A Melrose high school teacher and his former student created a documentary film together.
Teacher Marquis Martin directed and produced a 35-minute film about the healing qualities of yoga through the eyes of Brittany ‘Bre’ Scullark, a professional model who teaches yoga to inmates and trauma victims.
Martin made the film with his mentee, Harry Montas of Williambridge, who was Martin’s student at Bronx Haven High School at the Alfred E. Smith Educational Campus for two years
Montas was the director of photography on the film, called ‘A Girl Can Dream…Bre Scullark.’
Scullark was on America’s Next Top Model television program, where she placed third in the show’s Cycle 5.
The Bronx Documentary Center held a screening on Wednesday, June 28, and the film was an entrant in the 2017 Harlem International Film Festival, said the director.
The idea for the documentary came about when Martin was filming his college-friend Scullark’s east coast yoga tour, said Martin.
They decided to expand the scope of the project to include information about her work teaching yoga to youth, trauma victims and prisoners at Rikers Island and Manhattan Detention Complex.
“In documenting Bre’s, journey, we were coming across situations were people were not afforded the opportunity to be healed from traumatic experiences,” said Martin, adding “She is doing her part to bring awareness and do healing through yoga.”
Scullark, who placed third on America’s Top Model, Cycle 5, said she is a yoga instructor who has obtained a 200-hour certification.
The film chronicles her work using yoga to help heal people from depression, anxiety and other trauma, she said.
The yoga is a bit different from standard yoga, with less commands and student directed movement, she explained.
Martin said that as a visual arts teacher, he has seen how art programs appeal to students who may or may not excel in core academic subjects.
Martin taught Montas in an after-school program, said Martin.
“We had a lot of other students, but Harry shined bright,” said Martin, adding “He saw how powerful it is to have a camera and tell your own story; he got that really quick and early on.”
Montas, now 19, said he aspires to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology.
He said that he first got interested in photography while taking stills as part of Martin’s class.
He then expanded into filmmaking, and began reading all he could about both subjects, said Montas.
Montas said that aside from his mentor, he used videos on YouTube to learn film technique.
When they began work on ‘A Girl Can Dream…Bre Scullark,’ Montas wasn’t aware of how large the project would become.
“We started shooting for fun,” said Montas.
Being director of photography on the film didn’t feel like a job, said Montas.
“It was fun because I was working with my friends on it,” said Montas, adding “We did not have a storyboard… it was pretty much on the fly, on the go.”
Martin is the founder of Blakhaus, a lifestyle brand focused on film, fashion, and music.