Meet Matea: BPF’s Media Producer
Back in 2015, Bhubesi Pride Foundation started, for the first time, to enable opportunities for individuals with skills in photography, videography and social media to take up positions as Media Producers on our expedition teams. The set-up has gone from strength to strength, with skilled, passionate people ‘telling the Pride’s story’ through the lens.
This year, we welcome Bulgarian Parisian, Matea Ilieva. We meet Matea on here interview…
Matea, you have a lot of experience in the field of photography and videography. What motivates you about the work you do?
“When I first started, I really wanted to make people dream about places, make them travel without leaving their seats, tell awesome stories or share other people’s lives. I realised after doing it professionally that it is a powerful tool to shine a light on people that maybe don’t have that voice to do it alone – this is what motivates me the most.”
You started photography at a young age – do you enjoy combining your passion for this work as a hobby, too?
“I really enjoy getting lost… people might find it strange but wandering in a city that you don’t know or just letting your feet get you somewhere in your hometown is a great feeling. You always end up discovering new places or meeting people.
When I explore like this, I always have my camera or phone with me, and I capture those places, faces or details. I have always dreamed that a picture could have a smell, too. There is something about a French bakery on a road-side corner that is made to be shared! Who knows, 4D cinema exists, maybe the next step will be 5D that includes more of the senses?”
You’ve been working for BNP Paribas. Tell us about that role.
“It was my first ‘serious’ job when I started working in France and I’ve stayed there for seven and a half years. My role is to film and photograph people, talk about internal changes, external projects, about Roland Garros or our Foundation’s work with climate or culture.
It was a very interesting and challenging job where finding the right tone and humanising financial vocabulary was essential. I also had to work with a lot of passionate people, from engineers working in a data centre to our CEO – every day was a different adventure!”
And now, a new adventure: Bhubesi Pride Foundation in Africa? What motivated you to apply for the role as Media Producer?
“First of all, I needed a personal challenge. I have spent twelve years in France and I needed a change. Seven months in Africa in another setting was clearly the best thing that could have happened to me.
The other reason is that when I saw the opportunity to join the Pride, I understood that I could do something meaningful and use my skills in a field that makes a difference. I love people. Making friends, discovering new cultures and sharing their stories has always been a driving force for me. I really hope that I could make the most of it and share other passionate people’s stories.”
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
“I would like on a personal level to be more rigorous about the decisions I make – not only about that chocolate bar that I crave for… about my experiences with the Pride. I would love to be able to produce all the videos and take all the photos I have prepared for.
I have an idea about the stories I would like to tell but I am sure that I will have surprises along the way. But this is the best part of my job – surprises! On another level, I would really like to be able to play a part in the adventure, not only through my Media Producer role but also as an active member of the Pride. I promise, I will not sing nor play an instrument, but I can cook and tell reasonable jokes… I hope this to be one of my most important human qualities and I am really looking forward to getting things started!”
How can BPF’s Pride members assist you?
“Dear Pride members:
You call me the friendly paparazzi at work. On the field, I will always be somewhere near you. I know that, sometimes, having a camera filming you while you work is not easy but consider it as an experience!
Talk to me, don’t be shy, feel free to tell me how you feel, share your great moments or tough ones, so that we can make the most of our time together. If you meet a person that likes to talk, that has a story, whom you find inspiring, introduce him or her to me. It’s the base of everything – people.
During our journey you will meet great people, have amazing adventures and see breathtaking landscapes. Feel free to share them on social media, I will give you hashtags to use in order to build, together, a great communication plan.
I am ready! Are you?”
What excites you about getting to Africa and delivering on your goals for the charity?
“Everything! Just answering these questions so far makes me want to pack my bag and go! I think that I have said it a lot of times, but I insist, we will meet inspiring, brave, young and old people who love their jobs, who have passion in their hearts, who have things they would like to share and I am eager to play my role in that and give them the opportunity to do so.”
Would you like to be a Media Producer with the Pride in 2019? Having already selected a Media Producer for Jan-May 2019, we have a vacancy for May-September 2019.