A Filmmaker’s Prologue: The Rise of Atlas Phoenix

There has been an increase in people using self-care practices, taking ownership of feelings in our society, and sharing emotions without repercussions. However, it’s still a relatively new phenomenon amongst generations.

These concepts are typically associated with mental health. However, this is overall; it doesn’t include the intersectionality that exists for some people. For Atlas Phoenix, intersectionality is vital. 

Atlas is a transmasculine and black filmmaker who has dedicated part of their life to storytelling. More specifically, they create visual perspectives through movies and features for those in the BIPOC LGBTQIA+ community. A slight look, a minor acknowledgment, means absolutely everything to a young queer child or seeing a person of color speaking about mental illness and challenge. But, unfortunately, not everyone can understand the power of validation.

To execute that validation, many people have to go through a mental or physical journey, navigating diagnoses and dissecting trauma.

The journey Atlas took was long and complex; even isolated, these struggles alone are terrifying, new, and vulnerable, but part of that journey’s first step is finding a support system. While searching for resources, someone or something to turn to, Atlas formed a connection with Accord. One of Accord’s values is to provide help so people can live their greatest lives. That mantra and mission manifest themselves in a variety of ways. 

Initially, Atlas found the organization when it was still called Community Involvement Programs while searching for a place to live. That was 14 years ago. Since then, Accord was able to assist them with finding independent housing and has provided several mental health-related services for over a decade. In addition, they have fondly shared their experience with Accord employees they’ve worked with.

For Atlas, there were times when the level of services had to be higher than others. However, more recently, they have become more independent and uses Accord primarily for case management and medication distribution services.

Steadily and consistently, the organization has been part of Atlas’ stability, which helps them thrive in their life and creativity.

Atlas Phoenix is currently working on a new project for their next film: With Love, Atlas Oggún Phoenix. There is an active GoFundMe, which will provide direct donations to their latest work. That link can be found here. 

Atlas was recently on KFAI – Fresh Air Community Radio to discuss the feature. Click here to listen to the interview recording on Soundcloud. They will also be at Loring Park’s Pride on July 17-18, 2021.