The PBS Online Film Festival is running now through next Friday, July 26th, an annual event that showcases short films from across the web that express a broad range of American narratives and perspectives. Latino Public Broadcasting has partnered with filmmaker and self-described “two spirit Xicana lesbiana artista” Adelina Anthony, for her short film Ode to Pablo. Anthony wore many hats for Ode to Pablo, working on the 12-minute film as a director, writer, and producer.
“This is our third collaboration with Adelina,” said Sandie Viquez Pedlow, Executive Director of LPB, in a statement. “[Her] films are truly original, with a sly, offbeat storytelling style, and they offer a fresh look at people rarely seen on screen.”
Pablo, the protagonist of the film, is a young, queer, and deaf Afro-Latino, an embodiment of intersectional identity and marginalization. In a chance encounter, a small group of boys invite him to join a game of pickup at a public basketball court. After shooting hoops for a bit, he and one of the boys end up making a connection, finding common grown in their disparate experiences. Ode to Pablo is one of 25 films that are part of the festival.
A panel of eight jury members, representing a range of experiences and perspectives, will decide which film receives the Juried Prize at the end of the festival. Viewers can also cast their votes for a film once every 24 hours. Those votes will be tallied to determine who wins the honor of People’s Choice Award. Anthony worked as the executive producer for the People’s Choice Award winner Gold Star, a short film from 2016 that explores homophobia and rejection.
Anthony has consistently been producing work that evokes overlooked and undervalued narratives, something that hasn’t always lent itself to production. That’s part of the reason why she co-founded AdeRisa Productions. She emphasized in an interview with PBS that in the absence of unlimited or at least ideal funding for projects, filmmakers can still achieve their goals if they build a team of colleagues that they trust. She also reassured young filmmakers that good stories are always worth making because they will eventually be heard. “I would tell my younger self to keep studying the craft of film, especially screenwriting, because one day the film industry was going to catch up to the complexity of our experiences. It was going to be hungry for our stories.”