Life Issues

Viernes Video: Spanish Harlem setting for film short exploring challenges of young visually impaired aspiring photographer

Viernes Video: Spanish Harlem setting for film short exploring challenges of young visually impaired aspiring photographer

LatinaLista — For Sonia Malfa, a self-taught filmmaker in New York City, inspiration for her latest film project, Close Your Eyes, opened her own eyes to a world she willingly admits ignorance of — the visually impaired.

The short, one of 60 entries selected out of over 2,000 submissions at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, is about a 13-year-old girl named Imani Cortes.

Imani is a gifted photographer and a teenage girl daydreaming of her first kiss. She develops a crush on Junito, a guy who shares her passion for creating art and it's not long before they discover they have a natural connection. But Imani is challenged by something that most people, not even Junito, can see — she's losing her sight to a genetic eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.

The outcome for her sight is inevitable but Imani must decide if that same fate applies to her relationship with Junito and her love of photography.

The short is a prelude to a longer feature that Malfa hopes to make and is a result of her volunteer with the American Foundation for the Blind where she and the film's cinematographer volunteered to teach a summer video production workshop to a group of visually impaired teenage students.

It was during her volunteer work that she saw the work of several visually impaired photographers. Their work, outlook on life and talent inspired Malfa to create the film. In addition, the film is set in Spanish Harlem which serves as a dynamic complement to the story.

With her intent to cast a visually impaired actress as the lead, the cast is a mix of professionals and newcomers whose authenticity not only brings Malfa's story to life but highlights the common misperceptions and bias that exist about the visually impaired.

Close Your Eyes Trailer from Sonia Malfa on Vimeo.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Life Issues

More in Life Issues

A guard tower is shown at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California October 1, 2013. The prison contains areas known as Security Housing Units (SHU) that house some of the most dangerous criminals in the state. Picture taken October 1, 2013.    REUTERS/Robert Galbraith  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY) - RTR3FKA6

Call to reform juvenile and criminal justice system rings louder

Latina ListaJuly 14, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 4.39.01 PM

New report reveals more girls of color in juvenile justice system victims of sexual abuse

Latina ListaJuly 9, 2015
unbound-zion-canyons_26952_600x450

National Parks offer 12 fun ways to beat summer heat & remind visitors to not forget those selfies

Latina ListaJuly 2, 2015
04+Flooding_Country_View

Real suffering happening because of climate change. Finally, more people speaking up, but más needed

Latina ListaJune 17, 2015
2_136_3b015eaf-218f-4620-8ff2-d974fc071775

Texas Dreamers celebrate in-state tuition preservation

Latina ListaJune 3, 2015
160042-164442

Organizations band together to set the record straight on eating disorders

Latina ListaMay 19, 2015
mexico-violence1

Coming of age in Mexico Narco

Latina ListaApril 7, 2015
optimized-220px-hilda_solis_crop

Webinar series strives to show Latinas how to “step into their political power”

Latina ListaApril 1, 2015
baby_vaccination

Pediatrician helps Latino parents understand importance of vaccines

Latina ListaMarch 19, 2015