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VENICE : Filmmaker Hopes to Present Kids With Reel-Life 'Choices'

August 25, 1994|LORENZA MUNOZ

A 26-year-old Venice filmmaker has begun work on a docudrama about a tagger turned artist, part of a project to alert high school students to the dangers of gang and youth violence.

Frank Bennett Gonzalez's film "Choices," based on actual events, is the story of two tagger friends. The central character becomes an artist as his friend becomes more involved in gangs and violence.

"This is a positive story," said Gonzalez. "He uses his creativity to transcend the neighborhood. I have tried to shed light on why some kids make it through and others don't."

The Santa Monica Police Department has donated space and equipment for Gonzalez's five-member film crew. Officer Joe Analco, a community relations officer with the department, plans to use the film as part of his "Officer Joe" school outreach program.

"I felt this would be another positive outreach for the kids," said Officer Analco.

Although the script is complete, filming has not begun. Gonzalez is relying on material donations, such as tapes and film, financial contributions and volunteers for the project, which he expects to cost $50,000.

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