Take a look at this short 9 minute video I shot and edited. Please download video first before playing for maximum viewing pleasure!
Sharing one’s feelings, even in writing, is never easy. As I began reviewing the footage from Girrrls on a Mission, I heard the strong voices of girls and young women standing up to challenges they faced. Some of the girls speak of sisters and secrets, the stuff of all children, other girls share deep and difficult experiences, fears and worries, some which may be shocking to hear. It takes a lot of courage to share one’s experience, and, learning to turn an experience into a story is without a doubt, a craft. I am inspired by the girl’s courage.
The Brava Theater offered a series of writing workshops taught by the screenwriter and authoress, Josefina Lopez, who penned the wildly successful screenplay, Real Women have Curves. I remember attending an HBO/NALIP screening of the film here in San Francisco as Real Women launched. Sitting in the audience, I remember being immensely inspired to believe the real stories of women can be told and make a difference, and for the first time in a long time, the film, its cast, and the story, were entirely accessible and reflective of my curves and turns in life.
So, when I heard that Josefina Lopez was offering writing workshops in San Francisco, I knew I had to find a way to go to the workshops. The flyer said the workshops had been underwritten, and were free to interested women and young girls! I was amazed, and grateful since often, as a single person raising a child, workshops are just beyond my price range. The workshop’s accessibility gave me the inspiration to give the workshop all I had.
Josefina was an amazing teacher, and person. Driving up each week from Los Angeles, rain or shine, blazing fall fires or not, Josefina offered us inspiration as writers, prepared us with practical information about screen writing, and took the time to really get to know each person, her strengths and weakness, her dreams and fears, and listen to the many drafts we brought week after week. Josefina took the time to listen to every story, and find its rough gem to be refined with more writing.
When Josefina mentioned her youth group was having their final performance, I saw a way to repay Josafina for her hard work, and give something back to the Brava Theater and the funders underwriting the workshops. I grabbed my camera. This nine minute video is a short developed from that 40 minute program.
Subsequent to the workshop, I had the chance to connect again with Josafina at the NALIP Annual Conference, just as her book, Hungry Woman in Paris, which she had been writing during the workshop, was on its way to the presses. Josefina’s book came out this year!
Josefina Lopez has been an amazing role model to several generations of Latina writers. She has a determination, a spirit, that does not quit. Josefina pushed me to see beyond my limitations, to nix any excuse, and push on through like a Real Woman. Mil gracias mujer!
Just two technical notes: 1) This short film was shot on my old one chip camera, please forgive the quality. I am now shooting on a three chip camera so shortly you’ll be able to see new work from that new camera. 2) Please download the short in its entirety, otherwise, the film slows during transitions and appears choppy.