Following the recent wave of protests and awakening on racism that has rocked the world following the death of George Floyd, Vancouver filmmaker Olweny Gregory and his team have decided to add a voice to the anti-racism movement in the best way they know. Dubbed, “Different Colors, One People” Project, the team has embarked on a documentary project that seeks to tell the story of Vancouver, one of the most diverse cities in the world and how it unique diversity has helped combat racism.
Olweny Gregory, the head of the project and founder of OG Productionz, finds in Vancouver an example that many communities, cities and the world could learn from. He has prominently featured in the Vancouver City Black Lives Matter protests as a mobilizer as well as providing a probono live coverage and seeks to go the extra step of using his harnessed filmmaking skills to boost the cause using his own city as an example.
Gregory who moved to Vancouver from Uganda, has quickly gained a reputation in the City with his unique filming style and charismatic personality. For a young filmmaker, he already has hundreds of thousands of YouTube views in music videos, has shot for supercar brands like Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche and is currently working with BET Award winning artiste, Eddy Kenzo. When asked about his style, the young filmmaker whose daily schedule is a series of filming gigs attributed his style to a balance between ‘being yourself’ and ‘excellence’. “I’d rather forfeit a payday than doing a project at 50 or 60% effort,” he says. The Project Assistant Director Micheal Oyoro is also a well known Kenyan photographer.
The Documentary features college students Armin (from Iran), Shogo (from Japan), Vimbai (from Zimbabwe), Yona (from the Zambia), Mubarak (from Nigeria), Julia (from Canada), Yanli (from China) and Bruno (from Rwanda), all who have found a home in Vancouver City. The concept is to bring to life each of these young peoples’ Vancouver City experiences in the context of their unique backgrounds. The students study at Columbia College, Simon Fraser University, Douglas College and University of British Columbia.
“We want to show the stories of these young people of diverse backgrounds and how Vancouver has become a warm mother city to them,” said Gregory in a press statement, “In VanCity, it’s almost the norm to check into a restaurant and find over five nationalities in the same space. With this repetitive fact applying to schools, night clubs, public parks and any social gatherings, racism, stereotypes and prejudices fade in thin air, this is the Vancouver City we have come to know and want to share with the world,” he adds. He is not unaware of isolated incidents but insists the inclusive culture of the city should be celebrated and shared.
The concept is centered around defining and simultaneously breakdown the ignorance that informs the racism, stereotypes and prejudice. The project is taking an inclusive approach allowing the community voice their ideas through community interviews and questionnaires. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for donations to actualize the campaign. A release date is yet to be set but the project is driven by the urgency to capture the current wave of racial awakening.
To donate to the “Different Colors, One People” Project, visit; https://gf.me/u/x9arb8