Stéphanie Brillant's new documentary film, "Children's Brains, Infinite Potential" is a dive into neuroscience and explains how our experiences in childhood shape our brains. The film gives the essential keys to help develop it properly. From emotion to learning, the film presents everything you need to know, as a parent or educator, to support children in realizing their full potential and to help them develop. After "The Intelligence of the Trees", "Children's Brains, Infinite Potential"The film, edited by Jupiter Films, will be released on May 23rd in cinemas.
Stéphanie Brillant began her career as a radio journalist. Very quickly, she joined television and made her debut as a columnist and then as a reporter on the Air de France 5 programme C. She continues her field missions and produces reports for Canal + and France Télévisions. Later on, as a host on MTV and Téva, Stéphanie returned to the News and presented the news on TV5 Monde, I-télé and France 24. She then produced reports and documentaries, notably for M6 and France 24. Then in 2014 she created L'incubateur June, the first docu-reality series dedicated to women's entrepreneurship, for the channel JUNE (which became ELLE Girl in 2016). Stéphanie now wants to move the lines but from the inside, and to devote herself only to projects that have a positive impact on the world.
A mother of two children who are very knowledgeable about how their brains work, Stéphanie is moving to Los Angeles in 2015. She launches Innertainmentforkids.com, a media library for enlightened parents and children. The site offers stories, articles, games and short films that aim to open children to their potential, and to give parents the tools to support them as best they can.
What were your inspirations/intentions in making this film?
Stéphanie Brillant : Human potential is a subject that has fascinated me for many years. It is neuroscience that then captivated me and completely opened my perception. Many writings by Dan Siegel and Tyna Payne Bryson have also inspired me, such as The WholeBrain Child, and The Neurobiology of "We". Many of our contemporaries are totally disconnected from their inner selves, and survive more than they live. I don't believe in dogmatic education, so the idea of this film was to understand, biologically, the evolution of a child's brain and thus to be able to identify the experiences that are favourable to his or her optimal development. All children have immense potential, and as adults we are partly responsible for realizing this potential. My ambition is therefore to awaken consciousness and encourage personal reflection.
Why did you choose to appear on the screen?
SB : Living in the United States has made me evolve. I thought a lot about it and it seemed like the best way to edit the film. Over there it's a narrative mode in its own right, the authors talk about their experiences in order to share and see what they got out of it. It was an inner dialogue, the path of my thinking, and I wanted to open up more. Moreover, if you look at it from a neurobiological point of view, it makes sense, because it is a way of creating a link, and therefore of better sharing one's message.
From research to shooting, how long did it take you to make the film?
SB It took me 18 months to make the film, but I had already integrated a lot of concepts over the years, so I didn't start from scratch.
What advice would you give to future parents?
SB :"We can only give what we have" said Michelle Kinder, the director of the Momentous Institute. It is important to understand that we reason with our children, therefore the state we are in is critical and it is primarily about us that we need to work to be seen as valuable educators. We have to be aware of this, because it has changed my life and my behaviour towards my children. I no longer congratulate them on their results, but on their progress; this has had a real impact on their appetite for challenge and their ability to recover from failure.
How were the speakers chosen?
SB By contacting many experts, but also by letting myself be guided by my instincts and of course, opportunities. I also chose not to focus on neuroscientists, although they all have excellent knowledge in terms of neuroscience. This is a 5-star cast, few are known in France, but in the United States their work is widely recognized.
Why did you make the film in the United States?
SB : Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone, go out and try new challenges. It was time for me. Working in English also gives me a lot of freedom and I am enthusiastic about giving my work an international dimension. In addition, the United States is quite advanced on issues related to neuroscience, fulfilling potential, improving performance, and there are a lot of research labs. Everything is at hand. I might not have been as sensitive to this subject either, if I had not lived abroad and discovered the foundations of American culture. Having children educated in a foreign country allows you to truly grasp what is taught to a nation's young people, and therefore what shapes the minds of its citizens. All in all, it made me realize how much the environment is foundational.