Action " and direction | PostIndependent.com

Action " and direction

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff
Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson
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On the desk where Nicolas del Papa worked Monday sat a disorganized heap of magazines ” Cosmo Girl, Glamour, and FHM ” every one featuring a very pretty girl on the cover. They were “for research,” the 17-year-old said.

Next to the magazines was a laptop computer del Papa borrowed from the Aspen Film Festival and In Progress, a media outreach group, to use for the Latino Youth Documentary Project.

In one clip he’s stored on the laptop and is particularly proud of, a woman he’s interviewing lowers her eyes to glance at the rear end of a man passing by. The clip plays in normal speed until the woman lowers her eyes, at which point del Papa has switched to slow motion to draw comic attention to the woman’s glance.

“I decided to put it in slow motion so everybody could see,” he said.

One might think del Papa would focus on a Latino issue for the Latino Youth Documentary Project, but he and his friends chose to make a “guidebook to get women.”

That’s just fine, said Aspen Film Festival director of education Amy Townsend.

“The idea is for these Latino youths to tell their stories,” she said. “The main thing is they’re learning how to tell stories.”

Despite the openness of the program, most students choose to tell the story of Latino life in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Brianna Rhodes, 12, is in her second year in the Latino Youth Documentary Project and is working on a film on immigration and a group called No More Deaths, which helps Latinos once they cross the border.

Vanessa Murillo, 14, is documenting her cousin’s preparation for her quinceanera, a girl’s 15th birthday party, which is a landmark in most Latin countries.

Others are working on films covering topics ranging from teen pregnancy to underage drinking.

In all, the 18 students, most 12 to 18 years old, will produce 14 films in two weeks. The students are supposed to write, shoot, and edit their own films, but some older students act as mentors to the younger ones.

The students also learn media literacy in the two-week program, Townsend said. They watch and learn how to analyze not only films, but also advertising, something that may help them become keener consumers.

For the students however, the class is almost pure fun. They learn about film making and how to express ideas visually. On Monday, students either sat huddled around a computer screen or outside helping shoot a movie on paintball.

Besides just having fun, “all these kids who usually get in trouble over the summer, (the class) gets them out of it,” Rhodes joked.


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