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Independent film making may soon have a new home

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A career as a filmmaker may soon be within reach without ever leaving Sacramento. Sacramento local Christina Marie is working on phase one of her plan to build a Sacramento “Indiewood.”

The first phase of Indiewood is Capitol Indie Collective, a nonprofit organization gathering funding to open a 100,000 square-foot campus. Members of Capitol Indie Collective, also called CIC, will have access to subsidized work space and access to jobs through Cow Town Film Productions, Marie’s film company.

“There are over 2,500 filmmakers in the region, and it’s not advertised,” Marie said.

She said she works with filmmakers in Sacramento that commute to the Bay Area and Los Angeles for projects. Marie mentioned that these commuting filmmakers will even use a Bay Area or Los Angeles phone number.

“Somebody has to do something so I can say, ‘Yes, I’m a filmmaker, and yes I live in Sacramento,’ ” Marie said.

Marie pointed out Sacramento is a safe place to raise children and an affordable place to live.

CIC will allow people to raise a family in Sacramento and be a working artist, Maria said.

Capitol Indie Collective was started by Marie last July.

Since Capitol Indie Collective is still in the process of acquiring funding, it is working to raise a total of $8,000 for incorporation so it can launch membership.

CIC launched a Media Mentoring program in January.

Marie said the Media Mentoring program is set up to “educate, inspire and further individuals’ careers with better portfolios, distribution or access to mentoring.”

The Media Mentoring program launched with a screening of the film “Miss Representation” at the Crest Theatre. This film was directed, written and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

“The screening of this film was to examine the negative representation of women in all forms of media,” Marie said.

The screening of “Miss Representation” was a two-day event. CIC teamed up with the Women’s Legislative Caucus to screen the film.

The film was screened on the first day to 400 high school media students and on the second day to 400 people working in digital media and other media forms.

The Media Mentoring program plans to launch another screening of "Miss Representation" in June.

CIC’s Media Mentoring program holds a meeting on the last Tuesday of every month. Each meeting, a topic is presented by a guest speaker. This month, film historian Cliff Weimer hosted, and the topic was silent films. April’s topic has not been announced yet. Tickets for these meetings are $10 through the Capitol Indie Collective website.

CIC is not only for filmmakers but all independent artists.

CIC teamed up with the Sacramento Film and Music Festival and put on the SFMF and Capitol Indie Collective Present: The Sacramento Bee Fashion Challenge.

Last year at this event, designers in the area were challenged to make red carpet-worthy couture outfits out of newspaper with a $50 budget.

Marie said the goal of the event was for the designers to “expand their resumes and show off what they can do.”

Capitol Indie Collective and the SFMF will be presenting The Sacramento Bee Fashion Challenge again this summer.

Marie has a team of board members for CIC that is composed of Owen T. Jones, Tracy Saville, Tony Chopelas and Ben Catlin.

Jones, brought on for his experience with nonprofit organizations in Sacramento as well as the Bay Area, said that what drew him into Capitol Indie Collective was “Christina’s enthusiasm for trying to bring independent film to Sacramento.”

Saville, filmmaker and writer, described Capitol Indie Collective’s vision as striving to “be the entity that brings all forms of art together.”

“When we get our campus up, we want to mosh everyone up together,” Marie said. “By rubbing off on each other, you make your own discipline of art so much better.”

Capitol Indie Collective is looking not only for artists, but volunteers as well.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” Marie said. “We’re looking for someone to do photo or video microblogs of our artists in the community.”

Until funding is complete so that Capitol Indie Collective can become incorporated, the organization will continue to raise funds through the media mentoring program, the fashion challenge, and another screening of “Miss Representation.”

“There’s a stigma that art is the frosting on the cupcake, when in reality an art-rich community is what drives commerce,” Marie said.

For information on CIC membership and upcoming events, click here, or visit CIC’s Facebook page.

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