Our schools have long been known for their creative learning methods and outstanding achievements and a documentary funding campaign hopes to garner Martin Luther King High School national attention by showcasing the school’s unique take on lifelong learning through an annual event called “King High Remembers.”
King High School, located in the Orangecrest neighborhood of Riverside, brings together hundreds of military veterans and high school history students each year as part of “King High Remembers.” This phenomenal event provides a rare opportunity for veterans to share their experiences and help preserve history by granting students a glimpse of the past.
Insert local filmmakers and documentary enthusiasts: Longtime friends Michelle Opitz and Brandon Krajewski have always wanted to join production forces. Both Opitz and Krajewski have family members and close friends who are veterans, thus the concept of King High Remembers struck a chord. Upon learning of the King High Remembers program, the two friends decided to create a documentary in hopes of giving the rest of the region, state and nation more than just a “behind-the-scenes” look. The documentary intends to let viewers across the country know that not only does the younger generation have an interest and hunger for veterans’ stories, but they want to actively participate and be a part of veterans’ lives.
From its initial conceptualization, to the recruitment of veterans and students, the story invites viewers to see the impact this program is making on the lives of its participants. The film profiles John Corona as he prepares for the annual history project and the amount of effort it requires to sustain interest in KHR both from sponsors and the community. The film also profiles several military veterans and students who are being introduced to the program for the first time as well as those who have repeatedly participated.
In response to what the project means them, the filmmakers said:
“This is a very, very cool event and the minute we finished filming the actual event, we knew we had found something special. We both have veterans in our families as well as friends who have recently been discharged and have met so many great veterans with exciting, sad and beautiful stories to share about their experience. We really want to share what King High School is doing with everyone we can in the hopes that it will inspire other archiving projects throughout the country.”
With over 25 hours of footage to reduce to 40 minutes, the two filmmakers have their work cut out for them. As with many projects, the main obstacle in reaching final production and distribution is raising funds. Opitz and Krajewski have sought help from the community to raise these funds.
Riverside is a city that honors and celebrates the veterans and heroes who sacrificed themselves for the greater good. This documentary provides an opportunity for all Riversiders as well as people throughout the country to enjoy the wonderful work of King High School in remembering and embracing history through those who made the selfless choice to serve and protect us all.
To learn more about the project and view the funding campaign, visit their Indiegogo page here.