When I gave a talk about Bootstrapping in the Mohawk Valley to the MV Young Professionals group last month, one of the points I tried to drive home was that you need to surround yourself with people that make things…and that you should make something too. Whether those things are businesses, films, music, art, pieces or writing -whatever- I think it’s really important, no matter where you live. They will inspire you to build your own projects, or form partnerships that can accomplish more than either of you could on their own. And we have a lot of people locally that are doing some awesome work.
Recently had a chance to sit down at the Tram with Michael Patrei who is a film maker here in Utica to talk about a project he did a couple of years back called Ballou. The film was shared with me by Rick Short and I thought it was a really excellent documentary that was done on a marching band in an impoverished section of D.C. Michael’s film changed the lives of many of the kids in that band and the film took him as far as a festival in Belarus and was even screened at the White House.
I just wanted to share Michael’s story as yet another example of the cool things that are being done by people right here in Utica. You can watch the documentary online at Hulu by clicking here or find out more about the film at the official website.
Michael’s next project is a human rights film festival called called Unspoken.