Enrique Huaiquil: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”

Through my photography and video work, I believe I can make a difference, even if that is on a small scale. Currently, I am working on a project that will draw attention to the struggle and fight for racial equality. I also continue to use my work to highlight other such needed causes that impact […]

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Through my photography and video work, I believe I can make a difference, even if that is on a small scale. Currently, I am working on a project that will draw attention to the struggle and fight for racial equality. I also continue to use my work to highlight other such needed causes that impact communities and humans.

As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing A. Enrique Huaiquil.

Enrique Huaiquil is a cinematographer, editor, and storyteller. He collaborates on numerous documentary features and short form features for Al Jazeera + as Senior Video Editor. In addition, he works as a creative freelancer to help organizations, artists, and musicians of all kinds tell their story through documentary film. Enrique has a passion for painting his hopes and dreams in oil on canvas.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

Growing up in Chile, an only child, I was instinctively creative. Relying on devices and technology was not a part of my experience, instead my surroundings were my screen, and my hands created my passion, the arts! I knew early on, expectations for me to be a doctor or lawyer were unrealistic, and I’m thankful my parents supported me.

My family moved to the United Stated in 2000, and my passion for the arts came right along with me, “con Chile siempre en el alma.” (with Chile always in my soul)

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?

Back in the day, I used to work with MiniDV and HDV cameras and, although I always brought enough tapes to cover the job, there were many occasions when I ran out of media.

The funniest and most tragic situation that occurred to me was when I had to record on a tape that had my school assignment, for one final video assignment at UMBC. I remember I spent the entire previous day recording my school work very strategically, and I was proud because I was able to save all my work in one single HDV tape.

I had a situation where I needed to make a tape for a client and my assignment tape was the only one I had with me. I had to make a choice, so I decided to take a risk and tape over it, totally aware of the possible consequences. My assignment would be lost but I also didn’t want to lose my client since this was early in my career and making money sometimes was a rare privilege.

I remember meeting with my professor and explaining. Luckily he gave me an extension, and I passed the class with an A+.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Former Neo-Nazis in Oregon. At first it was intimidating, even though we knew that they had left the organization years before, and they were public about their previous activities. However, just the fact that I knew about their former racist views initially made me feel uncomfortable.

I was the videographer and my role was to create amazing visuals and handle technical adjustments, like putting their lavalier microphones on them.

Contrary to my own fears, they were actually nice people. They asked me where I was from and I shared with them what I knew about Skinheads and Neo-Nazis in my home country of Chile.

It was difficult to hear how in the past they were actually completely involved with their former ideals and had believed without a doubt that they were part of a superior race. It was also hard to hear about the actions they committed while being involved in the Neo-Nazi movement, but it was amazing to hear the reasons they quit.

They told us why, how, when and where they entered the movement and how, thanks to people from other races they were able to escape from the group and from themselves.

I had always questioned if it was possible for a racist person to embrace change and be reformed, but after meeting these people and learning about their work to dismantle racism I think it’s possible.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

For AJ+, I’m working on editing exciting explainer videos about current news, like the search for a COVID19 vaccine, policing Black neighborhoods, and the new OPIOID/COVID crisis.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs. They both created themselves from nothing, persevered, and were truly passionate about their beliefs. They were in different fields and eras, but what they shared in common was the unique desire to make a difference in the world. Mandela was in prison for 27 years and still persevered, Jobs was fired from the company he started, was away for 12 years, but also still persevered. They both emerged victorious from their struggles and left a legacy which is followed by millions of people around the world. People like them are examples of hard work, intelligence, consistency.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?

Through my photography and video work, I believe I can make a difference, even if that is on a small scale. Currently, I am working on a project that will draw attention to the struggle and fight for racial equality. I also continue to use my work to highlight other such needed causes that impact communities and humans.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?

When I saw America wake up again after years of social and racial injustice. People manifested their anger against those who have been oppressing them, and the entire country heard. Unfortunately, racial inequality and discrimination is a problem not only in America, but throughout the entire world. The fact that people were determined and driven to show their discontent, encouraged me to take my camera, and capture the movement.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Just people in general. We anticipate using this project to educate and impact change among communities.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

  1. Give me a chance to show my work and its purpose.
  2. Through my work, make a real contribution against racial discrimination
  3. Use my work to connect people so that we can be more united in society.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. How competitive the creative field is.
  2. How much the equipment didn’t matter.
  3. How important references can be.
  4. Beyond a traditional education experience, there are other ways to master your craft.
  5. Industry relationships and networking are very important.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

We have to do our best to positively influence others even if it’s at a micro level. Use all your skills to make a difference. Also, be passionate, don’t allow your mistakes, bad choices or bad situations make you give up. Never quit!

We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I’d love to get a chance to work with President Obama. I believe he made a huge difference during his presidency and he is still a hero and great example for many of us.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Stay hungry, stay foolish” It’s the name of a book by Rashmi Bansal and I learned about it when I heard a speech from Steve Jobs when he mentioned this quote.

Link to Speech |

How can our readers follow you online?

Visit our website, and connect with us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) @4EveryGoodReason. Thank you!

This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

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