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6th Annual




EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Consuelo Alba BOARD Katie Roper Joann Godoy Jacob Martinez

Welcome our annual celebration of film and community in the heart of Watsonville, and the Monterey Bay!

¡Bienvenidos a nuestra celebración anual de cine y comunidad en el corazón de Watsonville y la Bahía de Monterey!

We are excited to share great movies with you, from local up-and-coming filmmakers to world renowned directors, in four different locations downtown. Please make sure to check the dates, see the map of locations and make plans to enjoy our inspiring and dynamic program for four days.

Nos entusiasma compartir excelentes películas con ustedes, desde las hechas por jóvenes cineastas locales hasta directores de fama mundial, en cuatro espacios del centro de Watsonville. Por favor chequen las fechas, vean el mapa y hagan planes para disfrutar nuestro inspirador y dinámico programa durante cuatro días.

From live music to master classes for youth and collaborations with local artists, organizations and businesses, we have designed this year’s Festival for you, your family and friends to have a great time.

Desde música en vivo hasta clases para jóvenes y colaboraciones con artistas, organizaciones y negocios locales, hemos diseñado el Festival de este año para que tú, tu familia y amigos la pasen muy bien.

In this contentious era, we are more committed than ever to create a space of respect, connection and understanding and to bring together our diverse community one film, one conversation at a time. Thank you for attending!

En estos tiempos conflictivos, estamos más comprometidos que nunca a crear un espacio incluyente, y a fortalecer nuestra comunidad cada vez que presentamos una película y tenemos una conversación. ¡Gracias por participar! —Consuelo Alba, Executive Director

—Consuelo Alba, Executive Director

Huve Rivas Sibley Verbeck Simon John Speyer ADVISORY George Ow Jr.

From left to right: Gabriel Medina, Huve Rivas, John Speyer, Alan Hicks, Joann Godoy, Alex Santana, Lupita Sanchez, Katie Roper, Consuelo Alba, Gerardo Sandoval, Jacob Martinez, Christian Gomez.

Geoffrey Dunn Alan Hicks Michelle Williams PRODUCTION TEAM Gabriel Medina Alex Santana Marissa Hicks-Alcaraz Christian Gomez Reynaldo Barrioz Brenda Avila-Hana Dana Forsberg Sylvana Jacome Gina Elizondo Trinidad Castro Pancho Rodríguez Abby Gonzalez Buffalo & Max

WFF: Festival On the Go

WFF: Un Festival muy activo

This has been a busy year for the Watsonville Film Festival.

Este sido un año muy activo para el Festival de Cine de Watsonville.

In 2017 we became our own non-profit arts organization and presented 10 films in several locations from March to August. During this period, 800 people watched outstanding films and engaged in powerful community conversations.

En el 2017 nos convertirnos en una organización sin fines de lucro y presentamos 10 películas entre marzo y agosto en diferentes espacios. Durante este periodo, 800 personas participaron en muestro programa.

We believe in the limitless potential of Watsonville and the positive impact of the arts. We invite you to support creativity, unity and equity for everyone in our town, especially our youth. To make a tax-deductible contribution of any amount to the Watsonville Film Festival mail your check to PO Box 172, Watsonville, CA 95077 or you can our website for a secure donation online at We are a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization Federal Tax ID 81-3138376

Watsonville tiene un potencial ilimitado y que las artes pueden tener un gran impacto positivo. Los invitamos a apoyar la creatividad, la unidad y equidad para todos en nuestra ciudad, especialmente nuestra juventud. Para hacer una donación deducible de impuesto Watsonville Film Festival envíe su cheque por correo a PO Box 172, Watsonville, CA 95077 o visite nuestro website para donar de manera segura en Somos una organización sin fines de lucro 501(c)(3) Federal Tax ID 81-3138376



Me estás matando Susana

Reception & Q&A with screenwriter Luis Cámara

Recepción y plática con guionista Luis Cámara

Dir. Roberto Sneider One morning Eligio (Golden Globe Award-winning actor Gael García Bernal) wakes up to discover that his wife Susana has left him without a word. When he finally discovers where she is, Eligio embarks on a quest from Mexico City to Iowa to reunite with her. Eligio tries to charm his way back into her heart, but her determination, and the foreign culture he finds himself in, will force him to face his own demons and contradictions. A funny, painful and romantic journey of late growth based on a novel by the prominent Mexican author José Agustin. [100 min. Spanish & English w English subtitles. Ages 17+]

Dir. Roberto Sneider Una mañana Eligio (Gael García Bernal) despierta para descubrir que su esposa Susana lo ha abandonado sin decirle una palabra. Cuando por fin descubre dónde está, Eligio se embarca en una aventura desde la Ciudad de México hasta Iowa para reunirse con ella. Eligio trata de ganar el corazón de Susana nuevamente, pero su determinación y la cultura extranjera en la que se ve inmerso lo forzan a encarar sus propios demonios y contradicciones. Es un viaje divertido, doloroso y romántico de madurez tardía basado en una novela del prominente autor mexicano José Agustín. [100 min. En español e inglés con subtítulos en inglés. Para mayores de 17 años]

About Luis Cámara

Sobre Luis Cámara

An accomplished filmmaker originally from Mexico City, Luis Camara is a graduate of the American Film Institute. He’s the screenwriter of Me Estás Matando Susana, a comedy nominated to the 2016 Ariel Awards and a box office success in Mexico.

Cineasta consumado originario de la Ciudad de México, Luis Cámara es graduado del Instituto Americano de Cine. Es el guionista de Me Estás Matando Susana, una comedia nominada al Premio Ariel 2017 y un éxito de taquilla en México.

Luis is a longtime CSUMB Cinematic Arts professor and current chair of the Department. As director, his filmography includes several award-winning short & feature films.

Luis es profesor veterano de Artes Cinematográficas en CSUMB y actual Jefe de Departamento. Como director, su filmografía incluye varios cortometrajes y largometrajes premiados.

Ticket info • Información de boletos General admission $10 Opening Film + Reception $20 College Students $5 (w/ID) Youth Under 18 FREE Program subject to change. For advance tix check Admisión general $10 Noche inaugural + Recepción $20 Estudiantes universitarios $5 (con ID) Menores de 18 años GRATIS La programación puede cambiar. Para comprar boletos por adelantado visita



Tesoros / Treasures

Dir. María Novaro Screening co-sponsored by City of Watsonville • Parks & Community Services Dept. In the town of Barra de Potosí, a small fishing community on the Mexican Pacific coast, a group of children are certain that together - and with the right map - they will find a pirate’s treasure that has been hiding nearby for centuries. But what they are about to find is something far more valuable than a treasure. A film for children, their parents and their grandparents. [95 min. Spanish w/ English subtitles. All ages.] En el pueblo de Barra de Potosí, una comunidad de pescadores en la costa de Guerrero, en México, un grupo de niños está seguros que juntos —y con el mapa adecuado— encontrarán el tesoro del pirata que ha estado oculto por siglos. Pero lo que van a encontrar es algo mucho más valioso que un tesoro. Una película para niños, sus papás y sus abuelos. [95 min. En español con subtítulos en inglés. Para todas las edades.]

FRI. OCT 6 • 7PM • APPLETON GRILL Vidas / Lives

Deep in the Woods Dir. Soyeon Kim An animated short featuring abstract impressions to take us deep into the woods.

Local filmmakers in attendance. Post-screening Q&A. 71 min.

Honey, I’m Home Dir. Annie Taylor

Two children of a Mexican migrant farmworker struggle to adjust to their ever shifting homes & schools.

Soul-Mate Dir. Jonathan Rome A man is forced to deal with his very unusual roommate as she goes through a heartbreak.

Conrad comes home upset after a rough day at school. Perhaps his puppet wife Honey can help him sort things out.

Sugar Dir. Jennifer Castaneda

Don’t Pass Through San Bernardino Dir. Hugo Magaña

Closure Dir. Ayana Hawk-Harris

Through government institutions and social organizations, Ligia, a peasant mother, searches for answers to her son’s death. [In Spanish w/ English subtitles.]

Campito Kids Dir. Antonio De Loera-Brust

she fits in this world.

Piaf Dir. Adan Miguel A French bird girl contemplates her existence and where

A young boy living through his stepfather’s abuse finds comfort with his curandera neighbor. Alita tries to stay strong for her mother while battling banks to save their house in West Oakland.

The Creature Dir. Jane Tobias After observing the terrestrial world, yearning to understand human behavior, The Creature emerges from its burrow.

FRI. OCT 6 • 9PM • APPLETON GRILL Beyond Human Local filmmakers in attendance. Post-screening Q&A. 78 min. Ages 15+

by her teacher, misunderstood by her father, yelled at by her mother, and sent to bed without supper, she has no choice but to pray to Satan for help.

A Father’s Day

Kevin’s Quest

Dir. Mat Johns

Dir. Joseph Cloud

Unexpectedly reunited with his daughter amongst the ruins of the world, a father is determined to make this day special, even if they’re already dead.

A young Jack-O-Lantern guards his patch and his friends with dignity, until a horde of bats defecates on him and his property.

Carnitas Dir. Tony Vaca Grindhouse parody horror film, Mexican style. For centuries people have wondered what the

secret recipe is for cooking the perfect carnitas.... [Spanish w/ English subtitles]

during their grandma’s card night with Death.

Grandma’s Card Night

Dir. Jenna Bryant

Dir. Rose Mercurio

After 12-year old Jenny is mocked by her peers, suspended

Two little girls cause mischief

Jenny Loves Satan

Kookie Dir. Justin Harding A lonely young girl defies her inattentive mother and in the process evokes a terrifying clown.

La Rabia de Clara Dir. Michelle Garza After getting bitten by a rabid dog, Clara is forced to stay locked in the small cabin where she lives with her family. But her seclusion causes a growing desire for freedom. [Spanish w/ English subtitles]

Trespassers / Inkräktare Dir. Johannes Persson A couple reviews photos from their hike in the countryside. Despite warnings, one of them visited a haunted graveyard, bringing home more than a few photos. [Swedish w/Eng subs]

SAT. OCT 7 • MELLO CENTER 2PM • War of the Limelight WORLD PREMIERE! HARA Founders/Producers Michael & Brittney Buffo and youth cast in attendance Dir. Eric Hinwood A love story across cultures amidst a racist cyberbullying war between two rival high schools. Will it go too far, or will both schools rise above to save an innocent student from deportation? Starring students from Everett Alvarez High, Monterey High, Pacific Grove High, Millennium Charter High, and Carmel High schools who enrolled in the HARA Motion Picture Conservatory, an after-school filmmaking program hosted at the Carmel Youth Center. Together they worked alongside film industry mentors to produce this film to inspire youth to become leaders of inclusion and empathy for all races and cultures in the U.S. [100 min.]

5PM • Mele Murals Director Tadashi Nakamura in attendance Recipient of the 2017 WFF Inspirational Filmmaker Award Co-Sponsors: Japanese-American Citizen’s League and U.C. Santa Cruz Alumni Mele Murals documents the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. At the center of the story are two renowned street artists - Estria Miyashiro (aka Estria) and John Hina (aka Prime) - along with a group of Native Hawaiian youth, and the rural community of Waimea. [66 min. In English. All ages] Director Tadashi Nakamura receives the 2017 WFF Inspirational Filmmaker award for his growing body of powerful documentary work focusing on the Hawaiian & Japanese-American communities. His films include Jake Shimakuburo: Life on Four Strings, A Song for Ourselves, Pilgrimage, and his newest, Mele Murals. Tadashi is a multi award-winning documentary filmmaker, named one of CNN’s Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and his films have been broadcast nationally by PBS. He is a graduate of the UCSC Social Documentation MFA Program.

7:30PM • Chavela Directors: Catherine Gund & Daresha Kyi Chavela takes viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of the rebellious and free-spirited Grammy-winning artist Chavela Vargas. Guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and including never before-seen interviews, the film weaves an arresting portrait of the diva who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being. [90 min. Spanish & English w/ English subtitles.] Chavela lleva al público a un viaje evocador a través de la vida transgresora de la rebelde Chavela Vargas, artista icónica ganadora del Premio Grammy. Guiada por las historias de las canciones de Chavela e incluyendo entrevistas nunca antes vistas, la película entreteje un llamativo retrato de la div[a que se atrevió a vestir, hablar, cantar y soñar su vida de manera única. [90 min. En español e inglés con subtítulos en inglés.]


Raising Zoey

Dir. Dante Alencastre - Director attending Thirteen-old trans activist Zoey Luna wants nothing more than to go to school, receive an education, and have fun with her friends in Downey, CA. Unfortunately, ignorance and intolerance have not always made it easy for her.



Local Filmmakers in attendance. 73 min. 37° North Dir. Puck Lo A Korean-American farmer collects and harvests rare Korean heirloom seeds in California.

Between Seasons Dir. Puck Lo & Sam Ellison In Salinas, former and current farm workers grapple with the legacy of decades of activism in the fields.

Broken Windows Dir. Efren Lopez A war photographer, who returns from Afghanistan with PTSD, finds healing in photographing the old buildings of Fort Ord. From the series Fort Ord: A Sense of Place, produced by Enid Baxter Ryce at CSUMB.

Dance With Your Heart Dir. Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi Jennyselt, a dancer with Afro-Cuban folklore group Yoruba Andabo, seeks a young successor to keep the legacy of Afro-Cuban culture, dance & religion alive.

Dejando Huella and Permiso Dir. Edgar Ontiveros & Jorge Flores Two short videos by indigenous Oaxacan, spoken-word artist Jorge Flores. Filmed in Salinas. [In Spanish]

Every G.I. is a P.O.W. Dir. Jaeson Amarillas Profile of conscientious objector Paul Johnston who, during the Vietnam War, organized anti-war protests within the military at Fort Ord. Part of the series Fort Ord: A Sense of Place.

Santa Cruz ICE Raid Dir. Brenda Avila-Hanna & Kati Greaney On February 13, 2017, the Sanctuary City of Santa Cruz experienced an immigration sweep by ICE agents. What lessons were learned, and what challenges lie ahead?

Karen Dir. Vanessa Cano Despite her difficult past, former foster youth Karen continues to strive to achieve her goals against all odds.

The Battle For Matheny Tract Dir. Samuel Contreras Follow low-income residents in Tulare County in their ongoing fight for clean and affordable drinking water.

With the help of her mother Ofelia, her older sister Leticia, and the ACLU, Zoey fights school officials for her right to self-identify in school. Even in the face of bullying and endless teasing from school officials and students, Zoey continues to live her life and tells her story in the hopes of helping others persevere in living their authentic lives. [54 min. English. All ages]

Opening short

I Was Born in Mexico, But... Dir. Corey Ohama Creative portrait of a young woman who thought she was American, but finds out as a teen that she is undocumented. Because she doesn’t want to appear on camera, found footage from American culture illuminates her voice as she struggles with her new identity and the reality of not being able to legally drive, work or reside in the U.S. [10 min. English. All ages]

Closing Fiesta 6PM at the Appleton! ¡Fiesta de Clausura!

Music, food & fun Música, comida, y diversión


WFF MASTER CLASSES @ NEST Filmmakers invited by the Watsonville Film Festival will offer a series of Master Classes at the Digital NEST. The goal of our free educational workshops is to empower the next wave of emerging filmmakers by giving them

first-hand insight into the basics of developing their ideas, making films, and getting them seen by audiences. All master classes will conclude with the opportunity to network with invited filmmakers and attendees.










Web/TV Episodics


Fiction Filmmaking


Matt Pierce

Luis Cámara

From Script to Screen

Short Films

Gabriel Medina

Documentary Filmmaking

Join local Film Producer Gabriel Medina as we discuss how to create episodic content for the web and TV, and his process for creating and producing Watsonville’s Most Talented. This show featured local photographers and models competing in creative challenges and photo shoots across the Watsonville area.

Matt is a Monterey-based artist specializing in animation and filmmaking. He is a graduate of CSU Monterey Bay’s Cinematic Arts Program. Matt loves making fun, bold work and has a penchant for offbeat humor. Currently, Matt is a Digital Arts and Animation Teacher at Millennium Charter High school in Salinas. In this class he will cover the basics of animation.

An accomplished filmmaker originally from Mexico City, Luis Cámara is a graduate of the American Film Institute. Luis is a longtime CSUMB Cinematic Arts professor and current chair of the Department. His latest film is You’re Killing Me Susana, the 2017 WFF opening night film. In this Master Class he will share his experience as a writer and director of narrative films.

Tadashi Nakamura

Be inspired by Brittney Buffo, an actress, writer and teaching artist. She is co founder of Hara Motion Picture Conservatory, creating a cutting-edge curriculum derived from her personal experience and advanced professional training. Since 2006, Brittney incorporates her unique experiences as an actress and a playwright into teaching.

Tadashi is a multi award-winning documentary filmmaker, and is receiving the 2017 WFF Inspirational Filmmaker Award. He was named one of CNN’s Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Tadashi will share how to produce compelling & powerful documentaries.

Brittney Buffo

Michael Buffo Michael is a professional filmmaker and co founder of the HARA Motion Picture Conservatory, a nonprofit organization that serves youth through a dynamic after-school filmmaking program hosted at the Carmel Youth Center. In this Master Class, you will learn the basics of a scriptto-screen production.

Alejandro Santana Jr. Gabriel Medina Join talented film Producer/Director Alejandro Santana Jr. and Producer Gabriel Medina as they walk you through the process of creating powerful documentary and narrative short films. These filmmakers have screened their films at the Watsonville Film Festival, among others, and have produced videos and web content for a variety of local organizations.

Community Youth Partners Digital NEST

Food What?!

Digital NEST provides youth and young adults, high school to age 24, with free access to computers, software, Wi-Fi, and a full range of state-of-the-art digital tools and classes. Modeled after successful tech companies that inspire creativity and innovation, Digital NEST is a safe and learning-focused workspace for young people. Through training, collaboration, and professional mentorship, young people master the technological skills they need to pursue higher education, launch careers, and join businesses in our community.

“Food, What?!” programs are held on a half-acre organic farm at UCSC and in Watsonville through a partnership with Live Earth Farm. “Food, What?!” operates year round and offers three major seasons of youth programming. They spend time with their hands in the soil, part time participating in empowerment and skill-based workshops, and part of our time working to serve the greater community. Through all that they do, healthy, inspiring food is at the center.

HARA Motion Picture Conservatory The mission of HARA is to ignite creative confidence in young adults; empowering them to develop the skills they need to find their voice and share their creative vision. HARA provides high school students with mentorship as cast and crew of digital films to prepare them for a sustainable career path in the collaborative arts. HARA has produced 20 films and has served over 100 students over the course of 12 seasons.


Ainsley-Hicks Family Foundation DIRECTORS




Wendy & Lowell Hurst

Cathy Chavez Miller

Nancy Faulstich

Rose Filicetti

Rebecca García

Joann & Marcos Godoy

Jesus Madrigal

Victoria Banales

Katie Roper

Mas and Marcia Hashimoto

Evelin Montes

Gilbert Cadena

Arturo Ayala

Monterey Bay Murals

Jessica Frye

Sue Forson

Diane Robey

My Mexico Tours


Japanese American Citizens League Santa Cruz & Watsonville Chapter

2017 watsonville film festival program  

6th Annual Watsonville Film Festival October 5-8, 2017 Festival de Cine de Watsonville 5 al 8 de Octubre, 2017

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