MAKING NOISE ~ The story of a skatepark

Making Noise chronicles the long struggle of the skateboarders of Northfield, Minnesota, to secure a permanent place for their sport. Shot in close collaboration with the skateboarders themselves, the film follows their efforts as they meet with city officials to fundraise, envision, and design a skatepark that seems to fit nowhere. A voiceover narration provided by the skateboarders and based entirely on city records, reveals the inefficiency of a process slowed down by outdated stereotypes about skateboarding and a thinly veiled resistance to the skateboarders as “other.” The film calls into question Northfield’s open-minded and friendly reputation in light of the community’s delay to find a place for its own youths. Making Noise bears witness to young people’s resilience and perseverance as it exposes the victories and failures of the civic process in small town America.

  • Cecilia M Cornejo
  • Cecilia M Cornejo
  • Aaron Sala
  • Cecilia M Cornejo
  • Charley Markson
    Key Cast
  • Trevor Smith
    Key Cast
  • Isaiah Suarez
    Key Cast
  • Shay Canning
    Key Cast
  • Spencer Fredrickson
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 4 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 10, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    HD, MiniDV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Frozen River Film Festival
    Winona, MN
    United States
    February 9, 2018
  • ArtCentral Film Festival ~ Matthews Opera House
    Spearfish, SD
    United States
    March 20, 2018
Director Biography - Cecilia M Cornejo

Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo is a Chilean-born filmmaker, teacher, and film curator currently based in the United States. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from The University of Iowa and a Master of Fine Arts in Film, Video, and New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. With ties to both the American Midwest and the central coast of Chile, Cornejo Sotelo’s work explores displacement, marginalization and belonging and is rooted in the experience of living in-between cultures. She uses a range of approaches and production methodologies—from the very personal and essayistic to the expansive and collaborative—to create films that move fluidly from the local to the global, and from the intimate to the openly political.

In 2012, Cornejo Sotelo embarked on the “Living Marginal Project,” a trilogy of films intended to function as a series of audiovisual meditations on belonging. In support of the first film in the trilogy, in 2014 Cornejo Sotelo received an Established Artist Grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. More recently, she received an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board (2016), and a Jerome Foundation Film, Video, and Digital Media Grant (2017), in support of her current film, Ways of Being Home, the second film in her trilogy.

Cornejo Sotelo’s work has shown locally and abroad at venues such as MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, L’Alternativa (Spain), Arsenale (Berlin), InVideo (Italy), Melbourne Latin American Film Festival, Puerto Vallarta International Film Festival (Mexico), Festival Internacional de Documentales de Santiago (Chile), Cine las Américas, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Athens International Film Festival, Tucson Underground Film Festival, Gene Siskel Film Center, Miami International Film Festival, and Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. She currently teaches in the Cinema and Media Studies Department at Carleton College.

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Director Statement

As a nonfiction filmmaker, I am interested in exploring and expanding methods of collaboration with the people who appear in my films. I engage participants from the early stages of production and provide them with the technical and conceptual instruction that they need in order to fully participate in the making of the piece.

Consequently, in order to produce “Making Noise,” I enlisted the help of a core group of skateboarders and trained them to work with sound and film equipment. Those who were not involved directly in the making of the film had multiple opportunities to view the footage at different stages and to offer feedback that helped shape the film’s final form and content. Many of the youths served as narrators, and members from the older generation composed and performed original music for the film.

Inspired by the works of documentary filmmakers before me, I take great care on developing a production methodology that places collaboration at the heart of the filmmaking effort. In doing so, I aim to expand on the aesthetic, rhetorical and democratizing potential of the moving image.