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A taste of ‘guerrilla filmmaking’

Staff ReportGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – The film opens with Spanish words over black: “This movie is dedicated to all the brothers and sisters who were lied to and died trying to cross the border.”The 10-minute film titled, “The Deadly Border” is about a small group of Mexicans trying to cross the border into the United States. They get betrayed by their coyote, who takes everything they have and leaves them in the desert to die.It is subtitled in English and is shot at different locations, using creative camera angles and effective transitions. The acting and editing are both strong and the film is engaging, even touching the way some death scenes are portrayed. Some scenes are broken up with thoughtfully worded transitions, and it even contains a sarcastic clip at the very end.The two lead actors, directors and producers of this sophisticated movie are Victor Guzman and Ricky Hermosillo, teenagers from Carbondale, and they made it in less than three weeks.

They are among about 25 Latino students from New Castle to Aspen presenting their work at a free community film screening at 5:30 p.m. today at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Barn in Carbondale. A potluck will be at 5:30 p.m. with the screenings following at 6:30 p.m. The students, ages 9-18, have spent the last three weeks writing, filming, editing and directing their films in a free Latino Youth Filmmaking Project sponsored by Aspen Film and In Progress, a nonprofit organization that provides ethnic youth with the skills to be storytellers, artists and leaders through the use of digital media.Kris Sorensen, In Progress director and the workshop instructor, said the screening will have 10-15 videos from the participants, who have worked tirelessly to make the impressive films.”Yes, they’re really good, especially considering that they’re doing it with no money and 30 dollars in props from the thrift store,” she said. “It’s what I like to call ‘guerrilla filmmaking.’ We get out and just make it happen,” she said, noting that she has had help from community volunteers, including a past participant and Basalt resident Carlos Beltrano.Sorensen acknowledged the students have taken on more difficult issues compared with previous years, and also noted the growth in the older youth teaching the younger youth and an increase in the desire to make movies in Spanish.

“The depth of friendships that have been developed – in the sense of family – in this workshop is very strong,” she added, encouraging the community to view the screening to learn about the Latino population in this area. “I think the movies are going to be different from anything they’re going to see anywhere else,” she said. “There’s laughter and tears and it is the most beautiful side of young people that can be seen. Plus, it’s also a growing celebration of the Latino population.”


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