Change is Good

Published in Ottawa Magazine, May 2013 issue.

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How a terrible accident a decade ago turned software engineer and government worker Jith Paul into a key player in Ottawa’s film industry.

Many filmmakers would say they started on their path the second they picked up a camera as a child.  Others realized if it the first time they watched a film that truly inspired them.  For Jith Paul, however, it was the injury to a vertebra in his back that launched his film career.  In 2002, Paul, who was working as a software engineer at the time, fell while working out at home, injuring his back.  In the aftermath, he worked with an occupational therapist to relearn how to walk.  But as he took care of his physical recovery, Paul’s mental focus was on how to follow his dream of working in the film industry.

Now, just over a decade later, the 41-year-old finds himself overseeing–he jokingly labels himself president, CEO and janitor–Treepot Media, one of Ottawa’s fastest-growing production companies.  But how does someone make such a drastic jump–from a secure job consulting with the government to a player in the notoriously unpredictable film industry?  ”Sometimes you need a catalyst to reorganize your priorities in life,” Paul says.  ”And after the back injury, I decided maybe film was something I wanted to try more than just as a whim.”

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