Private Project

Target is Hiring

While dancing in the subway on the eve of starting her first job, a Harlem teen suspects that her love for dance and her new responsibilities will inevitably collide.

The film is a rumination on childhood and dreams deferred, collaborating with young women Litefeet and Harlem Shake dancers.

2021 Harlem International Film Festival - Official Selection
2021 The Lower East Side Film Festival - Official Selection, Best Live Action Short

  • Joel Vargas
  • Joel Vargas
  • Michael Tyner
  • Kelvis Fernandez
  • James Duarte
  • Karla Rodriguez
  • Rian Alanni Mines-Jones
    Key Cast
  • T'Ajahnae Foster
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Coming of Age, Drama, Docufiction, Hybrid, Nonactors, New York Stories, Docunarrative
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Joel Vargas

Joel was born and raised in public housing in The Bronx, New York. A filmmaker and activist, he is a former Fulbright Scholar and holds an MA in documentary filmmaking from the University of the Arts, London and has studied Narrative Film Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Since beginning his career as a director, Joel has worked on a range of films spanning documentary and fiction. His approach straddles the intersection of the two forms and his work aims to collaborate with and advocate for communities at the periphery of society, centering on themes of racial, social, and economic justice. Joel also works as an educator in NYC where he teaches filmmaking to youth. He is a former Tribeca Film Institute All Access and Our Local Is Global Grantee, and an IFP No Borders Alumnus.

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Director Statement

Litefeet is a type of Hip-Hop dance founded and pioneered by youth of color in the Bronx and Harlem popularized on New York City subway cars. My idea for Target it Hiring was born out of my love for Hip-Hop and interest in this type of dance which, having been born and bred in the Bronx and its surroundings, I had witnessed flourish from its beginnings in public school cafeterias.

Target is Hiring aims to be a celebration of these youth, especially the young women involved in this movement, and an exploration into the unique obstacles they must overcome in order to do what they love and in the process, assert their presence in a world that routinely overlooks them. My intention was to collaborate in front of and behind the camera with these youth, to make a film that would be a mirror, that would ring true to them and lend them agency in its making.