An Interview with Denise Soler, The Creator of Project Eñye!
A Latina filmmaker and cultural storyteller, Denise Soler Cox is dedicated to helping individuals, organizations and companies transform how we experience culture, identity, and belonging. She's built a reputation for being a speaker who has the rare ability to shine a light on a sensitive and often ignored topic, with extraordinary clarity, honesty, and humor. Her approach not only inspires and provokes new ways of thinking but most importantly leaves audiences inspired to take action and incorporate positive change into their lives. She is a distinguished member of the 4th Cohort of the Stanford Latino Leaders Entrepreneur Program and was recently chosen as a National Association of Latino Independent Producers 2017 Fellow. She has been the featured speaker in places like Facebook, LinkedIn, KPMG, The Smithsonian Latino Center, Yale University, Wellesley College, Google, Proctor & Gamble's Orgullosa, Tedx, Starbucks and Vayner Media to name a few. Her work with Project Enye has been featured on Forbes.com, CNN, NBC Latino, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News Latino and more.
CREDIT: Andrea Flannagan
Please tell us a bit about your background.
Before I started Project Eñye, I was figuring out how to raise our two young children and run a business at the same time. Thankfully I worked from home, so I had the best of both worlds. My business was doing great but I always had a feeling in the back of my mind that I wasn't doing what I was "supposed" to be doing.
What inspired you to develop Project Enye?
A sense of loyalty to myself and an almost 20-year dream to make a film.
How would you describe the response you have gotten since the beginning?
In my heart I always knew that if it could get to the right people that it could make a huge difference. The response since the release of the film 2 years ago now has been overwhelming. Particularly when I think about all the different kinds of audiences that it appeals to. It's incredibly gratifying to know that we've helped so many people.
What has been the hardest thing about developing the project?
It seems like the hardest thing should always be something external. There's no doubt that it's hard to get something like this going. The hardest thing for me however has been managing my own psychology, my own feelings of self-doubt throughout the process. The film that I pitched my partner was not a film about my life but that's the film we ended up making. It was terrifying at the time for me to wonder if that was the right decision.
What have you learned most after seeing the response from the project?
There have been a million lessons for me in the unfolding of this project and film. But making the film about myself has been the greatest gift.
What are you most proud of in the project?
I'm most proud of the impact it has had on our youth. It's a time in my life when I felt the most alone and the most confused. For the first time, they feel understood and like they mattered and there's nothing better than to know that our film and the conversation that happens after helps seal in that important emotional learning that I believe we all deserve especially our youth.
Continue reading to find out more about the movement Denise has created...