience that I will never forget.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

When the pandemic began, I shut down all production, including in-studio interviews for my TV program The Chundria Show. I began conducting virtual interviews using Zoom, and through connections with exceptional Public Relations professionals, I featured a lineup of celebrities and reality TV stars. I featured the likes of James Harris & David Parnes from Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles; Candiace Dillard Bassett from Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Potomac; R&B Singer/Songwriter Kem; Actress Taja V. Simpson and many more. An unfortunate pandemic somehow led to some fantastic opportunities, and I’m grateful.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am most excited about my first short film Dare To Love. I released the 40-minute movie online on Youtube and my website at www.cbrownlowmedia.com. Since its release on February 13, 2021, I have submitted the short to 7 film festivals across the country. Dare To Love has been officially selected in three festivals, including the SoCal Film Awards, First Time Filmmaker Sessions, and the Independent Shorts Awards.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

As a Talk Show Host & Filmmaker, Oprah Winfrey inspires me the most because she inspired and paved the way for a young African-American girl like me to dream and see what I could be someday. She is my inspiration.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?

I am using my success to inspire the next generation of leaders, journalists, and creatives through my MediaMasters Program for teenagers and young adults. My media career was inspired by seeing people who looked like me working and succeeding in their art. I want to inspire, encourage and empower youth and young adults to express themselves through the media arts and enter a life-changing career in the process. I will teach all media facets from writing, producing, camera operating, and editing, and public speaking, and on-air hosting. I will build confidence and teach skill sets that participants can find value in and utilize in their daily lives.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?

Last year during the pandemic, I applied to be a mentor for a New York-based mentorship program for young women of color. I was paired with two young ladies who were fresh out of college and interested in launching their media programs. I mentored them and helped them build their brands, and I’m so proud that they are still thriving today. I’ve always been very ambitious, motivated, and goal-oriented. However, I understand the idea that we can sometimes be discouraged or allow our life’s challenges to hold us back. So after mentoring, I wanted to do more for teens and young adults interested in the media arts and help them cultivate their interests into a career and life they love.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I met an amazing young lady named Nadia Simone on Facebook. After her college career in media, she reached out to me and showed interest in launching her TV program called The NSider. We were long-distance in two different cities, but I made myself available for chats, advice, and brainstorming sessions to help her along as she built her media brand. Nadia is doing exceptionally well, and I am so grateful to have been instrumental in her journey.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

Schools worldwide can help support by encouraging Media Arts in Career Day activities. Parents can encourage public speaking for their children as it boosts confidence, communication skills, and critical thinking.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. It May Not Be Easy, But It Is Possible — Years ago, I envisioned my independent talk show broadcasting on TV. I had no idea how to achieve that goal, but I never gave up on it, no matter how far-fetched it seemed.

2. Don’t Take The No’s Personally — When I pitch my talk show to local stations, I received so many no from higher-ups in Programming. It could have been easy to give up or feel like my work wasn’t good enough. I constantly reminded myself that my work was valuable even when the no’s didn’t feel good to hear or read.

3. You May Not Earn Money For A While — As an independent producer or a TV show or film, you’re often spending money to get your project made rather than earning any. I focused on creating and earning in the beginning until I began improving my craft and operating inconsistency instead. The money will come.

4. Relax and Recharge — For so long, I would burn the candle on both ends without self-care, rest, or recharging. I was working a full-time corporate job and coming home in the evenings to work on my show. I would stay up all night and barely get any rest in the process. Eventually, I would burn out completely. Rest is so critical for the body but also for the mind and your creativity as an artist.

5. Enjoy Quality Time — It seems there will always be work to do as a creative, but we have to take a step back and make time for family, friends, and ourselves for some alone time. Tomorrow is not promised.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

When I was younger, I didn’t think much about the power in paying it forward, but I wish that I did. Always do things with kindness and do your part to pave the way for others to win, be inspired, or be empowered. Kindness creates positive energy, and it always finds its way back to you. People showed kindness to me as I moved along in my career, and I do my best to pay kindness forward for the next person coming up the pathway.

We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

As a new filmmaker, I would love an opportunity to collaborate with Ava Duvernay on a Film project. She is so inspirational to me, and I’m a huge fan of her work with her hit show ‘Queen Sugar’.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I always say, “The day won’t promise you sunshine or grief, but you don’t have to be motivated to take action.” That means that you don’t know what’s coming ahead in life, and it’s up to us to maximize our day and our intentions. We may not feel motivated or excited to create or be productive some days, but it doesn’t prevent us from taking action and reaching our goals and dreams no matter what. I wholeheartedly live by this mantra.

How can our readers follow you online?

www.thechundriashow.com

www.cbrownlowmedia.com

www.instagram.com/chundriatv

www.instagram.com/cbrownlowmedia

www.twitter.com/chundriatv

www.facebook.com/chundriatv

This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Edward Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group

Edward Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group

Specializing in acquiring, producing and distributing films about equality, diversity and other thought provoking subjects

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