Directing with Chi Energy—Patricia Chica chosen for TIFF Filmmaker Lab 2018

Director Patricia Chica

Following our interview with Director Patricia Chica about Morning After, and upcoming feature Montréal Girls, it was announced today that she has been selected as one of the 10 Canadian directors to be part of the TIFF Filmmaker Lab 2018. The Filmmaker lab is a highly curated creative development program and will be held during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Director Patricia Chica grew up in Montréal, Québec, but has also resided in several other cities, and speaks fluent English, French, and Spanish. She has worked on over 60 hours of content, and her film work has been part of more than 300 international film festivals. Chica is determined to create high quality independent films for the international market, whilst also spreading a unique style of directing.

In 1997 Director Chica cofounded her production company “Flirt Films” with friend and cofounder Stephanie Larrue (who later left the company to pursue writing). Chica’s vision statement for the company was “to create a production company that will empower female directors and diversity. …[So that] people of color, all women filmmakers [could] have a space to be creative.” Chica also talked about how she wanted the company to support her as a “Latina-Canadian filmmaker living in a French Society, Quebec.” The company was to create high quality author-driven independent films that would appeal to the international market. In Chica’s words, “I want to be worldwide; I don’t want to be just Quebecois or Canadian. I want to be an international production company and filmmaker.”

Patricia Chica leading a Chi Energy class

It was also during her twenties that she began using Energy in her work as a director. However, it wasn’t until she was questioned about being a Reiki Master that she read up on the concept and realized it was a method she had been using in her daily life and work all along. After more research, she began to develop her own method, “Chi Energy”, that incorporates many energy elements from different cultures. Chica noticed the effectiveness of the method in heightening the abilities of the entire cast and crew, and started to teach this method to other actors and directors. Now, before any production, she hosts a compulsory 4-hour Chi Energy workshop with her entire cast and crew.

Driven by her successes with using Chi Energy to direct, Chica very passionately believes in the importance of good communication for a successful collaboration:

“I collaborate very well with both female and male DPs and question whether others’ conflicts arise from lack of communication and learning each other’s languages. “

“I grew up in a family with only brothers, and I’ve always had a lot of masculine energy – if I disagree [with something], I disagree. I always feel so empowered by my male collaborators. When you want to speak to people and get results, [people should] learn how to communicate effectively with them. I wonder if sometimes problems are really because [the collaborators] are male, or is it because women are already apologetic and feel inferior.”

Chica’s regard for the importance of openness and communication is also evident in the hiring process for her production company “Flirt Films”.

“I always go on friendly coffee dates with them first. I don’t ask about education or work experience, my first question is to find out what their intention in being part of our team is. My second question is about what daily practice they do to better themselves. Then I can sense their openness and whether they could align with our company’s mission statement of empowering ourselves and others. I want them to give themselves permission to contribute ideas and value to the company, regardless of their position in the company. There is no judgment or discrimination. It’s a very inclusive and collaborative environment.”

Director Patricia describes her film work as “movies that are author-driven, inspire and empower audiences worldwide, and bring a conscious message that elevates society.”

© Katusha Jin (8/01/18) FF2 Media

Patricia Chica leading a silent hike

Featured Image: Patricia Chica and her team in the fields.

Photo Credits: Flirt Films


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Katusha Jin joined FF2 Media’s team in 2017 whilst she was still a film student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2019 she was the recipient of SCMP’s journalism scholarship and studied under the mentorship of an Oscar award-winning documentary director in Hong Kong. She went on to receive her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Hong Kong where she graduated with distinction. Katusha has previously worked in the advertising industry, and when she is not writing for FF2 Media, she can be found working on films as a director, producer, and writer. As a trilingual filmmaker, her experiences have cultivated an interest in the intersection between cultural diversity and creativity, and she brings that to her work both as a creative and as a critic. She is also a voice-over hobbyist, a fitness enthusiast, a student of comedy, and is always on the lookout for musical and theatrical collaborations.
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