Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival

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Lights Camera Help, an Austin, TX based organization that encourages non-profits to tell stories through film and video, hosted their 4th annual film festival last week. I was honored to have one of my videos selected and screened this year. The Spirit of Texas Theater was a cool venue for the festival and it was awesome to see the variety of films that were shown. Here are few favorites that I saw:

The Happy Kitchen

La Cocina Alegre is an educational program based in central Texas that teaches cost-effective and nutritional substitutes for unhealthy diets. The video covers a cooking class where participants are taught a healthier recipe for fried catfish and learn better alternatives for cooking, such as canola oil instead of olive oil. The video is as vibrant and colorful as the fresh foods. The music is great and the little jokes and off the cuff remarks from the instructors make the story happy and cute.

Stay: Migration & Poverty in Rural Mexico

This is a short film profiling a Mexican farming family who was struggling to grow crops and sustain themselves on their land. They had difficulty migrating to Canada and returned home. A program in rural Mexico taught them sustainable farming techniques and now they are able to support themselves. Their children will also be able to live off the land in the future and will not have to leave their community. I thought this film was a really interesting take on immigration and a solution you don’t often hear about – helping people prosper in their communities so that migrating is unnecessary. It’s shot really well and the family and their story is very moving.

From the Streets to the Fields

This documentary parallels the story of a multicultural youth soccer team in South Africa with the arrival of the 2010 World Cup. South Africa has changed tremendously since Nelson Mandela used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to unite the nation through sport, but there are still lingering issues. The boys’ coach encourages them to learn about other cultures and be the best they can be in soccer and in life. The cinematography is beautiful and the story is presented in a very cool style that makes it look and feel almost like fiction.

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