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Inspiring Conversations with Mirlande Amazan of The Camazan Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mirlande Amazan.

Hi Mirlande, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Our family left for New York City at the age of three. At nine years old, we moved to Miami Florida. After graduating high school, I set out in the fashion industry and began a modeling career in New York City and internationally. I left the industry in my early 20’s and felt called to complete two Master’s degrees and enter into the ministry and into the world of Social Work and Mental Health. For over 20 years, I have been in the service field, both in Pastoral Ministry and as a Mental Health Practitioner. Licensed in the state of Florida and subsequently California, I served in many capacities including that as a Director in group homes and in major hospitals. I had a private practice in mental health, serving Los Angeles and surrounding communities for the past seven years. I was ultimately led back to the entertainment industry in 2018, when I began acting and started our production company, The Camazan Group, in 2019. I now act, write, produce and direct creative projects.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Life is NEVER a smooth road. Well, at least not for ‘real people’, 🙂 Anyone who tells you otherwise, it’s malarky. I came here after a divorce, with two children and two cats in tow; driving a large Uhaul truck with all our possessions in it. I drove with one other person from Florida — got to California in THREE days! With $1000 in my pocket, I left everything behind – including home, car, and boat – to start afresh. It was very challenging starting life in a new state – with no family or friends – as a single mother of two.

One side note: I’d tell anyone, particularly women…and speaking intersectionally, Black women and women of color. DON’T GIVE UP. Don’t settle. Know your worth. You have a dream? Pursue it and be formidable. Be kind, be gracious, be professional, but never be apologetic. BE BOLD.

In actuality, I did not come here to be in the entertainment industry. I came here to start a new life for us. It just so happens, I came full circle into what I originally began in my early 20’s.

With God’s grace, I rebuilt my life, basically from scratch, supporting my two children without any assistance; with a determination to be full and whole again. This seems daunting, but my parents were immigrants. I and my three siblings are immigrants born in Haiti. Relocating to New York City at a young age, we learned early how to transplant and to succeed with nothing more than faith and furry. We were expected to excel and to achieve. We were expected to work hard and not complain. As a result, our parents managed to support us to become an M.D., an R.N. a Jazz musician and well….me…I’m still evolving!

My immediate family is now settled, blessed and we are thriving. I’ve remarried and have the full support of my husband. I’d venture to say, the road was full of joys and turmoil….but adversity has always fueled me; prayer and meditation has always fortified and centered me. I’m no stranger to suffering or rejection. So when things are wonderful, it’s welcomed with joy and gratitude. Now, of course, as a country, nation and world, we are dealing with the pandemic and social unrest. However, as for us personally, the road is definitely smoother.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Camazan Group?
The Camazan Group, LLC is a film production company. We are a family team, composed of myself, J. Paul Campbell — husband and Executive Producer; my son, Deinrené Amazan- Composer/actor; and daughter Khaila Amazan who is a writer and co-leads major parts of production. Newly established, our aim is to provide quality film and television projects which reflect issues important to our society at large. We like to say that we produce “Socially conscious and Spiritually Aware” projects. We believe in inclusivity and diversity and strive to bring the difficult topics to light, particularly those topics which buoy to the surface issues of the marginalized, abused or forgotten. We may venture into other genres like horror, dark comedies in the near future. However, we will still incorporate our mission accordingly.

Our current project, “LIFE…” is multiple award-winning short film running the festival circuit until year’s end. Our purpose for this project is to convey the journey of a mental health practitioner; to demonstrate her needs as a healer. This topic is not only perpetually relevant but increasingly now, as we have a plethora of frontline health professionals burnt-out due to the pandemic. Their needs often go ignored as they expend their mental, emotional and physical energies to heal others.

Our second project, currently in post-production, is called “The Green Couch”. It too speaks to many topics relevant to mental health, yet with a twist! It is a six-episode TV series which we will pitch to be extended into several future episodes on streaming platforms.

Finally, we are in pre-production for two future feature films – COVID conditions permitting. The most imminent of these two is titled “From Life…” which we hope to start filming closer to the end of the year. I am also polishing a couple of new scripts.

What matters most to you? Why?
My relationships matter to me most. First, my supernatural one-to-one relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ, my husband and children. Jointly, health matters to me. Spiritual, mental, physical and social health. This is why we address what we do in our projects. It is a cry to reveal dysfunctions in our systems and how these adversely affect us as humanity. We would also like to point out that when these systems are healthy, it promotes wealth. Not necessarily speaking of only fiduciary status — because poverty definitely affects one’s mental health — but I speak of wealth holistically. The whole being. To thrive, not only survive, our whole system needs to be balanced. All this “ism’s” in this life and all the phobias, all abuses, exclusionary practices render us unhealthy. We strive to address these – in one form or another – in our projects.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
Headshot-Brian Parillo Photography LIFE… Poster & The Green Couch poster – Iga Nowak, Graphic Designer Screen shots of LIFE Short Film – Matt Fore, Cinematographer Screen shots of The Green Couch T.V. Series -Matt Fore, Cinematographer Film Threat “Life…” film review

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