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Our October 2015 volunteer in the spotlight and fall marketing intern Yvette Mancilla enjoys contributing to our social media campaigns, and she aspires to work in filmmaking and media production.
By Jefferson Beavers 11.26.2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Yvette Mancilla

October 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Yvette Mancilla Occupation: Yvette currently works as the copy editor at The Collegian, the student-run newspaper at Fresno State. “I edit all the stories that come in,” she says. “Except for sports, which I don’t have much experience in.” She has worked at the paper for more than two…

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First-time actor Bedouin youth Jacir Eid plays the title character Theeb in director Naji Abu Nowar's ambitious coming-of-age tale. Via Film Movement.
By Yvette Mancilla 11.17.2015

An Unforgiving Desert Transforms These 4 Adventure Films

While dense, urban places like New York and Los Angeles have appeared staples in numerous films, an unforgiving desert has also been seen as the central setting in movies since they were first produced. The natural landscape of a desert can become a haunting presence that can shape a character’s emotional and physical journeys. The…

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"The Cut" is the third feature by Turkish German director Fatih Akin to play at Fresno Filmworks. Via The Berlinale.
By Yvette Mancilla 11.8.2015

Fatih Akin Shares His Take on Love, Death and the Devil

Award-winning director Fatih Akin’s Armenian historical epic “The Cut” is another exceptional, well-crafted film to add to his already successful career. Over the past 10 years, the Turkish German filmmaker has worked on his trilogy focusing on Love, Death and the Devil. This trilogy finds its conclusion with “The Cut,” which is slated for a…

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Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich investigates the Russian government’s possible role in the Chernobyl disaster in the Sundance favorite "The Russian Woodpecker," debut feature from director Chad Gracia. Via Film Buff.
By Yvette Mancilla 10.25.2015

3 thriller docs show truth can be stranger than fiction

Sometimes, real-life events that play out amidst a backdrop of political turmoil can lead to some riveting and even absurd moments. They can also make for great cinema that leaves audiences scratching their heads, exclaiming: “Did that really happen in real life?” Recent filmmakers who are willing and able to capture a slice of these…

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The late Steve Jobs is once again front and center as a character in Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s scrutinizing new documentary: “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine.” Via Magnolia Pictures.
By Yvette Mancilla 10.18.2015

What Hollywood gets right (and wrong) about Silicon Valley

When Hollywood finds a lucrative genre or idea (i.e. superheroes) it tends to grab it and hold on to it for a while. Recently, Silicon Valley has been no exception. Since he passed away in 2011, Steve Jobs has been the subject of over-stylized and recycled themes of multiple tech-inspired films. On closing night of…

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Young Khadji begins to understand his father Markov better after being reluctantly cared for by Markov’s former comrade, Hamilton. (Via Distrib Films)
By Yvette Mancilla 9.29.2015

A Chip off the Old Block: Fatherhood in Film

Father-son films seem to explore the archetype of male heroism and its role in paternal bonds. Whether the relationship in question is strained or close in nature, particular films are able to question a son’s identity being tied to his father’s and the potential repercussions of such an embodiment or lack thereof. The upcoming Filmworks…

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Our October volunteer in the spotlight, Justin Secor, is an outdoors enthusiast and high school film buff.
By Yvette Mancilla 9.22.2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Justin Secor

October 2015 Volunteer in the Spotlight: Justin Secor Originally hailing from Minnesota, Clovis North High School senior Justin Secor enjoys outdoor activities and takes advantage of Fresno’s close proximity to the Sierra Nevadas any chance he can get. He began picking up extensive film knowledge two years ago when he realized his different taste for…

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Young Khadji and his father Markov slowly re-connect in Paris, while Markov, a Chechen immigrant, struggles to provide for his son. (Via Distrib Films.
By Yvette Mancilla 9.13.2015

Crossing Over: 3 Films About the Immigrant Experience

The plight of an immigrant’s journey has always been a cornerstone of American cinema, and as of late, contemporary international cinema seems to be catching on to this universal narrative. More recent works have unapologetically shed light on the hardships immigrants face in a new country. Filmmakers from across the globe are exploring narrative arcs…

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True stories of self image and identity. Image via USA Today.
By Fae Giffen 9.7.2015

True Stories: 5 documentaries available to stream.

This Friday, September 11th, Fresno Filmworks will proudly present “The Wandering Muse”. This powerful documentary looks at nomadic Jewish musicians and the messages they spread with their art. “The Wandering Muse” explores questions of identity through both religion and music and how these different facets influence the lives of the musicians featured.  In honor of…

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Our August volunteer in the spotlight, Sky Sweet, is a yoga-loving English teacher who always comes back to the films of Jim Jarmusch.
By Yvette Mancilla 8.26.2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Sky Sweet

September 2015 Volunteer in the Spotlight: Sky Sweet Occupation: After years of working in public relations in Los Angeles, Sky opted for a change of pace and currently teaches high school English for Fresno Unified School District. “After working in public relations, you know, and being in Los Angeles — it just wasn’t fun anymore.…

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Zelda Harris is a girl taking on the world in "Crooklyn". Image via
By Fae Giffen 8.12.2015

How to be a girl: Growing up female at the movies.

The excitement surrounding this Friday’s film, “Gueros”, has all of Fresno Filmworks thinking about what it means to grow up and what movies to watch when you’re doing it. Filmworks President Jefferson Beavers, took us on a journey of great films about the lazy, hazy days of youth. Former intern Olga Verkhotina, reminded us of…

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"Citizen Kane" tops this list.  What's your greatest movie of all time. Image via
By John Moses 8.5.2015

And the Greatest American Movie Is . . .

Anyone who spends much time online is sure to notice the host of best and worst lists vying for our attention. You’ll even find lists of “Best Lists,” the publishers ranging in prestige from The New Yorker to, a website dedicated solely to top-ten lists. One category I am especially interested in, though, relates…

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Isabel Mejorado is a local foodie, tango dancer, and film buff.
By Fae Giffen 7.30.2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Isabel Mejorado

July 2015 Volunteer in the Spotlight: Isabel Mejorado How long have you lived in Fresno? I’ve lived in Fresno County my whole life.  I was born in Kingsburg and then I moved to Reedley and was raised there.  But I’ve been living in Fresno for quite a while.  I used to work at the financial…

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Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.