In life, you have to take chances.
Filmmaker Jody McNicholas has learned this.
And the way she came to this conclusion she will carry with her forever.
McNicholas’ latest documentary, “Longshotsville,” taught her a lot about herself.
“I’m very shy,” she says. “The reason I did this documentary is that by being shy, it’s impacted my life. I began to take an acting class, and it was beautiful.”
“Longshotsville” follows a self-created family of actors, who emerge from a community theater in the quirky artist town of Taos.
Taking their passions to the next level is going to take humor, courage and more than a little small-town heart.
The film stars Bruce McIntosh, Jacquelyn Cordova, Pyxida Syndesi, Tammy Stackpoole, Julia Estornell, Michael Bozzuto, William Hall and Eb Lottimer.
McNicholas took the class at the Metta Theatre in Taos.
She was inspired by the ragtag group of kids.
“They help each other stay connected,” she says. “Something about that moved me.”
The documentary is one of a dozen films that will screen at the third annual Pueblo Film Festival, which will be held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Saturday, Nov. 19, and Sunday, Nov. 20. Her film will screen at 11:25 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.
The festival is the only one in the country devoted to the work of Pueblo filmmakers and actors, as well as to films that explore the Pueblo experience.
The two-day event includes film screenings, presentations, and discussions with renowned Pueblo filmmakers. Organizers want the public to be entertained, learn what’s happening in the film world, and forge new connections with those in the industry.
The event will also have a free shuttle between the IPCC’s Pueblo Film Festival and Indigenous Comic Con at the National Hispanic Cultural Center over the weekend.
McNicholas was hesitant to begin the project because of the many differences between her and the group.
“I’m 50, and I think Julia was 17. Everyone else was in their early 20s,” she says. “There’s something magical about being around people when they are young. I love how courageous they were. Following them made me stand true to my own dreams. I went to document their dreams, and it made me reflect on my own life.”
The entire process inspired McNicholas to go back to school.
She is currently a student at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
“I’ve been on the fence about being a filmmaker,” she says. “It’s a lot of work and you have to be passionate. I didn’t go to school for film and I’ve been winging it. I needed to go to school to understand what I’m doing technically.”
“It’s all about the youth and finding inspiration,” she says. “It’s a beautiful thing I can do. I’m taking the money from my film and giving it back to other films that are trying to help the youth. They are our future, and we need to keep telling stories.”
SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.