“My guilty pleasure?” asks Bristol Baughan. “Dine-in movie theatres!” Perhaps this indulgence is not much of a stretch for an Oscar-Nominated and TED Fellows filmmaker. But Bristol’s passion for and indulgence in things media/film related comes from more than just spending years behind a camera, it comes from her commitment to telling the provocative stories that change the world. Bristol is one-half of the drive behind Uprise, an idea production company dedicated to cultivating compelling stories across all media. She is also Co-Founder of Reason Pictures/GOOD.is where she had a hand in creating a number of Oscar nominated and Emmy winning feature films and documentaries such as By The People: The Election of Barack Obama (HBO) and Which Way Home (HBO). Bristol admits that despite her love for what she does, she gets the importance of making time and space for herself. One of her favorite ways to recharge and reconnect with herself: surfing. When she’s not dreaming of sharing the next life-altering story, Bristol is dreaming of warm waters and big, big waves.
If you could describe yourself in one hashtag, what would it be?
Oy, this is hard one. #containsmultitudes
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
My business partner Erin Heidenreich rocks! She is a badass Director who has accomplished so much so young and is dedicated to experiencing as much love and freedom this lifetime can give. She is always looking for opportunities to empower women to know their own courage more deeply as she embraces her own.
What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?
My dream is to authentically and radically express myself through stories, in a flashmob, on film or stage or tv screen, for the purpose of empowering others to know the truth of who they really are. I dream of a great love and warm water surfing, a world where vulnerability is our most treasured virtue, and being human is respected rather than judged. My ambition is to combine two seemingly opposite ideas to create something new that makes the repeating record in our mind skip and creates new pathways forward. A few specific goals are to write and direct an epic, science fiction series about what happens between lives, empower women to know and own their sexuality, and tear down the current prison industrial complex.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of a one-woman show I wrote and performed during my second year studying Spiritual Psychology where I experienced the deepest level of vulnerability and connection to something greater than myself. And I sang show tunes really loudly.
What piece of advice changed your life?
"Advice is bullshit. You know everything already, just be quiet enough to remember it and listen closely."
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I have no idea. Hmmm maybe, I am madly in love and we are running a radical summer program for people 15-100 who are dedicated to healing, storytelling and empowerment around the world. School of Life meets TED meets X-Men School for the Gifted. And I've finished my sci-fi epic and creating new worlds with artists from a few disciplines.
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
Write this sc-fi story.
Who has been the biggest female influence in your life and why?
My mother Jennifer White-Baughan is a powerful, intelligent, vulnerable human who feels things deeply and profoundly and has dedicated her life to the healing of others. She has taught me everything I know.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
The biggest risk I have ever taken is quitting my job and leaving at a professional "high point" to travel the world and look at what beliefs I was carrying and whether they were really serving me or not. I am still gambling with the new idea that my value is not dependent on anything external.
Why are you THAT GIRL?
Ha. I suppose I am THAT GIRL because I am a pretty transparent and loving mirror that other women (and people) can see themselves through.
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor
Featured images courtesy Eyoalha Baker