Filmmaker Spotlight

“I Am Maris”

I AM MARIS paints an unguarded portrait of mental illness and recovery, using 17-year-old Maris’ own words and vivid artwork to illustrate her inspiring journey. Tormented by anxiety, depression and a life-threatening eating disorder, she confronts her buried emotions through yoga; ultimately becoming a yoga instructor, blogger and public speaker. Through it all Maris reminds herself that she will always be in recovery, and she learns to accept her mental illness as merely a part of her. Although a challenge, it has given her strength and empathy.

Laura VanZee Taylor (Director, Cinematographer, Editor) is a narrative and documentary filmmaker whose short films (The Scenes, Somewhere) have been selected by festivals around the country. “I Am Maris” is her first feature film. Before devoting herself to filmmaking, she spent a decade as an editor, director, and creative strategist in the publishing industry. She holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor’s Degree from Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, OR.

“Havest Season”

HARVEST SEASON delves into the lives of people working behind the scenes of California’s wine industry during one of the most dramatic grape harvests in recent memory. The film follows the stories of Mexican-American winemakers and migrant workers who are essential to the wine industry yet rarely recognized for their contributions. Their stories unfold as wildfires ignite in Napa and Sonoma counties threatening the livelihoods of small farmers and winemakers already grappling with a labor shortage and shifting immigration policies.

Bernardo Ruiz, award-winning documentary filmmaker. His film credits include Reportero, nominated for a 2014 News and Documentary Emmy® Award and premiered at Full Frame (U.S.), IDFA (Europe), and Ambulante (Mexico). His latest documentary, “Kingdom of Shadows,” premiered at SXSW and IDFA. Ruiz’s Quiet Pictures created the PBS series, The Graduates/Los Graduados for Independent Lens, co-produced with ITVS.

PJIFF Welcomes Gustavo Brambila

Gustavo Brambila will take the stage following the screening of “Harvest Season.” Brambila traces his roots to Jalisco, Mexico. He was one of the first Latinos to graduate from UC Davis with a degree in Fermentation Science. He was portrayed in the 2008 indie movie, “Bottle Shock.” Today, he co-owns Napa Valley’s Gustavo Wine and is among the winemakers featured in “Harvest Season.”

  • Opening Date:
    August 12, 2018
  • Earlybird Deadline:
    August 13, 2018
  • Regular Deadline:
    October 8, 2018
  • Late Deadline:
    November 4, 2018
  • Extended Deadline:
    December 2, 2018
  • Notification Date:
    December 10, 2018
  • Event dates:
    April 3-7, 2019

Festival Tickets