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.
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.
“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] 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.”