My Student Film examines a variety of student film sets in Chicago. The film highlights the production side of the filmmaking, exploring how student filmmakers collaborate on set and
address the filmmaking process. With little to no budget, student filmmakers are often forced to
utilize their surroundings. From tiny city apartments to a large studio warehouse, My student film travels across Chicago as it investigates what really happens on a student film set.
Vegetarian Express is a restaurant run and owned by the Diaz family. All members of the Diaz family, aside from Miguel’s American wife Krystina and their two children, are Mexican immigrants. Some family members are documented, some are not. This film follows the family through a day at the restaurant from open to close and explores how the Diaz’s balance work with family as well as how they are affected by the current political climate. My hope with this film is that conservative proponents of immigration control see the Diaz family as an example of the many loving, hard working immigrant families steadfastly pursuing the “American Dream.”
Seven debutantes begin the journey of transitioning from “girl” to “woman” in the Polish community of Chicago by volunteering in the White and Red ball. The Legion of Young Polish Women hosted its 78th annual ball at the Chicago Hilton on March 4th, which brings in about 60 percent of the legion’s members to celebrate these young women. The “girls in white” are first-year debutantes who are mentored by the “girls in red,” who were past debutantes. Some “debs” continue the family tradition and some start their own. Watch as debutantes rehearse, raise money, and perform to show off their progress since beginning their journey.
The prison system is failing at rehabilitating their inmates. Prisoners are released with little education, job training and major psychological damage. So how are any of them supposed to succeed? This short documentary attempts to examine the informal and formal occurrences these men rely on to create a successful non-criminal life. The film does so by observing one halfway house called “St.Leonard’s Ministries” where the recidivism rate of the residences is 30 percent lower than the national rate.
Just Nod explores the ways in which the role of audience member presents itself in different spaces in Chicago’s DIY music scene. The film follows audience behavior across three genres of music. It examines what is appropriate audience behavior for each of genres of music and documents the physical movements necessary for competently performing the role of audience member.