By Guest Blogger April Marcom. April works as a substitute teacher of all grades in her local schools, but her true passion is writing, especially young adult fiction. When she’s not teaching or writing, she’s enjoying the country life with her family and many, many animals.
Healing Voices has reason to celebrate! Their short documentary, “Peggy’s Story”, was featured in The Phoenix Film Festival in April among only six others in this category, a great honor for all who were involved.
But before the festival, there was the submission process. JoAnne Tucker, President of Healing Voices, was guided by filmmaker, David Lindblom, in navigating www.withoutabox.com. Here, they found numerous film festivals and had to consider things like which one:
o was in driving distance of their home base in Santa Fe
o had a category for short documentaries
o seemed interested in community and community concerns
After months of waiting, following the film’s submission to just the right festival, imagine the joy and relief of those at Healing Voices when they heard that it had been accepted.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch this film (viewable at http://hv-ps.org/Peggy.html), “Peggy’s Story” is the account one woman gives of the decade and a half she spent in an abusive marriage and the escape she and her son eventually made. Created to help fulfill the mission of Healing Voices, which is to raise public awareness of women striving to overcome abuse through the creation and distribution of film and video, this emotional and beautifully made film also gives some insight to those of us who have never been through what she has.
Everyone from Healing Voices who was involved in the Phoenix Film Festival had a wonderful time and received a great deal of positive feedback during the Questions and Answers period following each of the two showings, and then afterwards when people stopped them to let them know how meaningful they found the work of this organization. Peggy was unable to make it to the festival, so Christy O’Neil from the Esperanza Shelter in Santa Fe was able to join Healing Voices and handle any questions relating to Peggy during the Q and A.
As you can imagine, along with “Peggy’s Story”, the festival was filled with creativity and talent. A couple of films that stuck out to JoAnne and Lynette were:
o “Misa’s Fugue”, a documentary about the holocaust which was created by a professional film crew and high school students
o “Ninah’s Dowry”, which dealt with domestic violence in Africa
In addition, I would like to share a couple of responses given to the questions I asked JoAnne and Lynette Montoya, Vice President of Healing Voices, in an interview regarding The Phoenix Film Festival:
Interviewer: What was your favorite part of the festival?
JoAnne: First of all, I don’t think I had any idea when we applied of how big the festival was. There were six or seven theaters playing programs in each time slot. The sponsors of the festival were STARZ and COX, and it was very well organized.
In the short documentary program there were only seven films and I was very proud that “Peggy’s Story” was a part of this program. So I guess you could say my favorite part was simply being a part of such an excellent festival.
Lynette: My favorite part of the festival was everything. As filmmakers we were given the VIP treatment. That certainly made our volunteer work seem valued. We saw 5-6 films a day. I have never had that experience previously. I was fortunate to watch some amazing films, including other short films done by high school students. It was great to see the passion and the diversity in all the films that were shown.
Interviewer: Did you have any experiences while attending the festival you’d like to share?
JoAnne: This was the first film festival that Healing Voices has been in and that I have attended and it was indeed an honor to be there. Filmmakers were treated with much respect and it was a great learning experience. And it was fun going from one film program to another, socializing, and meeting other filmmakers. It also felt very satisfying and good to be fulfilling our mission of increasing awareness related to domestic violence.
Lynette: I was fortunate to meet other filmmakers, producers, and cast members, and we were able to speak with them and ask them questions 1 on 1 and in groups. We left the event filled with knowledge and pride in our 8 minute film.
Through the involvement of Healing Voices in this festival, many were touched by Peggy’s story and by her selflessness in sharing it with the world.