Three migrant youth filmmakers to tell their story
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Filmmakers Ana Mendoza, Teresa Santos, Lucia Garcia, Martha Morales and Cilviana Hernandez, from left, attend in November 2011 the Young People’s Film Festival in Portland, Ore., where their film received an award.

Peninsula Daily News

Three young filmmakers from Mount Vernon High School will bring their story about the lives of migrant youths to the North Olympic Peninsula on Thursday and Friday when they appear at Peninsula College in Port Angeles and at Forks High School.

The three — Ana Mendoza, Lucia Garcia and Teresa Santos, all of Mount Vernon —―will present a free Studium Generale program at 12:35 p.m. Thursday in the Little Theater on the main campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles.

They will show their short documentary, “Who We Are,” and talk about their experiences producing it.

They also will introduce their new book, Dream Fields: A Peek into the Lives of Migrant Youth.

That same evening, the filmmakers will show their documentary and talk about it at a youth forum starting at 5 p.m. in the Forks High School Commons, 261 S. Spartan Ave.

The three, along with their adviser, Janice Blackmore, also will show their short documentary at the Friday Magic of Cinema showing of “The Harvest” by activist and award-winning filmmaker U Roberto Romano.

The films will begin at 7 p.m. in the Maier Performance Hall on the Peninsula College campus in Port Angeles.

Following the screening of the two documentaries, the girls and their adviser will participate in a discussion of both films.

General admission is $5.

Filmmakers

Mendoza, Garcia and Santos share the filmmaking credits with two other young girls who also helped produce the film, Martha Morales and Cilviana Hernandez.

The five are members of the Mount Vernon High School Migrant Leaders Club.

Their interest in producing a film about their lives was stirred while they were eighth-graders in Mount Vernon.

In the spring of 2011, they spent a week at a day camp at Reel Grrls in Seattle learning how to make documentary movies.

They completed the first version of “Who We Are” during that week, but when they returned to school, they decided their opinions alone were not representative of the diverse migrant population in Mount Vernon, so they expanded the movie by interviewing more students and editing the original footage.

The young filmmakers' goal in producing “Who We Are” was an educational one: They hoped to share with others what it is like to be a migrant student and to break down stereotypes by explaining migrant life.

Shown at festivals

The film has been shown at three film festivals, including the Reel Grrls Spring Showcase in Seattle; the Young People's Film Festival in Portland, Ore., where it won the “Heart” award; and the Street Stories Film Festival, also in Portland.

Other screenings include the Western Washington University Migrant Leadership Conference in Bellingham, the Washington Bilingual Educators Conference in Tacoma and the National Migrant Education Conference in Portland.

The five filmmakers said they hope to make another film and perhaps produce another book, but for the moment, they are all busy high schoolers and have started the Migrant Leaders Club.

For information on other upcoming events, visit www.pencol.edu or www.facebook.com/PeninsulaCollege.

Last modified: February 02. 2013 5:58PM
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