Project VoiceScape: Meet Filmmaker Angel Gatus

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View the full Project VoiceScape documentary short films and vote your favorite until Sept. 30, 2011!

Project VoiceScape is a partnership with Adobe Youth Voices, PBS and POV to mentor today’s best young documentary filmmakers. Keep up with news from the filmmakers and their mentors on the Project VoiceScape blog.

Project VoiceScape filmmaker Angel Gatus dedicated her documentary Musical Warrior to the story of her brother Austin’s fight against leukemia. Watch a sneak-preview clip.

When Angel Gatus was in 7th grade, her little brother Austin was diagnosed with leukemia. He was only 9 years old at the time. This was the beginning of a long and difficult journey for Angel’s entire family, but it has been a journey from which Angel and her brother have each found ways to make a difference.

Angel Gatus - Project VoiceScape

Project VoiceScape filmmaker
Angel Gatus

“My brother’s motto is, ‘Do something nice for someone each day,’” says Angel.

“He was the inspiration for making my film. I thought, why not take it to the next level?”

Angel dedicated her Project VoiceScape documentary, Musical Warrior, to the story of Austin’s fight against leukemia and hopes the film will inspire others. But making a documentary about such a personal subject had its share of challenges.

“At first, it was hard to re-open some of the very difficult moments,” says Angel of her filmmaking experience. “Childhood cancer is a difficult topic to discuss because it’s hard to see an innocent child suffer and fight a life threatening illness.”

But as she walked through the memories, Angel learned to focus on what an “amazing person” Austin has become, and has turned his struggle into motivation to excel in her own life.

Sharese Bullock (Off and Running)

Angel’s mentor is
Sharese Bullock
(Off and Running)

Angel also found a great deal of support and inspiration from her filmmaking mentor, Sharese Bullock (a recent Emmy nominee for Off and Running).

“[Sharese] has given me a lot of confidence… and has been a positive role model during this process as well,” says Angel of her mentor. “She has given me great tips… and inspired me to think of bigger ideas.”

So far, the two have collaborated on the film by video chat. “I hope we meet each other soon,” says Angel. “I look forward to that.”

Follow the progress of all the Project VoiceScape filmmakers and their award-winning documentary mentors, along with videos and more behind the scenes coverage, at the Project VoiceScape blog.

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.