New Expression Denver is working on its first ever Film Festival. The youth are loving it as they learn by doing from concepting to storyboarding to directing and shooting to editing. The person behind it all? Meet Joseph East.
I always loved movies, and from an early age wanted to tell stories.
In middle and high school I found an outlet for telling stories in theater, performing in musicals like Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof and Into the Woods.
As a kid, I wanted to make my own movies, but only got so far because of limited resources. As I got older, I began to learn the impact movies could have on people–their ability to touch hearts, spark conversations and ignite change.
At first I thought I wanted to make big Hollywood movies like the ones I loved growing up, so I enrolled at the Colorado Film School. But while at school I discovered documentaries– stories about the struggles, joys and journeys of real people. Documentaries introduced me to a whole new world, and I decided to pursue this new world wholeheartedly.
I Will Dance
That led to Selma, AL and the story of RATCo (now New Expression). For three years on a journey that took me from Selma to New York City, I shot and edited a feature-length documentary that became I Will Dance, a story about a group of young people breaking cycles and defying statistics through music, dance and spoken word poetry. The documentary has toured festivals and broadcast on PBS in Colorado.
In many ways, Selma changed my life. There I met my wife, Alicia (also a writer and producer for I Will Dance).
New Expression Film Festival
When I was ten or eleven years old, I would have done anything for not only the resources to make a movie, but for support from mentors rooting for me to succeed and reach my potential. That’s what the youth are getting through the New Expression Film Festival.
We decided to create a youth film festival to give the youth in the community an opportunity to get creative, have tons of fun and learn the ins-and-outs of how movies are made. They have incredible things to say and deserve an outlet to create their own stories, the support to work through any difficulty, and a community share them for everyone to enjoy!