California, the name itself calls to mind everything from the bright lights of Hollywood to the dank forests of Humboldt County. The state attracts the likes of literary innovators and Disney-bound tourists. Always a source of inspiration for cultural ingenuity as well as a marvelous vacation destination, California has captivated the hearts of generations looking to explore it’s diverse social and physical terrain.
Presented as a series of short films,“California Is A Place,” is a project jump started by filmmaker Drea Cooper and photographer Zach Canepari, that attempts to bring the California experience to life.
Each films explores the different aspects of California life promoting the state’s rich and eclectic culture. Some films such as “Scrapertown” highlight individuals providing positive influences within their community. The piece follows a group of inner-city Oakland teens who must not only show dedication to their hobby but also dedication to their education if they wish to remain members of their neighborhood bike club.
Other films profile the possible conflicts a cultural melting pot like California must endure. “Bordertown” explores the day-to-day activity of volunteer patrol guards near the Mexico border. Each citizen profiled provides their own motivations behind their self-appointed task, a compelling depiction of the source of many misinformed debates.
“California Is A Place” is a that not only presents captivating stories and stimulates cultural dialogue but also provides a great advertisement for the beauty and diversity of our most golden state.