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.
Emileigh Potter, of San Antonio, Texas, made her first documentary while enrolled in a nonprofit arts program, and that experience got her hooked on filmmaking.
The 17-year-old now hopes to attend a filmmaking program in college with an eye towards earning a masters in communications so she can become a professional documentarian and convey personal stories that can influence public thought on contemporary issues.
Her Project VoiceScape film is a perfect example of everything she wants to achieve.
The DREAMer tells the story of a Benny Veliz, an outstanding student and “overachiever.” Though Benny is a hard working and talented young woman, she’s ineligible for legal residency in the United States. Benny is an undocumented immigrant who was brought over the border by her parents when she was young.
“I want people to know that she is an asset to this country,” says Emileigh about Benny. “I hope the audience will take [away] that not all illegal immigrants are ‘criminals.’ They want to live the American Dream. They want to get the best education that they deserve.”
Emileigh’s applied to Project VoiceScape with the encouragement of her filmmaking teacher, who wanted her to experience the grant-writing process, as well as the highs and lows of acceptance or rejection that are common for working filmmakers.
“I have learned so much not only from my film instructors and mentors on how to make this project, but I’ve learned from myself.”
Emileigh says she’s learned how to budget a film, budget her time and feel confident in her storytelling.
“[Jeremy] has helped me with gaining confidence before an interview and with making my documentary more alive. He truly believes in me, and that is better then any advice.”