Film festivals crown student production
February 2, 2010 10:00 AM
Sf State students and graduates recently received two awards for a film that documented four women from different backgrounds living with HIV.
The film, known as "One Sister at a Time: Positive Women's Stories," was awarded with best online short feature at the Cinema City International Film Festival and received best documentary at the International Student Film Festival Hollywood.
"Getting the award is very cool because these projects are exciting and stressful, and there were certain points when I wondered if I'd have a film," Deborah Craig, the film's architect, said. "I was most happy to have felt that I have a film to be proud of."
The project involved three SF State graduates and two students, all from different departments: Craig, a graduate in health education; Brett Hickman and Ryan Hildebrant, cinema department graduates; Véronica Deliz, in her third year studying cinema; and geography student Allison Haagensen.
"I think it gives a fantastic sense of accomplishment," Deliz said about receiving the award. "You really feel satisfaction knowing that we got a message through. It is also great acknowledgment for the people in the film."
"I really wanted to emphasize that it's not only one category of women that get it, but it's everyone. I wanted to say this could be you. It's not just somebody else because you don't look like that," said Craig.
The film is a product of the University course "Documentary for Health and Justice," which aims to create films for community that can be useful in raising awareness. Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease, an Oakland based organization, also collaborated in creating the film alongside the students providing both resources and contacts.
"It's a film about four women and a film about organization and a film about how women can support one another," Craig said.
Because the film was a documentary, the students could not make use of a storyboard or anticipate what they would find. The students shot over 100 hours of raw footage and found within it "some powerful and telling stories," Hickman said.
"We went out to make that film with a purpose," Hickman said, "and we accomplished it."
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