SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Benito Bautista is an award-winning producer, writer, and director, and he also serves as a mentor for your aspiring Filipino artists.
Bautista has worked in the film industry for decades, partnering with other renowned filmmakers across the globe, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to the efforts it takes to be recognized in the American cinema world, one where Filipinos are typically the minority.
"It's not easy to be a filmmaker of people of color especially because you don't have a lot of inspiration," Bautista said.
He works with the youth and other Filipino-American filmmakers through his nonprofit, San Diego Filipino Cinema. He co-created the organization after recognizing the city with one of the largest Filipino populations didn't have a wide range of resources for Filipino filmmakers.
"When a younger generation Filipino-American creative has no idea what they're trying to do, they see the filmmakers in front of them and get inspired," Bautista described.
He also knows first-hand it can be difficult to find support within your family when your passion lies in cinema.
"They don't look at arts as something sustainable and lucrative,” he said.
San Diego Filipino Cinema holds workshops and film premiere table talks, and just last year, they launched their First Annual San Diego Filipino Film Festival with over 40 films.
Their second film festival takes place in the fall, with a few additions including live music with DJs, something Bautista said will hopefully entice and excite the youth.
Bautista said, "We're trying to make sure we don't disconnect our younger generations and lose that pride and heritage, and culture."