Volunteers of the Month: Joan and Brijesh Sharma

Our August 2013 volunteers of the month, Joan and Brijesh Sharma. Photo by Art Robinson.
Our August 2013 volunteers of the month, Joan and Brijesh Sharma. Photo by Art Robinson.
August 2013 Volunteers of the Month: Joan and Brijesh Sharma

Occupations: Joan is a professor in the Department of Art and Design at Fresno State. Brijesh is a tour operator specializing in private and group tours to the Indian sub-continent.

What are your hobbies?
Traveling, working in the garden, and reading The New York Times.
Brijesh: Philately – international postage stamps, Indian and world history, and foreign films.

What type of films or movie genres would you like Filmworks to show more of?
“Foreign films from Eastern and Western Europe that are not available in commercial movie theaters. I lived in Switzerland for 20 years working with different banks in administrative positions. I had seen several Swiss, German, and Austrian films during that time.”
Joan: “I love international films that offer a global perspective and experience, specifically Monsieur Lazhar andVioleta Went to Heaven. I like to see the world through other people’s eyes, people who live in other regions of the globe instead of Hollywood films created here in the U.S. I enjoy having the opportunity to view films with less of a Eurocentric viewpoint. I like to get a broader perspective.”

What are some other independent film events you have been to?
“Joan and I had an opportunity to attend the Locarno Film Festival [in Switzerland] in the early ’90s and the Palm Springs International Film Festival a few times here in California. I enjoy the variety of interesting films offered through Filmworks and also Cineculture [at Fresno State].”
Joan: “In the ’80s while living in Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to see international films at the University of Pennsylvania. They had a very nice film festival. There were also a few theaters that showed international films and documentaries in Philadelphia. We’ve attended the Palm Springs festival three times and enjoy it very much, but attendance has increased and the lines to get into the theater are getting longer every year.”

How did you get involved with Filmworks?
“We began attending Cineculture on the campus of Fresno State, and I read about Filmworks in The Fresno Bee. After some time, there was a collaboration between Filmworks and Cineculture.”

Who got you to volunteer?
“G-L-O-R-I-A, Gloria! [That is, board member and volunteer coordinator Gloria Burrola.] I think we attended a number of films and we had attended the Fresno Film Festival. I got on the email list and there was a call out there for volunteers. I think the first time we volunteered was at the festival.”

What is your usual volunteer job?
“I have collected tickets and worked at the concessions table.”
Joan: Whatever is needed — ticket taking, concessions.”

What do you like most about volunteering?
“I enjoy meeting friends, students, and community members.”
Brijesh: “Meeting like-minded people and watching interesting, thought-provoking films.”

Filmworks thanks all of our August 2013 volunteers: Lorna Bonyhadi, Karin Carlson, Nené Casares, Monica Marks-Rea, Karen Mele, Luis Ojeda, Sholmo Pleban, Andre Provencio, Gene Richards, Susan Rogers, Bill Rovin, Brijesh Sharma, Joan Sharma, Richard Stone, Tracy Stuntz, Lorraine Tomerlin, Andrew Veihmeyer (intern), Suzanne Watkins.

Past volunteers of the month:
• July 2013 – Jon Veinberg
• June 2013 – Richard Stone
• May 2013 – Sarah Nixon
• April 2013 – Alyssa Rendon
• March 2013 – Nené Casares

Contact our volunteer coordinator, Gloria Burrola, to volunteer at a future screening.