Calexico holds first short film festival

CALEXICO, Calif. – Arts organizer, Angel Esparza, said local filmmakers deserve a forum to showcase their talent.

“There’s a lot of talented people in Calexico and I feel they don’t have a medium to express their talent, in this case filming,” Esparza said.

This Saturday evening he put together Calexico’s first short film festival at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center.

It featured the work of a dozen filmmakers from both sides of the border.

“It’s the first one, but we hope to make it an annual thing,” Esparza said.

The films averaged 10 minutes each and the general theme of the films was life in Calexico.

“There’s a great variety of different films from like horror to love and everything in between, so it’s going to be pretty interesting,” Esparza said.

A filmmaker said his film was a love story with a twist.

“It’s focused on love, drama, it’s sort of a surprise. Yeah. Love is what you’re going to see in my short film,” Esteban Flores said.

For some, this is a way to express deep emotions that came from being bullied as a child.

“And unfortunately all the anecdotes that I included weren’t of bullies that were my age; they were bullies who were adults, who were my teachers, my counselors, my babysitters. And so I thought it was very important to specifically single out those people,” Antonio Yee said.

Alejandro Gastelum said he wants others to feel the passion he feels from watching movies.

“I get so into the movie that I shed a tear or feel that passion,” Gastelum said.

Maria Cervantes said working on a film offers many valuable lessons.

“Work on a team, work with other people. Meet new people. Really understand hard work to create something amazing,” Cervantes said.

She gives this advice to new filmmakers.

“If you want to do something, go for it. Don’t be afraid of people’s judgment; don’t be afraid of what people think of you,” Cervantes said.

Esparza said putting together the festival was a lot of hard work but seeing the positive reaction from both filmmakers and audience, he’s ready to start planning the next one.

“People are asking for it,” Esparza said.

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