City celebrates diversity through televised films SanTan Sun News

City celebrates diversity through televised films

July 10th, 2018 | by alexander
City celebrates diversity through televised films
Arts
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By COLLEEN SPARKS

Managing Editor

Independent films made around the world will be free and easy to watch in Chandler, thanks to a new partnership.

The Chandler Diversity Office and the city’s Communications and Public Affairs Department have teamed up with the Chandler International Film Festival to show eight independent films – with the chance to add more.

Each film is being shown Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights for a month on Chandler’s cable channel (Cox Channel 11, CenturyLink Channel 8502 and on Orbital Cable in Sun Lakes) and on the city’s website.

Afterward, they will be posted on the city’s YouTube channel through January.

CINETIME, the package of international films and Q-and-A sessions with the filmmakers, will be shared with other area cities’ cable channels.

Filmmakers from Texas, California, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom produced the films.

“There’s a great variety,” said Niki Tapia, community resources and diversity supervisor for the city’s Neighborhood Resources Department. “We really tried to just go off the beaten path and get a cool variety of films that might speak to so many different people.”

The shortest film in the lineup is four minutes long; others run about half an hour. Viewers will be able to see the filmmakers answering questions after the films are shown.

“We’re really excited that this is the first time the city has been able to produce our own show highlighting such a variety and such an interesting group of films from filmmakers,” Tapia said.

“Popcorn & Chocolate” was the first shown on the city TV station and website. Now it’s posted on the city’s YouTube channel for a couple of months.

It is about a persistent middle school band student who keeps going to the home of a couple whose son was killed during military service.

The girl tries to sell the couple various items and unknowingly helps the man and woman heal as they are grieving. Producer/writer/actor Michael Baker said “Popcorn & Chocolate” also will be shown at the Chandler International Film Festival in January.

Baker, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is thrilled the film will be available for Chandler audiences.

“I was so excited,” he said. “The idea that we can create something, make a film and then people other than your friends like it and find value in it – are willing to devote time to it in their festivals and share with other people – is amazing. It’s like one of the greatest successes anyone can have.”

Baker studied music for three years at the University of Arizona in the 1970s and during that time often drove to the Valley to perform in the orchestra with the Arizona Opera.

Because of the “huge military community in Arizona,” Baker said, people here will be interested in “Popcorn & Chocolate.”

Though it tackles the topic of a couple’s loss of their son, the film is still a “feel-good story and it’s honest,” he said.

Baker, who owns Dial It Back Films with his wife, Rebecca, said the theme of the movie is how life goes on even after a tragedy. The girl selling things as a band fundraiser is named April because April symbolizes rebirth, Baker said.

Catherine Hatcher, director of “Popcorn & Chocolate,” said she believes “not enough attention is given to military families and the people who suffer” when loved ones die while serving the country.

She owns D & B Films in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, through which she produces her own films, but she said she wanted to get involved with “Popcorn & Chocolate” after it made her “tear up” when she read the script.

“I said, ‘I absolutely had to be a part of this,’” Hatcher said. “I believe that the story is such a good story, it’s something that helps people understand more about military families and what they have to deal with.

“It’s wonderful to get the exposure for military families. So many people came up to me and said, ‘We lost a child in the military. Thank you for sharing what it is we go through, for being sensitive on this topic.’”

She lost her own daughter at age 18 in a car accident.

“Popcorn & Chocolate” has been shown at many film festivals and won a Platinum Remy Award at the Worldfest-Houston.

Other films that will be shown on the Chandler cable channel are:

“Follow Me Down Again” is an art/dance film based on the story of Icarus by T.S Eliot. The tale of Icarus is a symbol of our society as we want to fly higher and have everything go faster and further and better so consequently we lose contact with ourselves and other people.

“Game of Souls” is about a girl, Luise, who because of a cursed book of myths, travels back in time to the year 1410 to the medieval Fichtelgebirge. There she meets with Liborius, who is currently writing the magic book, as well as his grumpy grandson Heinrich.

In the film, Heinrich wanted to cheat the devil while playing cards with him but the devil learned about it and took away his soul. Heinrich tries to get his soul back and soon Luise and Heinrich fight against evil and encounter mythical creatures from Fichtelgebirge.

“Green Earth” is a tale of Eva in a future where expansion and development are valued more than nature and conservation. Eva struggles to protect her beloved tree from being destroyed and winds up in the middle of a standoff with developers.

“The Hope’s Stars” is about a young woman who feels lost and tries to understand her existence and destiny.

“Tonic of the Sea,” a mini-documentary, reveals the ties between mental health and swimming. The hope is her story might help others who have similar challenges. The director is Jon Scott.

“Uprise” is an animated short film about a robot that will challenge everything, created entirely using an Oculus Rift with the “Make It Film” app developer Muro created.

“Water,” is a four-minute exploration of the planet’s most magnificent glaciers, waterfalls, beaches, rivers and waterways.

The films will be shown on the city’s cable channel and at chandleraz.gov/video and youtube.com/user/chandlerarizona.

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