28 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY MARCH 7-13, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com FILM Filmmaker Jon Silver was a high schooler closely following Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution in the 1970s that overthrew the country’s dictatorship. He was familiar with musician and poet Carlos Mejia Godoy, whose work was often considered the anthem of the movement. So it came as a pleasant surprise one recent day while visiting a friend in Santa Rosa, who introduced Silver to his friend that happened to be Mejia Godoy, now living in exile in California. “To actually meet Carlos, who was about to turn 80 years old and to see that he is living in Santa Rosa, was amazing,” Silver says. “We sat there for hours as he told his stories about what happened in Nicaragua.” Silver’s filmmaker radar immediately honed in. “His stories were just so compelling,” he says. “On top of that, his charisma just brings all this energy to the room. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this would make a really great film.’” Mejia Godoy agreed. Now, Living In Exile, a short film by Silver, will be screened Friday, March 15 at 6:30pm at the Oldemeyer Center in Seaside, as part of the Watsonville Film Festival, presented in partnership with Palenke Arts. The event features a performance by Mejia Godoy and guest musicians, as well as a screening of Yo Soy La Reyna and Maura. Silver says such documentaries are an important way to keep history alive. “For those of us that have supported movements for social justice, it’s a painful look back on what have been the successes and failures, and what we can learn from that,” he says. “One of Carlos’ messages is to be honest about what the realities are, but not to give up hope for the future. Things can change vis-à-vis the actions and movements of people.” Now in its 12th year, the Watsonville Film Festival will screen more than 40 films from March 7-17 in locations around Watsonville, in addition to the Seaside event. Topics range from indigenous and immigrationrelated themes to family, racial and sexual identities told through various narrative styles. “As Latine filmmakers, we are reclaiming our stories and our culture, portraying ourselves in more authentic ways than the mainstream media has historically depicted us,” festival director and filmmaker Consuelo Alba said in a press release. Watsonville Film Festival runs March 7-17. Starts at $10; Seaside event $10-$25. watsonvillefilmfest.org. JON SILVER Revolutionary Stories Watsonville Film Festival brings films and performances to Seaside, shining a more layered lens to Latino lives. By Erik Chalhoub Nicaraguan musician Carlos Mejia Godoy is shown performing on the accordion during his 80th birthday party. The musician and poet is the subject of a documentary film to be screened in Seaside. JOIN US AT THE HARTNELL COLLEGE STEM EXPO! WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2024 1:00 5:00 PM HARTNELL COLLEGE STEM CENTER Are you ready to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence? Don't miss the Hartnell STEM Expo featuring an enlightening AI Keynote and Panel Discussion that will explore the future and impact of AI on society. MARCH 20 Visit our website for full details: www.mcstemtalentexpo.com Presented by Hosted by CAN YOU SOLVE THE MYSTERY BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT? Follow the rabbit. Rob the bank. Travel through time to save the world....and many more. A 60 minute adventure, 9 rooms to choose from each with a different theme. Great for birthdays or special events. Kid friendly. All locations surrounded by great local restaurants. 3 MONTEREY LOCATIONS 765 Wave St, Ste A2 • 599 Lighthouse Ave and Oscar’s Playground 685 Cannery Row (Third Floor) 831.241.6616 BOOK TODAY! Escaperoom831.com Oscar’s Playground Voted Monterey County’s Best New Business ’23