Rachel Schmidt started Girl Edge Films in 2006, believing she could bridge an extensive career in activism and social work with documentary film. Rachel attended film school in Vancouver in 2004 and spent two years learning the craft before launching her own production company which is now called Rachel Schmidt Films. Rachel’s unique mark in the film world is a result of her blending business expertise with a social consciousness.
Rachel has worked on film projects with human rights organizations in Africa and Thailand, secured funding from National Film Board of Canada for a documentary on First Nations youth in Castlegar, and worked locally with ANKORS on a film about HIV/AIDS.
In 2009, Rachel received a “Widening Our World” Award from Community Living BC for “Freedom to Belong”, a short documentary about the rights of people with a developmental disabilities. The film won ‘Best Documentary’ at the Kootenay Express Film Festival, and was broadcast across BC.
In 2012, Rachel partnered with Watershed Productions to complete a video project for Columbia Basin Trust. She traveled extensively around the Columbia Basin to interview Basin residents and collect stories about how our valleys and communities have been transformed since the building of the dams.
Rachel’s latest documentary film project was in Guatemala where she trekked through the mountains to meet the Mayan Q’eqchi people and learn about human rights violations committed against them by Canadian mining companies. She has just returned from working with the Nobel Women’s Initiative, documenting women’s voices opposing the oil sands and the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline Project in Northern BC.
Rachel encourages other inspiring filmmakers to start their own production companies. She states, “digital technology has revolutionized the film world and opened the door for small businesses to compete locally, nationally and internationally.”
You can visit Rachel’s site at rachelschmidtfilms.com.