5Q's w/James Theres "The Hello Girls" Director

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FRIDAY BLOCK C | 1:00 pm

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters?

All history starts somewhere. For women in the US Army it starts with the Hello Girls.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

As a direct result of the film, two US Senators introduced "The Hello Girls Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2018," Senate bill S.3136, for the women to receive, posthumously, the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian award. The bill was passed, but I'm working with the World War I Centennial Commission to re-introduce the legislation again in 2019.

Also 35 of the 223 women who served overseas during WWI as telephone operators were from California.

#3: What is your movie making background? Tell us about yourself.

No formal training. Came to film making as a result of a graduate paper I wrote at Jackson State University about an African American Memorial Day tradition that dates back to 1866. In 2016, I decided to film the 150th anniversary of the event. I was just going to turn in the raw footage. Decided to make it into a short documentary. I screened it at Borrego Springs in 2017, one of the first film festivals I entered. Had a great time visiting. The film, The 30th of May, had some success and I liked telling the history of people whose stories are stuck in the nooks and crannies of history. So I'm back at Borrego Springs with The Hello Girls and I'm now in production of my third documentary entitled, "The SixTripleEight" about the only all black female battalion to serve in Europe during WWII. Honored to be an alum and be selected to screen at BSFF again.

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

Biggest lesson learned is making sure the technical side of the film is better managed to meet industry standards.

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#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

Happy to share that a 24-minute version of the Hello Girls will appear nationwide on PBS on December 22. Hopefully, the Hello Girls will be selected for some more film festivals in 2019 to include some international venues. In 2019, I hope to complete two more documentaries, The SixTripleEight, and The Autumn Man.

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