I Heart Film: Joe Garcia

Joe Garcia, Development Director at Valley Public Radio, helps promote Fresno Filmworks and other organizations to the Central Valley.

What is your role at Valley Public Radio (VPR)?

I am the Development Director for VPR. I help VPR support and give exposure to organizations that we consider are doing good things in the community that wouldn’t be done if it weren’t for them. Fresno Filmworks fits that perfectly by presenting movies that are not shown by the big theater chains.

How does VPR support Fresno Filmworks?

VPR has supported Fresno Filmworks for several years now. We provide Fresno Filmworks with opportunities to promote their events, including on-air spots and interview appearances on our Valley Edition news magazine program. Our strength is our voice. We started first with supporting the Fresno Film Festival and it continued from there.

I personally love going to the Fresno Filmworks screenings and meeting other open-minded movie fans of the community.

What led to your own strong interest in film?

I got it from my parents. Growing up, my parents took me and my siblings I’d say three out of four weekends each month. We saw movies all the time. My first job was being an usher at a United Artists complex for two years. I loved it because I got to see everything for free.

The Tower Theater in the early 80s was more of an art house movie theater. That’s how I got introduced to foreign language films and films that you don’t see in regular movie complexes. That’s why Fresno Filmworks is great because it offers those kinds of movies to the community. In fact, those kinds of movies got my wife interested in me. Before we dated we were friends and I mentioned to her about this one movie I had really enjoyed called Breaking the Waves (1996 by director Lars von Trier). I think this surprising shared interest in film helped her realized that maybe we could be more than just friends. If we were younger nowadays, I might have met her at a Fresno Filmworks screening.

What are some of your favorite Fresno Filmworks memories?

I’m big into the Fresno Film Festival. I would love to go all day if I could. The one Fresno Filmworks movie that I really liked was about three or four years ago was this French film about a woman who used Woody Allen movies as advice in her life (Paris-Manhattan, 2012 by director Sophie Lellouche). I’ve watched every Woody Allen movie and so this was really cool. I also wasn’t expecting to see Woody Allen in the movie.

It’s great when you see a movie and it all of a sudden becomes one of your favorites. With this last Fresno Film Festival, my wife saw Unleashed (2016 by director Finn Taylor) and got the biggest kick out of that.

What are some of your favorite movies?

All the 60s and 70s sci-fi movies are great: Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, Rollerball, Westworld. What those movies really talk about and all their symbolism are right on. I love that.

Cinema Paradiso is right up there as well. That immediately became one of my favorite movies when I first saw it. When I worked as an usher, the projectionists showed me how they did everything by hand. I always think of those projectionists when I see that movie and I get such good feelings.

What might you say to community friends to encourage them to support Filmworks by attending or by becoming a sponsor or member?

Please support any way you can. Just attending or telling people about it are huge. Little steps turn into big steps. The more people show up the better.