every week in july, Weekend Edition Celebrates exceptional filmmakers and their projects. We found short films released last year that show a unique perspective on events in the news from filmmakers across the country.
Last updated July 4, 2021. This page will be updated every week with new choices.
Chug Boys of Summer
Hear: Director Max Walker-Silverman for “Chug Boys of Summer”
The 17-minute film follows a teenage immigrant named Yakin. He is from Guatemala and speaks only Chug (pronounced “Chu”) – the language of his indigenous people. Gradually, we see him settle into life in Telluride, a small town in Colorado.
Director Max Walker-Silverman says it’s a story about coming of age, told from the perspective of immigrants who must be the breadwinners of the family while still in their teens.
It employs non-professional actors, many of whom are indigenous Guatemalans who immigrated to the United States and now live in Telluride.
Walker Silverman co-wrote the film with his friend Marcos Ordonez Equalanque Mendoza, a Chug and of Guatemalan descent.
“For some films, there’s a really clear line between writing, directing, and directing,” Walker Silverman says. “That’s not really the case here, because writing my writing partner and I were sitting and telling the stories and the details and the things he cared about that they cared about that they want to be in this movie.”
Actors will discuss scenes before filming, and sometimes make changes. “This is the way to give control and give agency to the people that this is really about,” he says. “So it makes everyone involved in their entirety a writer, a director themselves.”
This page was originally published on July 4, 2021.
Andrew Craig created and produced the Weekend Student Film Show. Ed McNulty has edited the audio interviews. Produced by James Dubic for the Web.