Tell us about yourself
I am Esther Romero. I am Mexican, I am christian and I have a family of 11 and more. I have faith that God is using me for a reason. Throughout this journey I made amazing friends. I am confident in the work I do, and I take every opportunity I get. My parents have taught me to never give up, there is always a solution, I must just dig deep to find it. I feel that we must set an example to every person in the world, by being kind, generous, and compassionate. I will soon be entering college and majoring in Film. I want to make my parents proud, and let them know that they came to the U.S for a reason. I am here for a reason.
What’s your film about?
My film “Dreamers” is about my parents coming to the U.S from Mexico, for a better opportunity for their children. I got the chance to know my parents in different way not just as parents but as people. Later on into the film, I realized that the story of my parents was the same as many immigrant families. They had to sacrifice a lot to come to the U.S. They work on making their dreams happen. I connected with my parents in a way I couldn’t have ever imagine. I learned a lot from them. It was and it is very special to me.
What was your experience creating this film?
The process was extraordinary. For the first time I got to hold a camera and record. It was challenging to come up with the beginning, middle and ending. One of the toughest things was using my own ideas for my film rather than someone else making the film for me. I had times where I doubted myself but the people at Reel Works helped me trust and believe in myself. Recording everything I did and following my parents was creepy but fun. Reel works wasn’t just a program to me. It was home. My mentor guided me throughout my film. She helped me develop ideas and we developed a friendship. I learned a lot from her.
How does it feel to be nominated for the F. John Outcalt Award?
Being nominated for the F. John Outcalt for Outstanding Filmmaking award is an honor. I feel really blessed, happy and proud. A film that was just to honor my parents became more than that, it became a blessing for my family, an inspiration for families to reach their dreams, and the biggest accomplishment I’m proud of. Everyday I carry these accomplishments with me knowing that anything is possible.
What has Reel Works meant to you?
Reel Works is a family that makes you set goals, work on them and achieve them. They’ve got me and many other students internships. Many teens don’t have a chance to make a documentary or get a job in the field – but at Reel Works can make it happen. I love that there’s an organization that helps teens begin early to think about their interest in film and grow personally and professional connections.
Meet the mentor
What do you do, when you are not a mentor at Reel Works?
My name is Prisca Edwards. When I’m not at Reel Works, I work as a documentary photographer and video producer.
What was it like to mentor Esther?
I really enjoyed mentoring Esther. She was really passionate about her story and worked really hard from beginning to end. Seeing her come in with new footage every week and watching her story unfold in the edit room was incredibly rewarding. She has such a bright future ahead of her!
What are you taking away from working with Esther?
Esther reminded me of the joys of filmmaking as well as the power of telling a family story.
What would you tell people who are considering watching this film?
I would say to enjoy the journey. It’s endearing and a very beautiful immigration story.
How would you describe Reel Works and the opportunities that we offer?
Reel Works is a unique opportunity for teenagers to learn filmmaking and how to tell their own story. It’s a community of inspiring filmmakers who care about the world we live in. Many of the students take other classes with Reel Works or go on to internships.
Have a look at Prisca’s website: www.priscaedwards.com and Instagram: @priscabe