About the Writers

Jaime Rebanal

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I’m Jaime Rebanal. I’m here to voice my thoughts on film, ranging from the good to the bad, old to the new, nearby to the faraway, all I’m looking for is a means of sharing my voice. I generally write my reviews over on Letterboxd, and eventually I get them published over here so that I can get myself more widespread. My love of film started with a viewing of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho at the age of eleven as well as Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca and Ridley Scott’s Alien at twelve and I started getting around to watching more films outside of the English language thanks to Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. I was born on August 20, 1998. I may not be the most compelling individual, but I try.

On behalf of my own mental health, I was diagnosed with autism at a young age and I had only found out about my diagnosis as I was exiting elementary school. Even with the daily paranoia that I encounter in my life I still try my best to speak up to the best of my ability, in order to give others a sense of what the experience is like for myself.

Having grown up inside of a Catholic community it hasn’t always been easy trying to cope up with the environments around me, because I know I still feel somewhat alien to whatever else goes on – since I also don’t believe the same way, and I moved away from religion in my early teens but am not an atheist. Nevertheless, I stuck around because I made a number of valuable and supportive peers from the area, and now that I am a first-year college student – getting this out of the way to reaffirm my own independence was what I feel was a step forward.

It wasn’t until my final year of high school when I came out as a queer to many of my friends within the film community. It was difficult to accept it, but through my life in high school I had also sought romantic interests beyond males and females yet kept it nothing more than a mere suppressed thought. But now that I’ve become more open about it, it has also helped me with developing my own critical lens as a moviegoer – and it also allowed me to feel more truthful to my own self. With the binary perception of sexuality among the public it seems very difficult to explain how our gender identity can be perceived but nonetheless, it is the only way I know I can express the truth about my point of view.

You can find a list of my favourite films here. You can also find me on Letterboxd right here. If you would like to show me some support for my writing, you are free to make a donation here!

 

Mercedes May

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Hi! I’m Mercedes. I’m sixteen, but was diagnosed with autism at 10. As a child, I had always expressed myself through media, whether that be books, television, or, more recently, film. As I was growing up, I didn’t really watch that many films at all. I was full of energy and enthusiasm and I did not have the patience to sit through something that long. It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 when I started binging 1980s movies that I truly became interested in film. In 2017, I started a Letterboxd account, and from then, on a passion grew. I began watching anything I could get my hands on, my goal: learning as much about film as I could.

My tastes are constantly changing, but at the moment I’m mainly interested in Old Hollywood and I rarely watch new releases unless they peak my interests. I’m particularly fond of musicals, and I do like mysteries as well. You can find my Letterboxd here.

Chuck Winters

I’m Chuck Winters, and for now, I’m camera-shy. Sorry about that.

Throughout my childhood and most of my adulthood, I was classified as “emotionally disabled” as a form of miscellaneous special needs diagnosis because we couldn’t figure out what was going on with me, and we still wouldn’t have the faintest clue until a couple of years after I graduated college when my mother and I learned about Asperger Syndrome, a term which has since fallen out of use. Even then, it took ten years of being lost in the metaphorical woods before I could get an official diagnosis. It goes without saying, then, that I’m a strong believer in Autism Awareness; powerful misconceptions about the disorder literally worked against me as a child. It’s that belief in Autism Awareness that led me here.

Growing up, movies were the only things that made sense to me; I loved sitting in a dark theater with my father and bonding with him over a good story. Some of my most important milestones came from movies; the first time I heard my dad swear, for instance, was during Dominic Sena’s remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, screaming “HOLY SHIT” after Nicolas Cage ramped over a traffic jam in his Mustang. I love movies, and I went to film school hoping to learn how to make movies of my own. It didn’t quite work out that way, but I came out of it with a deeper appreciation of the artform. And in a world full of negativity, it makes me happy to tell you about the stories I’m passionate about and what makes them work so well.

Austin Shinn

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I’m Austin Shinn. Film is my escape. It has been from the time I was a kid going to the dollar theater on the weekends to my current adult status watching films with my daughter. I’m never as at peace as I am watching a good film. Or even a bad one.

My mental health story is a long one. I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at 13. I’ve battled severe anxiety and depression pretty much my whole life. Movies have been my way of getting through those patches.

Despite my issues, I’ve achieved a lot. I’m a father to a beautiful little girl. I’m a husband. I’m an accomplished employee of 10 years at my job. I’m a podcaster at The Film Room. I’m a writer, having published my memoir in 2016. I’m a jack of all trades.

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