FIRST-TIME FILMMAKER SHEDS LIGHT ON IMMIGRATION

“The arts are an amazing tool we can use to educate,” said Shih. “They worm their way into your heart and your mind like a spoonful of sugar, and even as a musician I think that film is the most powerful medium of the arts.”

Narrated by actor Jay O. Sanders, Shih’s Undocumented is a documentary film about the life story of her friend, Dr. Harold Fernandez, a man who immigrated from Medellin, Colombia to the United States on a voyage through the Bermuda Triangle at the age of 13...

“This is not a typical immigration story, it’s about one family’s story of love, perseverance, determination, courage and sacrifice,” said Shih. “It’s a human story..."

OLYMPIC BOBSLEDDER USES FAME FOR PHILANTHROPY AT GREEN BERET FUNDRAISER

In faded jeans and camouflage jackets, teams of four climbed the muddy terrain of Alpine’s Lemon Grove Rod and Gun Club, with 12-gauge shotguns hanging over the crooks of their arms. At The Green Beret Foundation’s first ever Honey Badger Classic, there were 13 shooting stations and each team had to hit as many clay plates, or “pigeons,” as they could. Sporting a metallic blue U.S. Olympics windbreaker, competing alongside his fellow soldiers, was Green Beret and Olympic bobsledder, Nate Weber.

“I’m apparently not very good at shotgun shooting,” said Weber while at station 11. “I’ve been doing nothing but pushing bobsleds for the last year and doing unglamorous office work for special forces. But I don’t think I embarrassed myself too bad.”...

HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS: MY ENEMY, MY BROTHER

His silver-grey hair, deep brown eyes and joyful toothless grin are just some of the reasons people are naturally drawn to Najah Aboud. “At any screening, people flock to him because he’s got this warmth,” said Ann Shin, documentary filmmaker and director of My Enemy My Brother. “Najah has such an open heart, despite everything that has happened, and he has so much love to share.”...

ANNIHILATION: BEAUTY IN DESTRUCTION

Destruction is a part of life. In fact, life thrives off destruction. Dead plants and animals create compost that fertilizes the earth, and forest fires help clear away dead trees to make way for new growth. Our world is constantly recycling itself to survive and our own bodies are no exception. The cells inside us are essentially devouring themselves, slicing their complex molecules to pieces and recycling them for new parts. This is the paradox at the center of Director Alex Garland’s newest film Annihilation—that something destructive and tragic can also be something incredibly beautiful...

STORIES AT SEA AS TOLD BY A USS MIDWAY SAILOR

Resting in Downtown San Diego Harbor is one of the longest serving aircraft carriers in the Unites States Navy. The USS Midway, nestled in the dock between the United States Aircraft Carrier Memorial and the Unconditional Surrender Statue where couples flock to take kissing photos, is the length of three football fields and has the height of a 20-story building. This vessel served the U.S. naval forces from 1945 until 1992 when she was decommissioned, her home port being in Yokosuka, Japan. In 2004, the ship was brought back to the states and turned into a museum to commemorate her service and the service of her 200,000 crew members...

PLNU STUDENT FILM DEBUTS IN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Despite funding issues, broken cameras, battles with rain and losing actors at the last minute, a group of full-time college students managed to create a short film. There was sweat, there were tears and then there were months of waiting. Now, the universe has paid the creators back in kind. I Have to Kill My Professor tells the story of a student who, in fear of failing out of college, launches an anxiety-filled scheme to kill his professor. The film was directed by Jonathan Pickett, a PLNU alumni and filmmaker...

CANNIBALS: MYTH AND REALITY

Fingernails, skin, blood and boogers: these are things people consume every day without thinking twice. We bite our nails and chew the skin on our lips along with the inside of our cheeks. When we get paper cuts, we suck on the blood in the wound. Do these actions make us cannibals? This is one of the many unorthodox questions posed at the San Diego Museum of Man’s feature exhibit, Cannibals: Myth & Reality. While preconceived ideas might suggest otherwise, the exhibit is not all blood, guts and gore...

CINEMA IS “THE WINDOW TO THE WORLD” AT THE ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL

“I grew up in a place where there weren’t many movie houses,” said director Baby Ruth Villarama. “I had a small little television in the house and that was my window to the world.”

Villarama is a film director from the Philippines. Her documentary Sunday Beauty Queen tells the stories of Filipino domestic workers living in Hong Kong. While they work 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, every Sunday, these women host a beauty pageant on their one day of freedom to celebrate Independence Day for the Philippines...

CREATIVE INSANITY AND EMOTIONAL PERSEVERANCE OF BEING AN ACTOR

Over the years, film addicts have watched beloved actors break free of type-casting, completely transforming themselves from one onscreen character to another. John Travolta went from a singing and dancing high school hunk in Greece, to playing much darker and more serious roles like in his films Face Off and Sword Fish...Most recently, Krysten Ritter went from hilarious, fun and fancy-free characters like Stacy in Vamps and Patty in She’s Out of My League to dark and twisty superhero in Jessica Jones. The overarching question is this: why do actors choose the roles they do? Why is breaking free of typecasting so important? According to Los Angeles actor Julianna Guill, there are two main reasons actors take a job: one for the money, and one for you...

SCREENWRITERS: THE GHOST WRITERS OF TV AND FILM

The barks of sea lions and the squeals of dolphins are perhaps the last sounds one would expect to hear in the workplace of a screenwriter. Atop the stage in the sound booth, Dallas McLaughlin scribbles notes as he observes the Sea World shows whose scripts he now manages.

“My favorite part is watching people watch it,” said McLaughlin. “I like writing a dumb joke for a sea-lion to do and seeing the people laugh. It’s fun work.”...

CROSSING THE MILITARY-CIVILIAN DIVIDE

According to NBC, there are approximately 95,000 uniformed military personnel assigned to various commands in the San Diego area alone. Counting the families of those in service, that number increases to about 175,000. San Diego is ranked as the second largest military town in the country, the first being Monterey, California. Author and San Diego native Betsy Marro believes there is a non-intentional gap, a lack of connection, between civilians in San Diego and the armed forces that serve them every day.  In fact, she believes the gap is universal...

HEROES AMONG OUR OWN: THE ART OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING

Across Normal Street and at the corner of Madison Avenue, there’s a small building with stain glass windows. Through the wooden doors, past a hallway walled with pictures of trees by cemeteries and a girl on the train tracks, up the stairs from a digital art studio rests a loft with a big round table and walls covered in film posters and tacked notes. On the back wall there’s a white board with act one and two scenes carefully planned out while three and four have yet to be written. It’s in this loft, in the building across from a street named “Normal,” where the cinematic magic of The Film Consortium team happens.

RECENT FUNDING FOR NASA’S MARS PROJECT

Last month, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation granted $19.5 billion in funds to NASA for their future missions to Mars. According to PLNU Cosmos and Physics Professor, Christopher Gabler, space scientists and astro-organizations have been researching Mars and space exploration for over 50 years with the long-standing hope of landing feet-to-dust on our neighbor planet. Even smaller space groups, like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, hope to someday colonize Mars as a place to send the human race when our own planet Earth eventually fails...

ZIKA HAS ARRIVED IN SAN DIEGO

The Zika virus has arrived in San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University Biology and Nursing Professors David Cummings and Jen King, believe there is reason to worry.

The Zika virus was discovered in the 1950s in Uganda buut the virus did not appear in the Americas until a recent epidemic in Brazil during the summer of 2015. The Asedes Aegypti mosquito, the carrier of the virus, was reproducing at higher rates due to issues in sanitation in Brazil, causing the outbreak, according to Cummings and King. All the rivers that used to flow stopped and became stagnant water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes...

JESSICA JONES SEASON TWO: EMPOWERING FEMALE DIRECTORS

Season two of Marvel’s television series Jessica Jones will be directed entirely by women and could pave a long awaited path for more female directors in the film industry. The announcement was made October 22nd at the Transform Hollywood Symposium by the show’s executive producer and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg. A crew of all women directors not only embodies the essence of Jessica Jones, showing that a woman can make it in a man’s world, but also promotes female representation in a male-dominated industry...

DON BLUTH: BRINGING BACK HAND-DRAWN ANIMATION

After a sixteen year hiatus, Don Bluth, the director for animated films like The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Anastasia and more, is back, hoping to revive the art of hand-drawn animation in a generation of CGI. In the 1980s, Bluth worked on a video game called Dragon’s Lair, one of only three video games to be archived at the Smithsonian Institute. Now Bluth and fellow animator Gary Goldman are working to bring Dragon’s Lair to the big screen as a full-length feature film. The 70-year-old artists are crowd-funding through Indiegogo to create a sizzle reel, or a short movie portion, to present to potential investors. Already having raised $621,348, it looks like the Dragon’s Lair revival might be possible, but can the same be said for hand-drawn animation?...

ARRIVAL: GIVING AUDIENCES A MORE ROUNDED VIEW OF TIME

Time is a concept created out of the logistics of human understanding. All of humanity understands that time has a beginning and an end. It can be used to measure anything from start to finish of a person’s day and from start to finish of an individual’s life. For humanity, time is a linear concept. There is a beginning and an end. But what if time bent? What if the space between start and finish was indefinite? What if there was no beginning and no end? What if, instead of a time line, there existed a time loop? These are the complex questions that the film Arrival answers using a language that transcends all languages: human emotion...

MISS PEREGRINE’S IS THE BEST OF BURTON

Directed by Tim Burton, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children premiered in theaters this past weekend and is both beautifully touching and awesomely twisted. Burton’s film adaptation of Ransom Rigg’s book, published in 2011, tells the story of a boy named Jake (Asa Butterfield) who traces his recently deceased grandfather’s footsteps back in time to a children’s home on a Welsh island. The home serves as a safe zone for children, called peculiars, with extremely unusual abilities and the defensive magic of their caretaker, Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), keeps certain dangers at bay. However, when the is threatened by monsters called Hollows, Jake must embrace his own peculiarities to save the lives of his new-found friends.

‘HACKSAW RIDGE’: SHOWING ANOTHER SIDE OF WAR

Every once in awhile, a certain film will hit the big screen that gives audiences a better history lesson than any textbook ever could. That was the case with director Mel Gibson’s latest film Hacksaw Ridge, which released into theaters earlier this month. Based on a true story, Hacksaw Ridge paints not only a fresh and new picture of what it means to be brave and courageous, but illustrates another side of war that viewers have never seen before. War is war, it’s ugly and brutal. But Gibson adds another depth, showing that while war is war, human lives are human lives, and each one is precious. In this film, while the world was pulling itself apart, one courageous individual took it upon himself to try and put a little of it back together...

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