Carmen Marron (COM ’94) believes that nothing should stand in the way of going for your dreams. “If you believe it and you take that step, you will get there,” she says. That’s the message she wants others to take from her journey—and success—as an independent filmmaker.
Marron’s dream was to create a movie that would give urban kids positive role models. “Go For It!,” the inspirational dance movie she wrote, directed and produced, has been selected for eight film festivals so far and may even gain national release.
“Go For It!”, which was set and filmed in Chicago, came back to Marron’s hometown for the Chicago International Film Festival. The film premiered Oct. 9 and will finish its run with screenings Oct. 14 and 16. Tickets are available online on the Chicago Film Festival’s website or at the Festival Theater Box Office, located at 322 E Illinois St. in Chicago. On Oct. 15, Marron will participate in the “Triple Threat” panel, moderated by screenwriter, director and DePaul University film professor Dan Klein.
Marron shaped nearly every aspect of “Go For It!” Because she had no big-name Los Angeles financier for the project, Marron and her husband saved for more than five years to do it themselves. She taught herself how to cast, direct and produce. She even co-wrote a song for the original soundtrack.
The inspiration for “Go For It!” came while Marron was counseling at-risk Latino youth in Phoenix. She noticed that her students—particularly the girls—looked up to the “sexy blondes” they saw in television and movies. “These young girls had really nothing in common with whom they were watching,” Marron says. She wanted to create characters that resonated with her students, so she wrote a screenplay using her own background as a street dancer in Chicago.
This coming-of-age tale about a young woman has touched a wide audience. Marron says she has seen men cry at screenings and has had young girls and boys tell her “that they felt like I just made a movie about their life.” The movie has also received audience awards at three separate film festivals.
After “Go For It!” finishes the festival circuit this fall, Marron hopes to have a theatrical release by next spring. By then she also hopes to have another project started—possibly a movie musical, which she would also film in Chicago.
Marron says that after seven years of hard work, she couldn’t be happier with the movie’s success. “This is exactly what I hoped for, and that’s why I never gave up.”