Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Aug 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Local Lens

ae-leadSecond annual Watsonville Film Festival shines light on Central Coast talent

With this year’s Oscar ceremony in the rearview mirror, the time is ripe for a cinematic palette cleanser, and the second annual Watsonville Film Festival, which takes place March 2-3, might be just what the doctor ordered for cinephiles and casual filmgoers alike. “It’s definitely a community film festival,” says Consuelo Alba, a local filmmaker whose company, Veremos Productions, is one of the festival’s founders. “Our mission is to educate and inspire the community—and specifically young people—to get involved, to create their own films, to document their own stories,” she continues. “There are many stories in this area that need to be told, so we want to engage students and the whole community in the experience of watching film and producing our own films.”

This year’s festival features numerous films of all shapes and sizes, created by local filmmakers ages 10 to 80—not to mention, a tribute to director Luis Valdez. To help you navigate the event, we spoke to a few of the participating directors whose films are worth checking out:

Gordo (Directed by Vince Navarro)
This award-winning feature debut is about a taco vendor who leaves his stand in Mexico to try and open a stand in the United States. When that proves to be a less-than-successful endeavor, he ends up finding himself a job at a Taco Bell-like chain restaurant, where he slowly and secretly begins to swap the ingredients with his own.

Director Vince Navarro, a Watsonville High School alumnus, credits his time in the school’s video academy as a formative experience that contributed to the making of the film. “It’s an amazing program, especially because I knew what I wanted to do with my life, so it was kind of serendipitous that they had this program at the high school,” he says. “It prepared me in ways that I couldn’t even imagine at the time—skills I’m still using today, I learned while I was in high school.”

According to Navarro, about 90 percent of Gordo was shot in Watsonville. “When I wrote the movie, I already had pretty much every location scouted out in my head,” he says. “So I wrote around what I knew, and we just went to all these places and shot all around town.” Included in the program “Local Rising Stars 1,” from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at the Mello Center.

Don’t Cost Nothin’ to Dream (Directed by Kathy Bisbee)
“It’s kind of the trajectory of a documentary that sometimes the story finds you,” says Kathy Bisbee, a local filmmaker whose latest, Don’t Cost Nothin’ to Dream, is a vérité-style documentary that chronicles the stories of street youth in Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala, who are using music as an instrument of change and hope in their communities. “We feel very blessed to tell this story of these youths, and to really help their voices be heard around the world,” she continues.

Bisbee hopes that letting those voices be heard can be a catalyst for change. “If you want to feel inspired and you want to feel hopeful, and you want to really have a dialogue after the movie about how youth can create change, this is a movie for you,” she says. “If you’re interested in other people’s suffering, and also their triumphs, I think this is a movie that really illustrates that.” Included in the program “Transforming Communities,” from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at the Mello Center.

ae-lead2Akira Boch’s new film, inspired by his childhood spent playing in local bands, two young women start a band, then struggle to take said band out of the garage.The Crumbles (Directed by Akira Boch)
Having played in a number of garage bands throughout his youth—oftentimes in the Santa Cruz area—Central Coast native Akira Boch used that experience as the basis for his feature filmmaking debut. “Even though those bands never went very far, in retrospect, I felt like the experiences that I had might make for a fun movie,” he says.

Described by Boch as “a light-hearted slacker comedy,” The Crumbles is about two young women who start a band, and then struggle to take said band out of the garage. “I guess you could say it’s semi-autobiographical, but highly fictionalized,” he says.

It’s the type of approach that allows for a personal story to find universal relatability. “I think that most people that have seen it walk away feeling like they just had a fun experience, and that’s what I set out to do,” says Boch, “make a film that was enjoyable and realistic and funny, something that people—especially those who have been involved in music or other creative endeavors—could relate to.” Included in the program “Local Rising Stars 3,” from

3-5 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at the Cabrillo College Watsonville Center.

Common Ground (Directed by Consuelo Alba)
A documentary about the annual Day of the Dead exhibit at the Pajaro Valley Art Gallery, Consuelo Alba’s film is essentially a microcosm of the festival’s theme: “Our Films, Our Communities.”

“It’s a great opportunity to see something that you usually don’t see, about Watsonville and the people of Watsonville,” says Alba. And that’s the chief takeaway not only from her film, but the festival as a whole. “Sometimes it’s hard to find venues to show your work,” she says in regards to the festival. “So it’s an opportunity for anyone to see the local talent and great work that is happening right here in our community.” Included in the program “Transforming Communities,” from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at the Mello Center. 

The Watsonville Film Festival takes place March 2-3 at the Henry J. Mello Center and the Cabrillo College Watsonville Center. Tickets are $5 per program, unless otherwise noted. To view the complete film and location schedule, and to purchase tickets, visit watsonvillefilmfestival.org.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.