CAFILM Education Program Participants
Photo © Tommy Lau Photography
When I was at San Rafael High School, I joined a program called the Media Academy and I just fell in love with everything film related. That was at the height of COVID, but then I got introduced to CAFILM. I joined Young Curators and Behind the Screens film camps and I really liked it.
That year, I went to the 44th film festival and I just loved it. I loved seeing the talent and hearing them speak about their work, and I kept seeing all of these female directors finally getting attention. It made me think, oh, I should put all my chips into this, and that was one of the driving forces behind me deciding to go to college for film.
I remember watching a conversation between Olivia Wilde for Booksmart and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, and I was listening to Emerald talk about her process for making the film. It really struck a nerve with me as a piece about women, and as a revenge story that is so real about the stuff that happens to women. I was so happy to see her win the Oscar for original screenplay.
When Saltburn was announced for MVFF this year, the idea that I could even be in the same room with her made me so excited. That program wasn’t originally on my schedule, but the team arranged it so I could shadow at the screening. I got to talk to Emerald and even got my DVD of Promising Young Woman signed by her which was crazy cool.
Sometimes with younger audiences right now, I feel like they only want to see stuff that they’ve seen headlines about, but some of the small films I’ve seen are the most beautiful. Every director has to start with those smaller films, and it’s so cool to start watching someone from the beginning of their career. I really think it’s important for young people to see films that are independently made, because that’s going to show them more unique stories that might be more relatable than those huge budget films.
I’ve lived in Marin since I was about six. I’m in high school now. A friend’s mom sent me [CAFILM Education’s Movie Room program], where once a month, we go on Zoom and watch an independent movie selected by people at other festivals. A rep from that festival comes to the Zoom and explains a little about the movie and why it was chosen.
I heard someone talking about internships, so I reached out about interning during MVFF this year. I expected that they were just going to put me at the Outdoor Art Club, setting up chairs or something. But they actually sent me a schedule for 3 or 4 days, shadowing different people with the festival.
I’m interested in programming, so I worked with a programmer, watching her do intros and Q&As, and the publicity team, doing red carpets. I met one of the projectionists, and he brought me into the booth and showed me how they do a lot of the stuff in there. I’m really interested in the behind the camera stuff, that whole side of things.
I’ve always been interested in film, but it was really during high school, during COVID, that I realized how much I was missing going to the movies. I’ll watch things on disk at home, like DVDs and stuff, but I just think it’s a whole different type of experience at the theater. At home I’m on my phone or thinking about other things, but when I see films in a theater, I can sit down and focus.
I just think more people should give things a chance. Online, there’s a lot of nostalgia, people going “remember this? Remember this?” But there is a lot of new, cool stuff going on in culture. There’s this thing with teenagers, where they think it’s cool to be disinterested and not excited about things, but what else are you doing with your 2 hours? What else are you actually going to do with it? There’s a lot that you can get out of 2 hours at a movie theater.