For almost two hours, the energy in the small theater in 3 Below was ecstatic as members of CAA, the students, and filmmakers around the community and beyond joined together to celebrate the talents and amazing stories told about or performed by adults and children with differing abilities. And even after everyone had left the theater to converse in the theater’s small café afterwards for a Meet and Greet, connections and bonds were still being forged by all those involved.
As a Director of the TV and Film Department at The College of Adaptive Arts, I oversee a few projects, both on campus and out in the community, that help CAA and its student body become more prominent in the community. And none is more exciting, more rewarding, than the film fest we hold every year. It does take a lot of work from a whole ensemble of talented staff members as well as some from those owning the venue we hold the event at. But the success of this event is always worth it; seeing our students interacting with professional filmmakers and other members of San Jose (and beyond) and being on equal terms with them both socially and professionally is a truly humbling experience.
Moments like this are what make my time here at CAA worth it. And I know I am not the only one who believes this. These moments also help one realize how blessed we are to work in this environment and move mountains. The students have an energy about them that is infectious in the best of ways, and I am always happy to share that feeling with others. The College of Adaptive Arts has helped grow and cultivate professional and admirable adults in not just the students, but myself as well. Even after two full years (and a few more as an intern/volunteer beforehand), they teach and support me as much as I teach and support them. CAA is a safe, neutral harbor for everyone to be equals working together for a common, unifying goal. If anyone ever doubts their ability to understand, let alone make, anything their mind wishes to share or create, they should remember one vital lesson: If our students can create films or do anything that can be shared and enjoyed by others, everyone can do it too. We can all move mountains.