COC to celebrate independent filmmaking with “Indie Saturday”

by Cougar News Contributor 907 views0

By Stephanie Corral

This Saturday, the College of the Canyons Humanities Department will host “Indie Saturday,” an all-day event dedicated to independent films in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We are very excited to share these films with the community, especially since they all have some sort of connection to the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Jennifer Brezina, division dean of Humanities at the college and the event’s coordinator. “This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the work of both rising and established local filmmakers.”

Besides the screening of films created by COC students and K-12 students, “Indie Saturday” will also screen Ramon Hamilton’s powerful film “Smuggled” and Sheila Sofian’s animated documentary “Truth Has Fallen.”
“Smuggled” tells the tale of 9-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and his mother’s journey into the U.S. as they are smuggled on a bus with the hopes for a better life. Shedding light on an experience shared by many Latino-Americans, “Smuggled” also strikes an emotional chord by beautifully capturing the relationship between mother and son on the big screen.

The low-budget film was screened at the 2012 San Francisco Film Festival and has won numerous awards including Best Dramatic Feature at the 2012 Mexico International Film Festival.

“Making ‘Smuggled’ involved a lot of love, care and passion for telling a compelling and engaging story,” said Hamilton, who wrote, shot, directed and edited the mostly-Spanish language film. “Most of the filming took place in the Santa Clarita Valley, so that makes screening at COC and for the SCV community even more special.”

Animator Sheila Sofian, former chair of the college’s animation department, will share her documentary “Truth Has Fallen,” which was made with innovative painting-on glass animation and took 10 years to make. Combining live action with animation, “Truth Has Fallen” focuses on the work of James McCloskey, founder of Centurion Ministries, an organization whose mission is to free prisoners who have been wrongfully convicted of murder.

“This film exposes the weaknesses in the justice system and advocates reforms which would reduce the rate of wrongful convictions,” said Sofian, a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient who currently teaches animation at the University of Southern California.


“Indie Saturday” screenings will be held in Hasley Hall, Room 101, on the college’s Valencia campus.


A full list of film screening times is listed below:


K-12 Films – Screening and Discussion

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

COC Student Films – Screening and Discussion

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

“Smuggled” – Screening and Discussion

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

“Truth Has Fallen” –Screening and Discussion

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information about “Indie Saturday,” please contact Jennifer Brezina at (661) 362-5919 or at


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