My name is Julian Kane. I am an award winning documentary filmmaker from Oakland, California. I received my bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication with a focus in Radio, Television, and Film and a minor in Geography from Texas Southern University (TSU). As a TSU student, I participated on the Debate Team. During my time on the debate team, I performed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, participated in speech and oratory competitions throughout the United States, and contributed to TSU's second place finish in Berlin, Germany at the 20th Annual International Forensics Tournament.
As a member of the TSU Debate Team, my first assignment overseas was to perform dramatic interpretations pieces in various locations throughout Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. When I boarded the plane headed for to Dar es Salaam, I was terrified. My fear was not of the plane or of stage fright. What I had was a fear induced by the media's depiction of Africa; the stereotypical images of children with frail bones protruding through their bodies, widespread HIV/AIDS, and rampant violence and wars.
However, when I arrived I did not witness the Africa portrayed in the media. The Africa I saw, was of an Africa I did not expect to see. Although I did witness hardships and poverty, the people were friendly and prideful, the landscapes were breathtaking, and people had a sense of wisdom. My time in Dar es Salaam made me realize how ignorant I was. I would have missed a beautiful opportunity had I succumbed to my original fear and not visited Africa. The longer I stayed the more I fell in love with the country. Towards the end of my one-month journey in Tanzania, I thought, “There must be more places in the world that are just as amazing as Tanzania that I have no clue about.” From that moment on, I knew I must see the world and somehow let the secret be known that there are beautiful lands that masses of people will never know about.
Soon after my experience in Dar es Salaam, I decided I will blend my passions for people, culture, and video to become a documentary filmmaker.
My wanderlust drove me to study abroad at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. My courses included the Political History of South Africa, Representations of South Africa in Art and Media and Negotiating Identities in Literature and Film. Also, I created a documentary of my experiences in South Africa. This documentary earned me a Silver Remi for Short Student Productions at World-Fest Houston International Film Festival.
I believe a lot of our hate and biases come from a place of not knowing. I will tell captivating stories to expose people to other cultures, ideals, and ways of life, with hopes to bring more understanding. I believe that each experience molds us into the people we are.