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Student’s film about undocumented workers screens at festival
Senior Staff Writer
The Thin Line Film Festival featured the short documentary film “Undocumented Dreams,” directed by UNT radio, television and film master’s student Sara Masetti. The film was also featured at a number of film festivals around the country and is playing at New Filmmakers New York Fest on March 15.
“Undocumented Dreams” captures a glimpse of the DREAM Act movement through the struggle of a college graduate in Austin, Texas fighting for the right to work after getting his degree.
The subject, Loren Campos, is among many undocumented immigrants who illegally came to the United States when they were children by no fault of their own.
Now they are Americanized but without their citizenship and with fear of deportation, Masetti said.
Masetti is an Italian immigrant and immediately knew she found the subject of her documentary when she came across an article that mentioned Campos and his participation in the DREAM Act movement, a proposed bill that would give undocumented students a path to citizenship by going to college or enlisting in the military.
“I identified with Loren’s journey because although I didn’t have to deal with all the issues that he had to face, I still sympathize with belonging to two places and having to choose one of them,” Masetti said.
While Campos is a supporter of the DREAM Act that failed to pass in December 2010, he was hesitant to take part in the film.
“There can be a lot of risks that come with being portrayed in film and he did not know me so we had to establish that trust,” Masetti said. “If their purposes for their work, and your intentions for making the film overlap, then that always helps in speeding up the trust building process.”
One of the most revealing parts of the film is when Campos, who has a civil engineering degree from the University of Texas, is making ends meet selling makeup and perfumes outside of a grocery store.
“It just seems a lot more personal when you’re watching this guy selling makeup when he has an engineering degree because he can’t actually use his degree,” said Bobby Lewis, the film’s editor and UNT graduate.
The film shows Campos’ involvement as a civil rights organizer with the University Leadership, an organization that works with young immigrants who wish to attend college and become citizens.
Masetti collaborated with three other RTVF students to complete the film while they were graduate school classmates. They began preparing last spring, filming in fall and editing in spring 2012.
“I think its great that it’s playing here in Texas because it’s such a big issue here,” sound recorder Andrew Nelson said.