I have just finished watching the 2017 EE BAFTAs and watched Emma Stone receive the award for leading actress for her role as Mia in La La Land, and her acceptance speech really resonated with me.
As I wrote in my most recent blog post, I adored La La Land and Emma’s performance throughout, so even in a category with strong contenders tonight – I was rooting for her. I was mightily impressed with her speech, after having fought through a list of names and thanks as is routine, she addressed a topic close to my heart – creativity. As obvious as it may seem to some, she pointed out internationally we are going through “a bit of a time” and that the importance of celebratory events such as the BAFTAs ceremony was still paramount because they highlight the creativity that unites us as humans.
“In a time that’s so divisive, I think it’s really special that we were all able to come together tonight thanks to BAFTA to celebrate the positive gift of creativity and how it can transcend borders and how it can help people to feel a little less alone.”
Without being overtly political, which often makes a chunk of the audience uncomfortable (not a problem for myself, but I appreciate it is for many others) she avoids alienating anyone while managing to address the importance of unity and togetherness. However, it was her focus on creativity that really warmed my heart, without fighting over which side of the political compass you may sit on it’s impossible to deny that films are such an important mode to unite an international audience. It’s outputs of creativity whether it be music, film, literature, or any art form that can bring people together regardless of the stories they tell being factual or fictitious.
She referred to the ‘gift’ of creativity – something everyone possesses in some form – and it’s ability to bring people from all walks of life together. If you really think about it, appreciating and enjoying films, as a rule, tends not to rely on your political position or who wrote, directed or starred in it but rests heavily your identification with an aspect of its story no matter where you are from, the religion you practice or the colour of your skin.
That’s why I want to write so I can evoke any kind of emotion from children, teenagers and adults from all walks of life, whether it’s because they identify with a character, they share my perspective, or just like the story they happen to experience through my writings. I want people to feel understood, just as I want to be understood. I want people to feel as though they aren’t the only one keeping the torch alight for matters they hold close to their heart, and though you may not have met someone who can grasp an understanding of the things you love just yet, they’re out there and that you can reach out, connect and befriend others just because a single piece of art inspired you to.
Creativity has the ability to transcend borders just as Emma Stone said tonight, and that it’s ability to make someone feel a little less alone rings true. It’s something I have experienced (especially during La La Land but also beyond that one film) and it’s and experience I hope to share in the future.