Filmmaker. Cinematographer. Editor.
David Kennedy is a Fresno-born and based videographer, director, editor, photographer, and motion graphics expert. He attended UCLA Film School and was co-founder of Fresno Magazine. Kennedy has worked for Dreamworks, Disney, Panavision/Technicolor, and others.
His short film The Art of Appreciation was a finalist at France's Deauville Film Festival, as well as screened at CANNES, both of which were shot in Fresno, California.
David recently Directed, Edited and Shot the short film, Red Watch. Starring his daughter, actress Kyla Kennedy, Red Watch has gone on to be an Official Selection in the 2019 BRISBANE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL in Australia. It also WON the NEW YORK International Short Film Festival as Best Experimental Film. The film is also the Official Selection to the BURBANK Int'l Film Festival, the DUMBO (NYC) Film Festival, CHAIN Film Festival (NYC, Times Sq.) Albuquerque Film & Music Festival, San Jose Int'l Short Film Festival, The Oakland Int'l Film Festival, CA Independent Film Festival in SF and the Lady Film Makers Film Festival in Beverly Hills.
Kennedy directed and edited television commercials that have been awarded the prestigious ADDY Best of Show Award (three times out of five years) and the ADDY Best TV Commercial (four times out of five years).
Kennedy’s film work has been seen in more than 10 states and eight countries, on channels such as ESPN, MTV, ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, TNT, MYSPACE, Comcast, the BBC, and La Rue in France.
Producer. Publicist. Writer. Editor. Events.
Cindy Wathen-Kennedy is a Fresno-born and based producer, writer, editor, publisher, copywriter, publicist, marketer, and event coordinator. She has degrees in marketing, psychology, and a Juris Doctor of Law. She’s also the co-author of Remembering Cesar: The Legacy of Cesar Chavez, the first book to be endorsed by the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. Her contributors included Coretta Scott King, Paul Chavez, Edward James Olmos, and Martin Sheen.
In the Bay Area, she worked as an Assistant Acquisitions Editor and Art Researcher for The University of California Press, where she participated on the BFI Film Institute imprint, the California Natural History Guide program, the New California Poetry series, and the Mark Twain Papers.
As a freelance Producer, her credits include:
·Five "Gotta Love Fresno" Featured Fresnans documentary shorts for Comcast
·The Blessing and the Curse, a grant-winning documentary short for the Central Valley Community Foundation’s inaugural Big Tell competition sponsored by Bank of America
·Scads of PSAs and corporate promotional videos
Additional media experience includes Fresno State Music & Media Library, KFSR Program Manager, Assistant Music Director, and disc jockey along with stints for Pollstar, KYNO FM, and KMPH FOX 26.
Coinciding throughout her education and career, her nonprofit work has included:
·Fresno Filmworks, Board Member, Publicity Director
·Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities Advisory Board
·Fresno Arts Council, Board Member, President
·Fresno Art Museum, Board Member, Marketing Committee
·Mayor Swearengin’s Fresno Poet Laureate Nomination Committee
·Central California Writers, Board Member, Conference Director
·Fresno Historical Society, Board Member
·ACLU, Northern California, Board Member
Starting from his modest upbringing in the small campesino town of Orosi, California, we follow Canales on his journey from childhood to adulthood to his ongoing drive to bring working-class folk music to the masses.
Canales garnered a reputation as a child of being able to train wild horses, and for years took lumps to help his family make ends-meet. It wasn’t until he confiscated an older sister’s beat-up guitar and combined it with his vocals that he discovered (in his mother’s fire-and-brimstone church) that he was able to pursue music as a way to slowly carve out a path from his hard-toil life.
Following Canales into adulthood, we learn about his deep-seated desire to bring working-class spiritual folk music to the masses. Through sweat and determination, Canales records over five albums and tours throughout the world to enthusiastic audiences. He recently completed a two-month European tour, where his album hit number five on the European charts in the Americana category.
Additionally, Canales collaborated with Nora Guthrie, the Guthrie Foundation, and his childhood friend, American Book Award-winning Valley author Tim Z. Hernandez, on a concert to raise $10,000 for a memorial headstone for the 28 deportees project. Canales initiated the idea and fundraising effort to place a memorial headstone with the names of the 28 deportees and plane crash victims who were discovered buried nameless in a mass grave in Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno, California. Canales’ idea was to record and read the names of the deportees in the background of Canales’ cover of the famous Woody Guthrie song about the incident.
In September 2013, in a historic moment, the headstone was unveiled and hundreds of people attended from all over the country, including coverage by The New York Times. A Los Angeles Times reporter captured a shot of Canales kneeling down to the unveiled monument in a moment of clear emotional triumph next to the grandson of one of the plane crash victims. Hernandez’ corresponding book, All They Will Call You, was recently released in January 2017 and is a genre-bending work labeled a “documentary novel” based on the Woody Guthrie song, Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).
Today, Canales is with Americana folk label Music Road Records, which put out his album, The Blessing and the Curse.
Canales recently ended a two-month European tour in tandem with his internationally and critically acclaimed album. Yet, with all that, Canales stays local and rooted in the Central Valley. He plans to “make it” while keeping his home-base in the heart of California. The question is, can a local artist truly thrive internationally while staying based in the Valley? Is it imperative for a musician or artist to move to LA, NYC or Nashville to make a career? Or can that be achieved while living in the Valley, and if so, what are the challenges and benefits of doing so?
But in addition to his personal journey, we are now seeking funding to expand the short into a feature-length documentary to simultaneously tell the unusual story of Americana’s enormous and surprising popularity abroad: a particularly noteworthy oddity in today’s political climate. It’s a cultural subject we haven’t yet seen fully explored.
In general, the entire documentary would be told through interviews, live events, and theatrical recreations. Animations and other motion graphics elements would be incorporated into the video. The visual feel will be that of a retro vibe.