Open Projector Night Spotlight- Jose Jimenez (OPN People's Choice Award)

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Jose Jimenez short film Dreamer is the most recent Open Projector Night Peoples' Choice Award Winner. We sat down with the filmmaker to learn more about his work, inspiration, and future projects

Give us a short bio.

I am a Latino filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles. I attended California State University, Northridge where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema and Television Arts. I’ve produced, wrote, filmed, and edited a sports documentary series for Fox Deportes, an original series for PBS as well as short-form content for the digital startup Super Deluxe. In 2017, my wife and I decided to take on a new adventure and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tell us your favorite film!

Cinema Paradiso.  The setting, music, and cinematography are just magical. I watch this film whenever I’m feeling a little down--it always makes me happy.   My second favorite film is La Bamba.  As a kid, I would watch it over and over--I wanted to be Richie Valens.  

Where do you draw inspiration?

Family inspires me. My mom and dad moved to this country when they were 17 years old and did very well.  I owe everything to them.   

Jorge Ramos, the award-winning journalist, has also been an enormous influence. I try to emulate his courage and tenacity.  I would love to work with him one day.

Finally, I’m inspired by those who don’t have a voice in our world.  There are a lot of people who are not being heard and who are being silenced.  I want to tell their stories.