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SF State student wins STAND Award from Film Arts Foundation



Matt Itelson
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1665



Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Oakland resident Maya Chinchilla is working on a documentary on Central American artists

SAN FRANCISCO, November 6, 2006 -- Maya Chinchilla, a graduate student at San Francisco State University, is one of six emerging Bay Area film and video makers to win the 2006 STAND Award from the Film Arts Foundation.

The STAND (Support, Training and Access for New Directors) Award includes a $300 grant, mentorship from experienced filmmakers, $1,800 worth of courses and equipment at the Film Arts Foundation and a complimentary one-year Film Arts Foundation membership.

Chinchilla is using the award for her documentary about three Bay Area artists whose parents emigrated from Central America -- a painter, a writer and a poet. Chinchilla, whose father immigrated to the United States from Guatemala, wants her work to increase visibility of the many artists, minorities and women overlooked in mainstream media.

"Often, Central Americans are only thought of as refugees of civil war," she said, "but there's this huge second generation who are creating their own identity and own art."

Chinchilla, an Oakland resident and Long Beach native, is the director of two short documentaries that have screened at film festivals in California and beyond.

"The Last Word," about a women-of-color group of spoken-word poets, has screened at the 2006 Women of Color Film and Video Film Festival at University of California, Santa Cruz. It will also screen at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the San Francisco International Latino Film Festival. "Made in Brazil," about a Brazilian nonprofit organization that provides housing, jobs, education, health care and skills training to families, has screened at the 2006 Girl Fest in Honolulu, Hawaii. It will also screen at the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza, to be held Dec. 8-10 in East Los Angeles.

In addition, Chinchilla will screen both documentaries at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at Galería de la Raza in San Francisco. Admission is on a sliding scale and open to the public.

Both of Chinchilla's documentaries were shot on digital video and as part of her coursework in SF State's Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) Department.

"She really combines her sense of community and community activism with video," Professor John Hewitt said. "She's opening up our view to what are often called 'walled city documentaries,' taking us to places we haven't been. She does this with a really intense sense of communal involvement."

Chinchilla teaches video at an after-school program at Urban Promise Academy, a middle school in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood. She is also a spoken-word poet who performs frequently throughout the Bay Area.

The Film Arts Foundation seeks to support the creation and success of independent film and video makers, and has served as a catalyst and advocate for the diverse voices of the independent film community both on the West Coast and nationally since 1976.

The largest and most influential program of its kind in the West, the BECA Department at SF State has graduated some of the top names in broadcast journalism, entertainment television and new media, including Bay Area news anchors Ken Bastida and Frank Somerville, "Frasier" producer Peter Casey and CNN Headline News anchor Mike Galanos. BECA faculty members are authors of the most widely used textbooks on radio and television performance, broadcast news writing, television production, electronic field production, and media aesthetics. They have created respected dramatic works and documentaries, edited national academic journals, and contributed to scholarly publications.


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Last modified April 24, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications