I was about to finish my first year of college and managed to keep my seasonal job. Summer was around the corner and I wondered how I should spend my Summer.

Another life-altering moment that Ani was involved in was deciding what I plan to do during the Summer of 2011. She had spent the previous Summer at a two-month film school called inner-city filmmakers. She would talk about this place so often and how it changed her life. She kept persisting that Marlon and I apply for their summer program. It was $20,000 two-month program and I didn’t have that kind of money. Still, she said just apply and maybe I can get a scholarship. Most of the students usually get some kind of scholarship to go to the school. Marlon and I applied along with our friend Hector. The application took a while because it required a short film and just a bunch of questions that I had to answer. I think I still have that short film somewhere. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get in. So when I got an interview for the program I was very surprised. I asked my dad to drive me down to Santa Monica because that’s where the interview was being held. He kept questioning what this was and why I was doing it. To be honest, I didn’t know what to tell him because I wasn’t sure myself. My parents dropped me off in front of the Lantana building in Santa Monica. I walked into the building and there were a bunch of cameras set up. I was told that my interview would be filmed. I met the founders of the program, which was Fred and Stephanya. Stephanya asked me about my background and where I was from and all that jazz and to be honest, I don’t completely remember the questions. It was one of the first real interviews I’ve ever done in my life. Steph was just something else. She was feisty, aggressive, and literally had no filter. She was mean and straightforward and most importantly, she was frightening.

Apparently, this program had dropped by my high school. I left the interview feeling overwhelmed and startled by the whole experience. I didn’t worry about it. I wasn’t going to get the scholarship and they probably won’t choose me.

I was sitting at home on a Saturday. A huge envelope showed up in the mail for me.

I opened it. It was a letter informing me that I was accepted to Inner City Filmmakers and I received a full ride. Nothing out of my pocket.



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