Stick with the Creatives! –
December 17, 2019 – A Canadian director, writer, producer and health care practitioner; Christian Robertson was born the second of three son’s and raised by his mother (a singer-songwriter and community facilitator) in a small mining town in Northern Ontario, Canada. As a young man, he watched his mother struggle with several health conditions; motivating a great interest in alternative methods of healing. He graduated with a degree in Behavioral Science/ Psychology with specialized study in chronic pain. His thesis highlighted the contribution of behavior, emotion and psychology in the process of healing. He combined formal studies and clinical experience in manual therapy to work as a rehabilitation specialist – assisting those suffering from chronic injury, illness and disease. He also briefly worked in the Coast Guard, where he often spent weekends alone aboard a ship with his Captain’s small collection of classic films. Christian credits the company of those films with pushing along his love for cinema and encouraging him to tell stories of his own. Over the years he honed his craft through short documentaries and music videos – developing a compelling method of storytelling, looking deeply at our personal narratives and through them, finding ways to entertain and heal others. In early 2018 he founded FIVE CENT CITY, a grassroots initiative where he used filmmaking, public service and community events to challenge the shame and isolation model associated with issues surrounding mental health and addiction. He began work on his first feature film in 2016; writing, directing and co-producing, City At Sea (2019).
Q. At which classes or workshops did you learn the most?
A. A clinical mentorship by the late Scott Forhan. He took me in and gave me a boost after many other clinics and schools rejected my application. I sat next to his treatment table for years. I learned a lot about assessing and treating chronic pain and disease, but I learned even more about the importance of self-confidence and the role of storytelling in recovery.
Q. Do you believe artists are made or born?
A. Everyone has an artist in them, it just takes honesty and integrity. Bravery to share your point of view. We all have that, it’s just a matter of feeding it.
Q. Which film have you watched the most?
A. The Wrestler, Shawshank Redemption, Rocky, Casablanca, Ali, Casino Royal and Good Will Hunting are among the most watched. But, when I was a youth there was a bootleg VHS tape of, Above the Rim being passed around my neighborhood. I was a basketball player and when it got to me I watched it till I knew it line for line. I played the opening credits (to hear Tupac’s song) so much that I broke the tape! Then I saved my money and bought the official VHS and almost did it again!