'Trust' opens Guelcher Film Series

Pac.mercyhurst.edu photoPac.mercyhurst.edu photo“Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives,” is the first film to be shown in the Guelcher Film Series and the first film to be in the On Screen/In Person program.

The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) was chosen out of 250 applicants to be a venue for a new program from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation called On Screen/In Person.

The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation funds programs in the Mid Atlantic region in order to provide richness and diversity within the region’s resources and to promote access to a wider range of people.

The foundation worked closely with PAC Director Michael Fuhrman to select the six movies that the PAC will be screening this year. Two will be shown each term.

“This program and these films will be beneficial to students depending on their interest in participating,” Fuhrman said.

In addition to screening these movies, the directors and actors will come to Erie when their film is being shown. Filmmaker Nancy Kelly will visit the Mercyhurst College campus Wednesday, Sept. 7.

“Having been a student at Mercyhurst College, I think these films can be transformational. The students are emerging as young adults and are more impressionable.

“Because of that they will be more open to challenging what they think and feel. That is the purpose of these films,” Fuhrman said. “They will only be successful if the faculty and students invest the time, and I believe they can have a tremendous impact.”

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Sophomore Seth Pezar said he will be more likely to go to the film because of the On Screen/In Person perspective. “It is always more interesting to see a film knowing the director is watching it nearby,” he said.

Kelly’s film “Trust” follows 18-year-old Marlin, a Honduran immigrant living in Chicago who has undergone many hardships in both Honduras and the United States.

Her counselor encourages her to join the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP), a group founded to help underprivileged teens stay out of trouble and to give them emotional support.

APTP takes the teens’ stories and turns them into plays, giving them a “second act.”

This documentary focuses specifically on Marlin and the play based on her story, called “Remember Me Like This.”
It documents the struggles Marlin went through simply to be able to tell her story and all that follows, including the characters cast, lines rehearsed and costumes made.

APTP is made up of teens between the ages of 13 and 19 who have been through hard times and need a support system.

They each have a story, and many of these stories have already been turned into plays. Fifty plays have been put on thus far, with many more to come. These plays help the teenagers deal with what they have been through, transforming them from helpless, adrift children to empowered, emotionally stable young adults.

It is an amazing transformation to watch, and seeing and hearing what some of these teens have been through will make you count your blessings and appreciate the life you have.

“Remember Me Like This” ran for seven weeks at APTP to a full house at each showing.

“Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives” will be shown at the PAC today at 2:15 and 8:15 p.m.

Tickets are free for Mercyhurst College students.

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