WHAT IS REEL VOICES?

Since 2005, Pacific Arts Movement has empowered local high school students to learn the art of documentary filmmaking. This 8-week summer class helps students become socially-conscious storytellers, learn video editing, and experience all stages of production. Students choose their own topics ranging from self love, mental health, social issues, cultural identity and more in stories that are both personal and deeply relevant to the broader San Diego community.

 

Students receive a $500 scholarship for their work, which premieres at the annual San Diego Asian Film Festival in November. After the films hosted online, and screened at festivals around the world. Previous Reel Voices students have used their works to earn additional scholarships to film school.

 

Browse all Reel Voices films & awards in the RV Archive.

SEE THE IMPACT

MENTORS

One of the benefits of the Reel Voices program is the invaluable access to mentors. Each student is paired up with an experienced filmmaker throughout the course of the program for guidance and moral support. This provides a rare opportunity for high school students to hold one-on-one conversations with industry professionals while gaining valuable insight and confidence. Thanks to technology, mentors connect with their mentees via Skype, Google Hangout, email, and sometimes in person.

ALUMNI MEMORIES

REEL VOICES CLASS OF 2022

RV22-Cesaire

Césaire José Carroll-Domínguez is a writer, actor, filmmaker, and experimental multimedia artist, based in the US/MX borderlands. His work has been featured in MCASD, MOPA The SDLFF, He is a two-time IViE award winner and has performed at Crossed Lines in London, and Museo Careo Gil in CDMX. He was trained classically as an actor and a Theater Director at the New York City charter School of the Arts and continues his directorial training in the Film Department at the San Diego School of the Creative and Performing Arts. Currently, he is a fellow at UCSD through the Jacobs community scholars program and a member of the Outside The Lens Youth Council. He is 16 years old and currently a rising Junior at the San Diego School of the Creative and Performing Arts. He is eager to work with Reel Voices to make work that challenges the boundaries between documentary and narrative filmmaking.

Césaire José Carroll-Domínguez

RV22 – CJ

Hello! My name is CJ “Coza” Mendoza (They/She) and I recently graduated from Morse Senior High School. Since middle school, I’ve shared a love and passion for Theatrical Arts as well as working in and with different environments and people. My goal is for other individuals to feel the excitement before the show begins ; the butterflies, the questions and the unknown of what lies ahead of the story. Growing up, those feelings are what kept me motivated and committed to my passion for Theater Arts and to major in so in my upcoming years of College. A fun fact : I would stay up at night writing little stories and original characters in my Notes app and listen to Imagine Dragons while doing so. I found it very comforting for me to do, but once I was able to discover that I could apply it into the world somehow, it grew my passion even more and made me come out of my shell. I am very curious to try to interpret my prior Theater experiences into Filmmaking. And forever grateful for this opportunity from Reel Voices and getting to meet people who share the same passions, I’m looking forward to extending my knowledge and hands-on experience in this program.

CJ Mendoza

RV22- Alex

Hello there! I am Daniel Alejandro Zasueta, but I go by Alex. I am 16 years old and my pronouns are he/they. I am a senior at Grossmont Middle College High School, a dual enrollment program. My love of filmmaking started when I was in middle school and joined the video production class, another was when I was making plush videos on YouTube. My love for storytelling came from my Dad who died when I was around 11. He showed me music and media that have influenced me into who I am today. Music has a narrative to it and it is shown through beats, rhythms, sounds, and lyrics that come together to create a story. I love all kinds of music but my favorite is rock, new wave, and indie rock. My current favorite bands are The Alan Parsons Project, Oingo Boingo, Norma Tanega, Steely Dan, and XTC. My Dad has also gotten me into Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Batman, video games, LEGO, Indiana Jones, Scooby-Doo, and many more. I joined Reel Voices to be with like-minded individuals and create connections with people who are passionate about filmmaking. This program allows me to gain skills, experiences, and connections with others. I am very excited to learn more about filmmaking and creating narratives through film. I love films and their ability to portray more emotion and connections with an audience. It is one of my favorite forms of storytelling. I am very thankful and happy for this opportunity and can’t wait to grow and develop my filmmaking skills!

Daniel Alejandro Zasueta

RV22 – Desta

Hi! My name is Desta Chery and I’m currently an upcoming junior at High Tech High. I enjoy music, drawing, makeup, hair, and laughing with friends! I’m one of the leaders of the Black Student Union (BSU) at my school, and I enjoy the friendships and family I’ve formed in that group. I’m excited to be part of Reel Voices this summer, and I think it’ll be fun to try and learn a new way of expressing myself and my community!

Desta Chery

RV22-Jansen

Hello! My name is Jansen Espares and I’m 17 years old. I am a rising senior at West Hills High School and I’m an avid participant in my school’s performing arts program. I’m in my school’s Orchestra, Choir, and musical theatre productions. My interests outside of class include playing guitar and sculpting when I need to fuel my creativity. My interest in film first formed from watching old Kung-fu movies which sprouted from wanting to be in front of the camera to being behind it. I’m really excited to be part of the Reel Voices Program to create my own documentary film surrounded by high school students who are passionate in film. I’m eager to learn and challenge myself in hopes for this to be the start of many films I’ll be making in the future.

Jansen Dichoson Espares

RV22 – Junobi

Hello, my name is Junobi Ree. I love mainstream movies, documentaries, indies, shorts, experimentals, animation, etc. I’ve grown up going to SDAFF, and it is a big part of my identity. I have had conversations with filmmakers like Bing Lu from Minding The Gap, Christine Choy from Who Killed Vincent Chin, and Bao Nyugen from Be Water. The importance of films and filmmaking is to educate and tell stories that you don’t get to hear. I come from Oakland, and I have multiple chosen families. Something that is important to me is creating the world that I want to live in through relationships. I have done musical theater starting from my kindergarten performance of Javert in Les Miserables, Peter Pan in Peter and Wendy, and most recently ensemble in Chicago. I’m interested in analyzing film, television and theater as well as participating in it. I co-created a BBC documentary about Asian-American Identity. I play soccer and basketball. I am a runner, I am on the swim team, and I surf.

Junobi Ree

RV22 – Khang

Hi! My name is Khang and I’m a 15-year-old rising junior at Eastlake High School. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved writing with a passion that could explode a thousand planets. As I continue to engage with new experiences, my enthusiasm for writing has bared to a simple love for thinking and feeling and for telling stories. Whether it be music, skits, poems, or videos, I’m always excited to express myself through any medium that I know. At school, I am involved in the Junior Optimists, Books Beyond Borders, and SWE-Next clubs, and in my free time, I enjoy brainstorming stories, playing the piano, desperately wishing for magical powers, and watching ads to get free rewards in games. Reel Voices is such an amazing opportunity to expand my creative toolbox, meet new people, and become more involved in the San Diego community. I’m literally so excited that I want to jump on and off my couch 100 times!

Khang Ninh Nguyen

RV22 – Kyle

Hey there! My name is Kyle Tianshi, and I'm a rising junior at the Cambridge School. In class, I particularly enjoy studying Greco-Roman thinkers like Aristotle and Cicero, while my spare time is spent conducting environmental research and advocacy for plastic contamination. My hobbies include playing and composing classical music, publishing science fiction novels on Amazon, and studying new languages. Over the pandemic, I've had the time to explore and appreciate the world of good cinema and brilliant directors, from the likes of classic Martin Scorcese in The Departed to the absurdity of the Daniels in Everything Everywhere All At Once. I'm looking forward to using Reel Voices as an outlet that combines my love for movies, screenplay writing, soundtrack composition, and my Asian American heritage to create my own documentary.

Kyle Tianshi

RV22 – Lily final

Hi!! I’m Lily Tran, and I’m a rising senior at High Tech High Media Arts. In my free time, you will catch me spending time with family and friends, filming, video editing, listening to music, or going to a concert. I love documenting my experiences. Not only do I get to relive those moments, but it brings me joy to share those memories with others! Some of those moments have been my first trip to New York, San Francisco, a BTS concert in Vegas with my best friend, and a week of volunteer work with my friends! I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in this year’s Reel Voices summer program. I’m so excited to learn more about the ways of filmmaking, as I want to take this hobby of mine and turn it into a future for myself!! 😀

Lily Tran

RV22 – Solia

I am going into junior year of highschool and I like being around people. I love Pho and milk tea (but with mini taro balls). I really like playing and watching soccer. I really like San Diego.

Solia Yali Reyes

RV22 – Sophia

Hi! My name is Sophia Hernandez and I am going into my senior year at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. At SDSCPA I am a cinematic arts major, and am very involved in our school's film program. I am also secretary and upcoming Vice President of our school's M.E.Ch.A club, where I perform with my club's Baile Folklorico group. Ever since I entered SDSCPA, I’ve developed a passion for film and every process that comes with it. I can’t wait to continue to grow in my art with Reel Voices this summer!

Sophia Hernandez

RV22 – Sophie

Hiya! My name is Sophie Zeng, and I’m a rising freshman at The Bishop’s School. I’m part of my school’s theatre tech backstage team, and I’m that one stage hand that shoots you death glares when you play in the curtains. (The audience CAN and DO see you.) When I’m not building sets or helping out with any shows, I enjoy singing, listening to music, playing tennis, and feeding my Genshin Impact addiction. I also love binging films while doing homework and dying my hair excessively. I’m excited to go beyond editing three minute school projects in iMovie, and I hope to discover more about my filmmaking potential while also showing people the world as it is, as it was, and as it can be.

Sophie Zeng

REEL VOICES TEAM

FrankRV19

Frank Howley is a video producer who graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Film Studies. He’s written, directed, edited and acted in hundreds of internet shorts including viral videos for Nintendo, sketch comedy for Mega64, and music videos for Math The Band. Frank has been working with Pacific Arts Movement since 2015, providing video coverage for San Diego Asian Film Festival and teaching the Reel Voices @ Monarch program with Rizzhel Javier. Frank is deeply passionate about video games and online communities, also working for the documentary YouTube channel Noclip and leading the Big Dogs Gaming network on Twitch.

Frank Howley

Reel Voices Coordinator
RV_Moriah

Moriah Hayes is a filmmaker who graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a double minor in Ethnic Studies and Native American & Indigenous Studies. Their interest in film originated from a video production class they took their freshman year of high school and has blossomed into their career today. She has a strong passion for discovering and amplifying truths that have been historically undermined, underrepresented, and pushed aside through the cinematic medium. Moriah has worked on a variety of short narrative and documentary films, a documentary feature: California to Ghana (2018), and is currently finishing up her newest documentary feature: Dear Alaska,. They also co-founded their own production company, Shark House Cinema LLC, named in honor of Moriah’s family: the Tlingit Wooshkeetaan A’akw Kwáan of the Auke Bay region in Southeast Alaska. Her family is Eagle Wolf moiety of Tóos’ Hít, Shark House. With a wide variety of film projects, it’s Moriah’s lifelong goal to create a strong enough ripple in the film industry to inspire, encourage, and amplify the many stories that are longing to be told.

Moriah Hayes

Reel Voices Instructor

DONORS & SPONSORS

Reel Voices is supported through generous grants from:

Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation

The Conrad Prebys Foundation

Pratt Memorial Fund