Meet the Filmmaker: Jose Chalit, “Steve & Robert”

Steve & Roberthttps://vimeo.com/jemiliochalit

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JC: The process of making movies, watching them, and sharing them with the world is an invaluable experience to me. When I was young and started making short vlogs with my webcam, I felt like I held a different kind of power to tell stories and communicate feelings that maybe I’m not as good at with words. From then on, I’ve always sought ways to replicate the methods and styles of some of my favorite filmmakers to share my ideas and feelings about the world through motion pictures.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JC: Steve & Robert was my final senior film for my B.A. in Film Studies I received this past May. It’s the culmination of months of research and discernment I did with classmates, theologians, and activists in response to the heightened awareness we are gaining as a society about gendered violence and inequality from people like Trump or Harvey Weinstein. This is the first public screening of the film, and I hope to share it at various documentary/social justice film fests around the country in the coming months – anticipating responses from small and big fests like SIFF, Durango Film Fest, among others.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
JC: I’m very openly biased towards documentaries as one of the best art mediums there is, so I’d say it’s important for filmmakers and non-filmmakers alike to attend independently run festivals like Mile Hi Mocs & Docs. Of course it’s easier for anyone to find a blockbuster film at chain cinemas to watch, but that only gives viewers such a limited perspective on what a few film industry virtuosos think is valuable and good – independent film, art, news, etc. is where it’s at.

Q: What else are you working on?
JC: Currently I am finishing a series of short videos that follow up my previous film called “La Fuerza Interna” about an independent farmworker union in northern Washington who won their union contract after several long years of fighting for their rights. #boycottdriscolls!

Of course I’ve also been doing wedding videos here and there for friends, I might even do a commercial for my partner’s dad’s dentistry office!

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JC: My last movie was actually a huge failure at first – I didn’t turn it into my professor on time, and my crew was really upset. I thought I’d never make a film again. I was fortunate enough, however, to get a pretty good run of the film at several festivals around the nation and some cool press from subsidiaries of PBS and Participant Media. Luckily, I’d say that professor and I ended up being pretty good friends and continue to collaborate on projects to this day.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JC: Either Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/jemiliochalit) or my WordPress (https://jemiliochalit.wordpress.com)

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Mile Hi Mocs & Docs and The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JC: Since I moved back to Denver from Seattle in June, I’ve been eager to get involved with our local filmmaking community and I am ecstatic to be working with y’all. Special shoutout and thanks to my friend Olivia Abtahi who encouraged me to submit here and has been involved with the EFP before.

Steve & Robert will screen December 3rd at 6:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.