Outstanding Summerfilm Student • 2023
Photo © Tommy Lau Photography
I live in Hartford, Connecticut, and this trip let me visit some colleges in California. One of my local instructors introduced me to CAFILM Education and I was immediately excited because there’s not too much going on in Hartford with film.
I like to classify myself as a multidisciplinary artist as opposed to just an actor or photographer or photographer or a writer. I am all those things rolled into one. And I used to struggle with, you know, not being able to clearly label myself or put myself into one box. But I realized as I get more into film, you kind of are maybe not expected, but are encouraged to know how to do everything and to know how to do a lot. So I feel like everything is coming in handy.
Youth in Industry was the first (virtual) program I did, and it really opened me up to what is possible and it gave me hope. We had guest speakers who were marketers, documentary filmmakers, writers, animators – they would have a different person almost every day of class and lead a workshop or a presentation.
It really showed me the different types of filmmakers and people that can exist and how they use their platform and their voice to tell their own types of stories. I really love how accessible film is, and I’m excited and inspired by a future where diversity is commonplace, with people of different socio-economic backgrounds, race, sex, gender identity, all of that.
During MVFF, some of the staff members went out to eat with the filmmakers, and I got to go as well. I was telling my story about how I got involved with the program, and one of the filmmakers, who had done a Youth in Industry panel, actually remembered me because I had sent them an email.
That was really the highlight of my entire trip, just to be able to sit down in an intimate setting and converse with people, and ask them questions. Attending this festival gave me a lot of hope and joy for my own future, especially. I realized that if I want to, I can be a part of this industry in any way! Whether it’s behind or in front of the camera, I know that if I’m really passionate, I will find a way.