After several uneasy weeks of anticipation, it is my honor to announce that my first short documentary Forever Boogies has been picked up by the Rincón International Film Festival (RIFF)!
I received the news today, and I have to say that there is nothing more exciting or more humbling than to hear that your first project will be showcased at such a high platform. The excitement I’m experiencing is the mixture of nervousness, happiness, and positive shock. It felt like it was yesterday that I was only dreaming of becoming a filmmaker, not daring to pick up that pen and write a script. It was only yesterday that I dared to say “I will follow my dreams” and here I am, with my first short documentary, being screened at a festival like the RIFF.
Although many (jaded) people would say ‘well it’s just being screened, it’s no big deal.” Let me just say that being selected to be screened with hundreds of other filmmakers as part of a festival that celebrates the artistry, hand work, and sacrifice that is filmmaking is a big deal. It doesn’t have to be a huge nomination for it to count, just being selected to be a part of this event is exciting and humbling – it’s a further acknowledgement on the potential of director’s creative work, as well as being an indication that I am on the right track in my career selection.
As a new filmmaker I know that there is a lot that I need to learn, but to know that I have this potential and that others see it is extremely encouraging and motivating to continue working on project like these.
For those who are in the island and would like to attend the festival, I’ve included links to their website and Facebook pages in this post for you to keep track of their schedules and dates each film category will be screened. It would be great to see some of my readers there.
Someone asked me recently: “Why focus on surfing, it seems so different from your previous work?”
Well, although surfing would seem like the opposite of environmental and human rights reporting, it really isn’t. It’s all connected in more than one way.
to put it simply: Human Rights require a healthy way of living, a healthy way of living require a healthy planet, to have a healthy planet we need to conserve the environment and who better to tell about such conservation than the men and women who are in the water all the time. As the pollution in the oceans increase, not only is marine life affected, but also those who surf. Skin infections, and diseases have riddled more than enough surfers, SUP’ers and other water sports enthusiasts because of the lack of care of the land. We need to remember that even if we’re think that contamination inland, say the rocky mountains or the alps – it eventually finds its way to the ocean. Why? because we are all connected, everything in this planet is connected. With that, I leave you with a gallery of photos from the making of Forever Boogies
I’ve been really busy the past couple of weeks. After shooting and editing an intense workout video for a friend (see the video here), I’ve been busy at work promoting my first short documentary Forever Boogies.
Since the releasing the workout video, I’ve: designed and printed some nifty new business cards for myself, updated the fundraising page for my next project, designed some awesome graphics for t-shirts and tote bags for sale – a way to further fund raise for further projects (I’ve already had a few people asking me when they’re going to be ready because they want to support my work). I’ve sent sponsorship request and/or proposal letters to two companies (GoPro, Proteus Clothing Company), and I’ve sent my film to both the People’s Film Festival in NYC and the Rincón International Film Festival here in Puerto Rico. All exciting, I’m a little bit more nervous than what I anticipated, but it’s good right? If you have a little bit of fear when you’re doing something, that means you’re doing the right thing…right?
I’ve also acquired a Public Relations person! She’s a good friend of mine who’s transitioning from being strictly in the PR world to producing and managing in the entertainment world. So far, she’s gotten a few people interested in my work and I couldn’t be happier to bring her on board. She’s brilliant, she’s an incredibly hard working person, and she understands my drive to make things happen at a much faster and fanatical pace than many other people would. Last night I had a long conversation with her as to where I would like to take these environmental and surfing, SUP, body boarding and dk riding projects and she told me “I need you to speak with this guy because he’ll see the vision, the passion and drive that you have for your work that he’ll sure to give you backing after one conversation.” I grinned like a maniac and said “I’m available to Skype if need be.”
The rest of the conversation was about my van and how every one of the guys falls in love with it when they see it. It’s a 1993 GMC Astro Van – Special Edition. I run it pretty much everywhere it allows me to run it, and it’s also made me a mechanic of sorts, since it’s so old I have to really be on the alert of what’s happening to it and what rattling noises are coming from where. There have been plenty of times where I’ve had to pop the hood (the best time was while I was wearing a summer dress) and deal with the engine and/or battery because my fat buddy wouldn’t start. She was probably upset that I was running her through all those horrible back roads this island has and decided to take a break before allowing me to drive her back home. Yes, my car is a woman, she’s my fat buddy, and she’s awesome. She also has an insane sound system that I blast with all these song mixes and people tend to look into my car and smile because I’m so short, the car is so big and they usually expect a man to be driving it.
While I was talking to my new PR agent, I was remembering a conversation I had earlier that day with of my other friends, and told her about some designs I have for future apparel and she told me “You’re so creative, you’re like I’m going to make movies, write books, do fashion AND save the world!” I smiled and said “well, it’s what you do – if you were me” we both broke out in manic laughter. All the people that I surround myself by have the same insane work ethic I do. Work hard, complete several projects (lately it’s been about four or five) at once and move on to the next group of projects…because that’s what we do.
It isn’t because I want to get rich quick, no, it’s because I’d like to help people a lot soon than later. I’d like to be able to buy my father a house and not have him worry about paying rent, or needing to look for a place to live because the landlords are being assholes. I’d like to be able to help with my grandparents medical expenses because they’re piling up and social security and Medicare don’t cover all their medical needs. I’d like to get myself a nice place to live, close to my father’s house so I can keep an eye on him while having my own space. He keeps on getting ill and I don’t want to leave him alone, not for too long anyway.
In the meantime I’ll keep working hard to promote the work I’ve already completed, and keep trying to get funding one way or another for future projects – because the work I’m doing is important for the world to see. It has a lot to do with them; environmental and human rights reporting, has everything to do with society as a whole – I’m not peddling fantasy, I’m showing the reality of what’s happening in the world. Maybe that’s why people are so hesitant to pay attention.