Rich Narratives

Process

Claire Mills

Our film developed organically throughout our brainstorming process. We were juggling a couple ideas that consisted of the story the fire station has near Nuvu and a story that would provide the audience with what the restaurant scene is like in Central Square. We began by contacting both the fire station and the restaurants. We wanted to have as much contacts as possible in the beginning. After a few days without hearing back from the fire station, we decided to pursue the restaurant scene in Central Square.

We researched different culturally diverse restaurants within the area and right then started making calls. We hit the jackpot on the first place we talked to and met with. The first restaurant we went to was a Tibetan restaurant called Rangzen. We had only a few questions prepared when we interviewed the owner Dhiki Palmo Cheshatsang. But our questions striked extremely important conversation.

Dhiki told us that she was born in Tibet and was a refugee and fled to India. In India, her parents owned a restaurant and that is how she was inspired to own a restaurant here in America. When we asked her what the Tibetan community was like here in Boston, we were overwhelmed with how diverse and populated the Tibetan community in Cambridge really is. We were joyfully flooded with information we did not expect to receive. Dhiki provided us with many contacts to talk to.  After this incredible interview, we officially decided to only focus on Rangzen and the Tibetan community for our film.

We contacted the president of the T.A.B. (Tibetan Association of Boston) and Pema from Wisdom Publications, a book publishing company that featured Buddhist and Tibetan literature. We unfortunately could not get an interview with the president of T.A.B. but he arranged for us to meet with someone else that was affiliated with the organization. Both of these contacts were a huge help and actually led us to a place where we could get even more information. Every Wednesday from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., T.A.B. hosts a vigil in Harvard Square. This event was a perfect place to provide us with a lot of footage and extra interviews that we were in need of.

After collecting all of our footage, we spent a couple days editing our films. This consisted of adding in music, broll, and other components to make our film compelling. Overall, we are extremely proud of what we have done and are honored to be able to represent the growth of the Tibetan community in Boston.

Process

Sam Daitzman

Our documentary seeks to answer three questions: how local security has changed over time, what the current trend is (increase or reduction in security) and how this actually affects people.

We began by trying to gauge how people felt walking around in Boston. Since we wanted to figure out how things had changed since the Marathon Bombings in particular, we asked if people felt safe before the bombings and how they felt now. The overwhelming response was that members of the public still felt safe, even on public transit or major events. We used public transit ourselves to get to South Station, a major commuting hub for Boston. We recorded B-roll (location footage to make cuts less jarring) and interviews with a Canon DSLR camera and handmade shoulder mount.

Next, we decided to look for people with stronger opinions on both sides. First, we arranged for an interview with Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts. The Americal Civil Liberties Union is strongly opposed to excessive surveillance and the militarization of local police. 

Final

Micaela Furman

The Tibetan community in Boston has steadily grown since the Tibetan Resettlement Project was launched in 1986. This film shows the struggle of Tibetans, through the eyes of Dhiki Palmo Cheshatsang, owner of Rangzen Tibetan Place, and others, as they fight for the survival of their culture, language, and community.

In this studio we made a documentary about the growing Tibetan community in Boston. When meeting with Rangzen Tibetan Place owner, Dhiki Palmo Chestatsang, about the history of her restaurant in Central Square, we learned about this fast growing community in our city that we had never known about prior to this project. After learning about this amazing community we became completely enveloped in this concept and had to report what we were learning through this documentary.

Through this project we learned extensively about the political conflicts the Tibetan government has had with the Chinese government, the Tibetan Resettlement Project, and how all of these have affected various people in the Boston community. Many of the people we interviewed for this project, including Dhiki, were Tibetan refugees living in India before they came to the United States. This caused them to always feel like outsiders in their own countries. The heart of this entire issue lies within the fact that most people aren't aware that there is even a conflict in Tibet, causing all of Tibetan culture to disintegrate.

The Tibetan Resettlement Project, which brought hundreds of Tibetan families to the United States, has been the closest to a solution to this issue that we've seen thus far. With these families living in a free country, they now have freedoms that they didn't have in Tibet, but are still prone to losing their native culture. The Tibetan Association of Boston gathers every Wednesday evening in Harvard Square from 6:00-8:00 PM. They rally to sing traditional chants, wave flags, and peacefully allow people to see a little bit of Tibetan culture and what that means to them. This documentary exhibits how prominent the Tibetan community has become in Boston and what the members of this community are doing to ensure that the world knows that Tibet exists.

Security in Boston

Saba Ghole

Since the events of September 11, 2001, surveillance in the U.S. has increased dramatically, with the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 only upping security concerns in the city. This film explores the new surveillance regime that faces Bostonians, as well as Americans as a whole, and asks the question: what privacy rights is the citizen willing to forgo in exchange for the promise of increased security?

South Station Blues

Saba Ghole

Andy Prete has been playing music in Boston T stations for the past decade, and says that it’s the love of his craft and the joy that it brings to those around him that keeps him going. This film follows Prete through his journey, exploring what it is like to be a street musician in Boston, how the scene has changed, the hardships of being a street performer, and how music has changed him.

Even Though I Got Nothing, I Got Myself

Saba Ghole

Felito Diaz Sanchez has been on the streets of Cambridge and addicted to drugs for 15 years. Meanwhile Cambridge’s homeless population grew by 16 percent last year. This film explores the work being done to combat the homeless crisis in Cambridge while describing Sanchez’s struggle for sobriety.