Q&A with Director Pearley Jones

Pearley Jones is the director of a new documentary focussed on creative women in the Yarra Ranges.

1. What is something people don’t know about you?

I am a Francophile. I love French arts, culture and heritage. I am slowly learning the French language, and plan to visit France next year.

2. Tell us about your role as a director?

As a director creating new works, you need to have a cool head, warm heart and a sense of humour – as there will always be hiccups while filming and in post production – but somehow with a team approach, problem solving and listening to your intuition, it all comes together in the end.

3. What has been your most memorable moment in your time in your role? Why?

In 2020, I was awarded a residency at a chateau in Normandy, France, for my original song submission called The Chateau. Winning a creative competition on the international stage affirmed my commitment to an artistic career. It has encouraged me to share more music, stories and film, which invoke joy, hope and connection in the lives of others.

4. What do you love most about living in the region?

I love the people. They are warm, friendly, kind, generous and laid back. I enjoy the arts scene, local markets and our quaint cafes, eateries and shops. The natural beauty all around – forests, lakes, farms, orchards and more – also make it a delight to live in this ‘neck of the woods’.

5. How are you keeping sane during lockdowns?

My daily walk immerses me in nature, and provides a space to think, pray and relax. Maintaining social connections with family, friends and neighbours – over the phone, the ‘fence’ or the internet – also helps to nurture and sustain a positive mindset.

6. What are some of your hobbies?

I enjoy walking, bike riding, swimming and reading. My ‘happy place’ is to create new music, poetry and lyrics in my studio. I also enjoy hosting friends and family for a meal – and look forward to sharing our home with loved ones once again.

7. What event, past, present, or future, would you like to witness?

There are so many great musicians I would love to see perform from a bygone era such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. However, right now, to experience the dulcet tones of a crooner in a New York jazz bar or the buzz of a Broadway show would be a little slice of heaven for me.

8. Who do you admire the most?

Mother Teresa. She is a universal mother and role model who left a legacy of kindness, generosity, humility, simplicity and hope. Mother Teresa made a courageous commitment to love life and each person she encountered.

9. Favourite book or movie you recommend?

My favourite book is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. It is a beautifully illustrated coffee table book, which addresses the theme of friendship in a gentle, heart-warming and humorous way. Even better, as a picture book – it’s a quick read – and somehow is enjoyed by everyone from two years old through to 102.

10. What is an important issue in the region you think needs exposure?

Loneliness needs to be addressed as a local and national issue, as it impacts negatively on people’s quality of life, health and wellbeing. The pandemic escalated social isolation and disconnection. Many people realised how important meaningful relationships are for their sense of belonging, purpose and quality of life. Now is the time to reconnect, participate and invest in the social fabric of our community, to ensure we thrive both individually and collectively.