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Film Festival fosters creativity

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The 48-hour film challenge took place on the weekend of March 30, for the Sacramento Film Festival at The Artisan. All the 32 registered teams had to make a creative sprint that began 7:30 p.m., March 30 and ended at 7:30 p.m., April 1. Only 26 teams completed their project according to Martin

Anaya, the event organizer.

Mine was one of them.

As an aspiring multimedia journalist, writing stories for a year, then following my friends on their film projects in the last three. I decided to attempt the challenge for myself.

After all, the best way to learn is to just do it. 

My vision was to have a crew of all foster children who have turned 18 – and “aged out” of the system that I met at LaVerne Adolfo, a transitional living center in Mather.  I’ve met many of them last year.   In many ways, we grew up together because for many, Adolfo is as close as you can get to what you would call a family.

We didn’t have all the bells and whistles or fancy equipment, or even an Apple computer, but I did have an understanding of how to bring resources together for good storytelling.

As soon as the Sacramento Film Festival organizers handed out rules to the aspiring filmmaking teams, we said go! 

The organizers required all the teams to add a character named Kamel Attaboy, a frisbee, and a line “These aren’t the droids you are looking for” and a random genre out of a hat.

My team was the novices among those who had greater experience, but this did not deter us from our goal. 

We brainstormed for at least three hours throughout the night. It took eight hours to take the stills at the Capitol, California State University, light rail, and Adolfo. It took another seven hours of editing on a borrowed computer.

The most difficult part was coordination from one location to the next, especially when our only transportation was light rail, bus, and walking. The other difficult part was putting together the sound, so we used a fusion song “I Know The Truth,”by Pretty Lights to fix the weak link.

Also, one of the young guys on our crew had his phone cut off, so we couldn’t connect later in the day.  We did what we could to scramble with what we did have.

Though the film has some missing elements, the fact that it is finished is in itself the accomplishment. It is the journey not the destination. What I learned is that youth, especially foster youth, in general, greatly benefit from the support of mentors, not just in film or writing, but every profession in the community.

Hopefully, this idea resonates in our film to be shown at Crocker Art Museum at 7 p.m. on April 28 along with the shorts made by the other 25 teams.

We’re lucky to get into the film festival. Most of the movies that will be shown are by veteran indie producers and directors, including many who won awards. 

The film festival takes place from April 21-29. The main venue is The Artisan, 1901 Del Paso Blvd.

Here are a few of the festival highlights: 

The Pink Room Documentary, Directed by Joel Sandvos, Written by Fernanda Rossi – A documentary about child sex trafficking in Cambodia and how one young woman overcomes affliction with the help of her community, a heart wrenching epic battle to end sex slavery from rescue to prevention. 

California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown – Award winning filmmaker Sascha Rice creates an intimate, inside look at the iconic California governor of the 1960s, the father of Governor Jerry Brown — and the making of a political dynasty.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 – This film examines the evolution of the Black Power Movement in the black community and Diaspora from 1967 to 1975. The film combines music, startling 16mm footage and contemporary audio interviews from leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars.

Pig – Directed by Mark Stolaroff A man (Rudolf Martin) wakes up in the desert, a black hood over his head, his hands tied to his back. He is saved by a woman (Heather Ankeny) and her son, and when he recovers he realizes he’s suffering from total amnesia. The only clue to his identity is a scrap of paper with the name Manny Elder on it. He leaves the woman and her son and goes on a journey to discover who he is – or was.

For the full schedule, click California Film Foundation.

Editor’s note:  Edits have been made to this article after publishing.

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