Ben Mankoff, Sandra Manzanares, and Careina Yard

MANZANARES_SANDRA_8Ben Mankoff (pictured right), Gallatin MA ’18, is a filmmaker in Brooklyn. He is currently in post-production on his first feature film, Cubby, as director, and at work on a short documentary about Nicaragua. His other credits include the shorts Daniel. Noah. (co-producer) and Stationary (associate producer) and Christine Pfister’s feature Mammon (producer/actor).   

Sandra Manzanares (pictured center) is a first-year graduate student at Gallatin. She has a professional background in expository writing, editing, publishing, and marketing, but creative writing is her true love. At Gallatin, Sandra focuses on the art and science of storytelling, explores how great stories affect the brain and body, and studies their ability to provoke catharsis and empowerment for marginalized communities. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and was born to immigrants from Honduras. Her family represents a kaleidoscope of colors and cultural influences, resulting in her frequent negotiation of race, ethnicity, and language. Sandra is most often asked, “Where are you from?,”which she has spent a great portion of her life explaining.

Careina Yard (pictured left) is an educator, filmmaker, screenwriter, and photographer. At Gallatin, Careina is taking courses in urban studies, psychology, education, and film, paying special attention to how the educational system affects African American communities. Her thesis will be a documentary film that examines the harsh realities faced by disadvantaged communities as they navigate the public school system.    

Like Fine Silk
What does the world look like when everyone is an Other: when marginalized populations intimately interact, when power is renegotiated and subverted, and when difference, misunderstanding, and discrimination take on new meanings? “Like Fine Silk” is a short film that centers on the point of view of a young Afro-Latina as she’s confronted with culture clashes in the intimate setting of a black hair care store. It illuminates experiences that are not widely familiar to the mainstream population and gives voice to often unspoken, uncomfortable misunderstandings in order to promote empathy and dialogue. This film started as a short story and was adapted into a script. The work emphasizes the importance of the written word and show how each manifestation of the story through editing and collaboration provides new meaning.