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Kamelya Alexan

Born in Tehran, Iran, Kamelya moved to Chicago when she was six-years-old, where she was raised. Kamelya’s passion for film began when she was 15, after writing her first, feature length, script and pitching it to a Hollywood producer. It was after this that Kamelya found her true passion that is Directing and Producing. She has worked on, and completed, over four-five projects including independent and industry, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercial spots, and feature films. Kamelya was the Vice President of Women In Film Chicago and worked at the Midwest’s largest camera rental house. She also held a board members position at IFP Chicago. Currently she is working as a freelancer on a new Amazon series called "Lightyears"

"Changing the Disciple" official trailer
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Changing the Disciple

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Shango Johnson was influenced by gang life at an early age. Becoming a gang leader helped Shango realize that he had to escape if he wanted to have a happy and fulfilling future. After finding his love for yoga and faith, he left his violent past behind to help the youth of Inglewood flourish and find meaning in his new life.


CHANGING THE DISCIPLE shows how one person's change impacts the Chicago community around him.

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CHANGING THE DISCIPLE shows the change that a yoga practice made in the life of one Chicagoan. Chicago is full of opportunities to develop your own practice. Find a studio near you for your own journey to peace.

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Learn more about Kamelya Alexan and her work on IMDb


Pause. Breathe in. One. Two. Three. Pause. Breathe Out. One. Two. Three. Shift. Imagine, laying in an endless green field of tall soft prairie grass swaying above you and cradling you on a beautiful day in your favorite season. Eyes closed, the sun above warms your nose, eyes, cheeks and face – your entire body is covered in sunlight and you are safe and at peace. Suddenly, you feel water bubbling up beneath you and in a flash, a great wave pushes up, dislodging you from your nest and consumes you. The water enters your nose, rushes down your throat to fill your lungs, stomach and every cavity in your body full to capacity. You are so full of this shockingly cold water, that you can barely remember a time without it. Yet, somewhere still is the memory of that sunlight – though dim. Breathe in. One. Two. Three. Breathe Out. One. Two. Three. Shift. Imagine you are in a state of utter panic and pain like you have never experienced before – never even knew was possible. The realization that this may be your existence from now until the unknown future sends shocks of piercing jolts through your body, that eventually subsides into numbness. An unrecognized fear replaces the pain. Yet, somewhere still is the memory of that sunlight – now brighter. One. Two. Three. One. Two. Three. Shift. Imagine the fear reaching its peak and by some grace the waters begin to recede. From the narrowest space within, they rise up, past your stomach, your throat, your nose and pour in warm waves from your eyes. What felt like a lifetime of holding finally breaks and the flood reverses with every inhale and exhale, every breath sends it back. And this new breath warms you like the memory of that enduring sunlight.

Joyy Norris is a Chicago born and reared freelance creative and writer. Her work is significantly influenced by her identity as a Black American woman invested in discovering solutions to the issues that plague society through art, conversation and imagination. She finds value in these pursuits through the dynamic and effective forms of documentary film and podcasting. Producing stories on heritage, personal enrichment and just chatting it up through an agency-driven lens, defines her work in media.

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