As a fan or Carlos Lopez Estrada’s filmmaking, it goes without saying that I couldn’t wait to check out this latest project from this innovative, indie filmmaker – ‘Summertime.’ Inspired after attending a spoken-word workshop featuring 20-plus high school performers from the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Get Lit, these young poets are allowed to express themselves, their relationship to the City of Angels in an authentic, beyond creative manner onscreen.
This project serves as a love letter to Los Angeles by paying homage to many popular Instagram spots, restaurants and murals, but specifically pops a spotlight on the ridiculous things about living in L.A. like having “a street lined in stars with people’s names,” young couples therapy, a piece of toast with veggies that cost $15 and the shallowness of men when it comes to contemplating a mate or date. All of these artists and their pieces are powerful and poignant, but the ones who hit the hardest are ‘Shallow’ from Marquesha Babers where she walks up to a dude’s house who broke her heart and shares “…it’s pouring and storming and you ran off with my umbrella…I like to go deep see diving and you’re just a little too shallow” or the origins of red lipstick as expressed and shared through the prolific poetic stylings of Paolina Acuña-González and the heartbreaking, soul stirring words from Tyris Winter painfully sharing what “home” is to someone who’s homeless due to embracing this authentic self makes anyone and everyone realize you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
With a musical backdrop provided John W. Snyder and insanely gorgeous choreography from Andrew Winghart, these poets represent a sparkling generation of spoken word artists taking the genre to a whole new level continuing to inspire hundreds of generations to come. Produced by Kelly Marie Tran, ‘Summertime’ reunites her and Estrada since collaborating on Disney’s ‘Raya and the Last Dragon.’ You will laugh, cry and become completely enthralled and inspired by what is sure to become our next crop of emerging prolific future filmmakers.