Catalyst Interview Series: Chucha Barber

chucha (1 of 4)To kick off the Catalyst Interview Series, KCCI sat down with former KCCI Community Catalyst, Chucha Barber (2007-2008). An avid promoter of the arts, Barber currently lives and works in Tallahassee. She serves as president of Chucha Barber Productions and executive producer at Impact Visual Media.

KCCI Tallahassee: What was the extent of your involvement with KCCI?
Chucha Barber: I was one of the members of the first KCCI class and some of us worked on multiple projects. In my case, I worked on the Tallahassee Film Festival and Sustainable Tallahassee.

KCCI: How did KCCI’s projects influence you in your professional life?
CB: KCCI motivated me to continue to work on the economic value of the film industry. I’m a full time filmmaker now, and I wasn’t at the time I volunteered with the film festival. I continue to believe that Tallahassee is one of the most beautiful cities in the state with opportunities for filmmakers to capture almost anything they want which might be available in Florida. For example, the coast is only 30 minutes away: we have rolling hills, canopy roads, magnificent plantations and rich historical sites. So, if you’re a filmmaker and you had to produce a film in or about Florida, I don’t think there’s a better venue in the state that captures all that Florida has to offer than Tallahassee.

KCCI: What was the idea behind the Tallahassee Film Festival?
CB: One of the reasons we thought the Film Festival would be an outstanding community enterprise is because of the unbelievable resources we had in the community, such as the FSU Film School. There continues to be an effort with some very dedicated people, some of whom continue to be involved with the festival, to try to keep the concept alive.

KCCI: How does film strengthen our communities?
CB: Film is a vehicle for telling stories. Whether you want to capture the story of the future of our community, to promote economic development, or you want to capture the story of your past in order to communicate to your historical value, film is an amazing tool to do so. I’m going to continue to be hopeful that there is a bright future for the film industry in Tallahassee.

KCCI: What is your favorite spot in Tallahassee?
CB: One of my favorite places in Tallahassee is Cascades Park. I think that it’s just emerging, in terms of becoming the Central Park of our community. I think there are people who live here who haven’t experienced it. There’s something there for everyone: if you’re an outdoors enthusiast, you can walk your dog; you can run. If you’re a child, there are lots of opportunities for play – the fountain is “off the chain”, particularly on a hot day.

KCCI: What is one of your dreams for Tallahassee?
CB: My personal dream would be to re-evaluate the use of existing buildings downtown, particularly those with high profile locations.

Look out for more interviews with former Community Catalysts in the coming months.