Phillips teens bring “Weeping Woman” to local film festival


South Minneapolis residents—and anyone else who enjoys watching youngsters make something of themselves—can point with satisfaction to Phillips Community Television (PCTV), where fledgling filmmakers have combined their talents to contribute La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) to the .edu Film Festival 2008.

The .edu Film Festival takes place on Friday, May 23rd, running from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. with a screening and Q&A session at 5:30 p.m. for the diehards in the crowd. Screenings and events all take place at Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave. in South Minneapolis. For more information, including a complete schedule, see

Selected from a field of more than 100 films, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) was created—adapted from an old Mexican ghost story—by Ashley Clinton, Darrius Clinton, Estepahnie Luis, Gustavao Luis, Daniel Coronado and Oscar Velazquez. The film is screening at that venerable community fixture, the Parkway Theater, as part of the .edu Film Festival, an all-day event featuring films, workshops, and guest speakers.

This inaugural event, sponsored by MTS Communication Arts High School (ComArts High School), marks the first time a Minnesota school has underwritten a festival of short films completely written, shot, edited, and scored by student filmmakers. The festival is curated in partnership with the Parkway Theater. Parkway owner Joe Minjares, a veteran actor, couldn’t be happier to have the festival at his shop. “Man, it’s great,” he says. “You want to see these kids explore their art, see them express their vision.”

“Man, it’s great,” says Parkway Theater owner Joe Minjares. “You want to see these kids express their vision.”

“I am very proud of the film and the youth who made it,” says PCTV youth programs manager Michael D. Hay. “Making a successful film is difficult. The youth filmmakers made the film as part of the after-school program here at PCTV. It was a group effort, and they worked very hard to make their concept work. The film program here at PCTV is voluntary, and so these youth are coming here after a long day at school and choosing to continue learning and developing creative ideas and skills. They should be proud.”

A thumbnail sketch of PCTV’s history, available at the organization’s Web site, reads, “Phillips Community Television…empowers youth to engage with their communities through learning, teaching, and making media. Since 1993, PCTV has enabled thousands of inner city youth, ages 9-18, to create their own television programs, magazines, photography exhibits, Web pages, and personal projects focusing on youth, family, and community issues.”

“By participating in the PCTV filmmaking program,” says Hay, “youth learn valuable lessons about teamwork and responsibility. The biggest reward for them is to see how their ideas can be develop through hard work into creative and successful film projects, and that the finished films can be seen and appreciated by the public.”

Dwight Hobbes is a writer based in the Twin Cities. He contributes regularly to the TC Daily Planet.