The Spark of Inspiration, with Petra Zlatevska

An engaging, sassy,and at times belly-laughter-inducing series of real and raw conversations with global gamechangers, innovators disruptors and creatives. The show goes behind the scenes to unearth what SPARKS the imagination of these fascinating humans.

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  • 3. Ep 3: Sheila Jayadev// On Family, Conquering Fear & Film making

    Happy Wednesday everybody! THANK YOU SO MUCH for joining in the journey so far.Sometimes, you just get lucky in life.By lucky, I don't mean winning lotto or getting stuck with George Clooney on his yacht although that may not be so bad. I mean lucky as in the people with whom your life paths have crossed. Joy does not begin to express how I feel about introducing to you today's guest who embodies passion, risk-taking and resilience. Sheila Jayadev is an award-winning film producer,  Entertainment and Media Lawyer and all-round creative powerhouse. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants, having grown up in the western suburbs of Sydney.In this heart-felt and raw tell-all, Sheila reveals the reality check that her childhood and upbringing instilled in her and how it informed her passion for social justice and commitment to telling diverse stories, ranging from multiculturalism, immigration, racism, and family ancestry.She unpacks the glamour of the film industry, and reveals it for what it is: an industry where tenacity, rigour and dedication count so much more than the red carpet moment, although she acknowledged the importance of celebrating the wins through attending premieres.She shares the importance of family support in encouraging her to pursue her film making dreams, and the hard yakka it takes to work on a feature in the middle of the Australian desert with none other than Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski and Asher Keddie.After law school, she worked as an Entertainment Lawyer in Sydney whilst making short films, She then won a major award which enabled her to work in development at Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s London-based production company. She has also been a Development Executive for Screen NSW and Screen Australia. Sheila has written and directed various short form productions which have screened at film festivals internationally. She produced Australia’s first Muslim rom-com Ali’s wedding in 2016.  Her most recent production Stateless, which features none other than Cate Blanchett, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2020. Show breakdown :min 1:15 - background to stateless with and the Berlinale premiere . It takes a village to raise a child min 15- 21 childhood aspirations coming from a migrant indian family in the western suburbs of Sydney, winning first film competition  min 22 - 27: career rebranding in her 30s from lawyer to producer with Ridley Scott’s production company learning the craft of producing, script development, reading books and proposals for script min 28: 00 - 3 2 myths of producing in the film industry, different types of producers, the secret truth to what a producer is and does ! working hand in hand with director not just finance raising - wholistic carriage of a project as a producer from inception- marketing/publicity which is different to a director 33:20 - 36:00 3 people who inspired her 36:00 - 39:00 diversity is not just niche in the industry everyone needs to get behind it…new project from underrepresented emerging script writers/actors novel format, 8 characters/chapters/stories. black lives matter and what will happen when diversity becomes so mainstream 39:00 - 41:00 covid morale on the film industry /how to shoot with cameras, actors when a scene calls for a physical embrace 41:50 advice to her 25 year old self 43:10 dealing with failureEPISODE LINKS STATELESS IN THE US STATELESS IN AUSTRALIA SHEILA'S PRODUCTION COMPANY EMERALD PRODUCTIONS ALI'S WEDDING (2016) Thanks as always for your passion and feedback.---------I'm not selling a thermomix, pea-based protein powders, healing crystals or any of that stuff.I am all about sharing stories and experiences from amazing people. So please don't forget to rate and review!If you have any feedback or suggestions please write in to !If you also have any ideas for people you would love to hear, do let me know Follow the show along at instagram.

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  • 2. Ep 2: Aminata Conteh-Biger// From Heartbreak to a Rising Heart

    It is with much excitement, almost to the point of these words exploding out of the show page, that I introduce the official first guest for the show: Aminata Conteh-Biger.Aminata is one of those people that literally lights up any room with her energy, in fact it's more than a light: it's like a galaxy of stars that radiate brightly. She is not just a messenger of hope, she IS the embodiment of hope, resilience, passion and positivity.Aminata became a casualty of the civil war raging in Sierra Leone, one of the world's most impoverished nations. Kidnapped by rebel forces, she survived months as a sex slave. Upon her release, the UNHCR granted her refugee status in Australia, making her the first Sierra Leonean refugee woman in the country.Since her arrival here almost twenty years ago, Aminata has forged an unstoppable life as a wife, mother, maternal health advocate and now author.Upon becoming a mum, following the difficult birth of her first child, she was inspired to found The Aminata Maternal Foundation, which has as its mission to educate and empower women and children in Sierra Leone, the country with the world's highest infant mortality rate.At the heart of the Foundation is Amii's belief that:"You've got to educate people first before you empower them. You need to provide them with the resources to ensure that access to maternal health is a basic human right. "Aminata has shared her story of survival for over twenty years: she has been a UN Ambassador and spoken at events alongside the likes of The Hon. Dame Quentin Blake, former Governor- General of Australia (who wrote the foreword to her book), Cate Blanchett, Business Chicks with Entrepreneur Emma Isaacs as well as countless others. Yael Stone, lead actress on Orange is the New Black, is a Spokesperson for the Foundation's work.Her incredible life was the inspiration behind an award-winning documentary "Daughter of Sierra Leone" which aired on SBS TV in 2017.In this tell-all conversation, we cover:the twin legacies of civil war and the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and how these have detrimentally impacted the country socially, economically and politicallythe reality of what it is like to give birth for women in Sierra Leone and the work of Aminata's Foundation on the ground in Freetown, in arranging and financing a simple, life-saving preventable fistula surgery as well as the fund-raising activities in SydneyAmi's nuanced approach to accepting the reality that people have cultural stereotypes and how to over come these, through showing grace and patience, and help people be informed about the reality of any situation, not to necessarily wish these stereotypes away , because they will always be presentthe background to her extraordinary autobiography Rising Heart, released in Australia on 25th August. In her own words she had a clear vision that "this is an uncomfortable memoir full of hope" and that this was not going to be a story "about another African refugee"the difficulty in prioritising maternal health as a basic human right when the academic study of and governmental policy-making in terms of human rights, economic rights or social rights is much more structured and mainstream.AND FINALLY : a message of joy: despite these seemingly horrific life experiences, Aminata encourages us to RISE with joy because as long as we are still living and breathing, there is always HOPE.I SIMPLY LOVED TO TALKING TO AMINATA AND I AM SURE YOU WILL FIND HER ENERGY AS INFECTIOUS AS I DO. ++LISTENER WARNING++:We discuss in the context of civil war, rape and kidnap and in the context of life-saving operations, a medical procedure to prevent a birth-related complication known as a fistula.---I'm not selling a thermomix, pea-based protein powders, healing crystals or any of that stuff.I am all about sharing stories and experiences from amazing people. So please don't forget to rate and review!If you have any feedback or suggestions please write in to !If you also have any ideas for people you would love to hear, do let me know Follow the show along at instagram.
  • 1. Hi, I'm Petra Zlatevska // Welcome to The Spark Podcast

    WELCOME to the debut episode of The Spark podcast!This intro launch is rather informal in its style to give a sense of what I am all about as well as background to the show.So if you feel you've heard my story before, then please go ahead and listen to the first official episode which follows in a few days. Although be warned may miss out on a fascinating tête-à-tête. You can always come back and listen later when you're waiting for your bus, shopping for groceries, or at the gym.As I know that it’s not just my kids who quickly become bored of my voice babbling away solo, I marshalled a dear friend of mine from university, Liliya May, to join me as co-host and flip the interview for a fun get-to-know Q +A .There's a healthy mix of philosophy and laughter and we traverse wide terrain including:the inspiration behind the showwhat it was like for me to embark on a new career in media whilst living in BerlinLiliya's reflections on growing up in the former USSR, her own transition from law to the world of acting in Moscow and LA, her new film "I want to make a film about Women" which screened at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2020, and a new short film Saudade which she narrates in Russian & features music from dutch composer Joep Beving . And shot on location in WINTER in a Soviet ghost town in the Arctic circle!, and how she learnt the art of Brazilian jujitsu.pearls of wisdom from my baba / grandmaunderstanding the value and grounding a law degree can provideappreciating the sense of vulnerability that comes with acknowledging that there is never a linear path to anything in lifehow to have the courage to write your own life 'script' no matter how unorthodox and stand up to naysayers.It was a fascinating deep dive to explore what it means to be a creator: we agreed that to be able to share creative work with the broader public, means to abandon notions of perfection and instead, strive for excellence.We had a hoot reminiscing about our days as law students at Australia's oldest university, which involved daily lectures in an underground windowless bunker ... and a few more stories.As this is a show about being true to yourself: as you heard at the beginning, there was a special cameo from my fabulous mum and at one point Liliya's adorable daughter Lumi says hello too!Hope you enjoy;)If you like what you hear, please 'subscribe' on Apple or 'follow' on Spotify app and all your fave podcast platforms so you don't miss out on upcoming episodes. You can also tell your mum, grandma, old school teacher about the show... As I'm not selling vitamins, tupperware or a thermomix, but sharing ideas and stories, I would adore your feedback- and would invite your to rate and leave a review... I promise I won't spam you. I can't buy you a coffee or a matcha latté yet know that your efforts won't go unnoticed.Here is my re-work of Marc Antony's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Friends, Listeners, podcast junkies, lend me your ears;I come to bury boredom, not to praise it.The evil that people do lives after them;The good is sadly buried with their bones;Keep Sparking :) ---Follow all show updates, episode releases, announcements on Insta the_sparkpodcast