Vision translated to film
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. When Brianna Rhodes’ mother signed her up for Aspen Film’s free Latino Youth Filmmaking Project four years ago, she just liked watching movies, but had never thought about making them.Then just last year, one of her own films won the music video category of the Chicago Future Filmmakers International Film Festival.”That was a good surprise,” said 14-year-old Brianna. “I had just found out that it had been submitted and accepted, so to find out that it won was really cool.”Film instructor Kristine Sorensen, who has been teaching youths since 1987, submitted the award-winning video. Brianna has been attending the filmmaking workshop for four years, every year with Sorensen as her mentor.”She’s awesome,” said Brianna of Sorensen. “We’ve become really good friends. She really believes in us.”
Sorensen shows this by submitting her students’ work into film festivals, helping them expand their reach, Brianna said.A song written by her grandfather inspired Brianna’s winning music video, “La Historia de la Familia Perez.” He wrote the song after seeing a movie on immigration that Brianna and the other young filmmakers made the year before.”It’s about how my grandparents wanted a better life,” Brianna said of her video. “How they came to the U.S., got their citizenship, and how they can enjoy life here.”Her video can be seen on YouTube. The lyrics to her grandfather’s song pop up on the screen in a sing-a-long style.Brianna says now she has definitely thought about pursuing filmmaking as a career. She has since taken a course on directing for film, and the Project is what got her started.”I look forward to it every year to see what I can come up with,” Brianna said.
Because of her interest and expertise, Brianna acted as a teaching assistant to Sorensen last year, and will do the same this year. She helps other students edit and translate their vision into film, bringing it to life.Since she lives in New Castle, Brianna likes the opportunity to meet other youths from all over the valley.”I’ve met a lot of people that have really helped me,” she said.All the students make their own films during the workshop, but near the end they collaborate and make something together.”It’s always fun,” Brianna said. “It’s very spontaneous.”
The workshop is taught in both English and Spanish. Students learn video production skills like shooting, editing, script writing and storyboard development. Family and friends get to see the films at the end of the workshop.To register, contact Terry Rigney at Aspen Film at 925-6882, ext. 102, or download a registration form at http://www.aspenfilm.org.Contact Samantha Pal: 384-9105, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com