The A Place Called Sacramento film festival always has been a community event. For Cheryl Wynton and her 12-year-old son, Ian, it became a family event as well.
The Wyntons, who live in Orangevale, are among 10 screenwriters whose scripts were chosen to be made into 10-minute films as part of the 13th edition of Access Sacramento's grass-roots filmmaking program.
In Cheryl Wynton's "Restitution," a crime victim hears from the woman who stole her purse. Ian's "Man vs. Sac" spoofs Bear Grylls' TV adventure program "Man vs. Wild."
"Restitution," "Man vs. Sac" and the eight other films made through the monthslong "Place Called Sacramento" filmmaking program will show at 1 p.m. Sunday on the big screen of the Crest Theatre.
Cheryl Wynton had entered scripts in the PCS competition for several years, but "Restitution" was the first chosen by a PCS panel of judges to be made into a film. Ian, 11 when he wrote his script and one of the youngest PCS winners ever, struck gold his first time out.
When mother and son learned they had been picked through a process in which no names are attached to scripts "we danced around the living room," she said.
The news also brought the reality of needing to shoot two films over the summer to meet the PCS production deadline. That meant working around schedules of volunteer casts and crews.
"It was kind of like running a production company out of my house," said Wynton, a producer on her son's film. "I am a teacher, so it helped I was off this summer."
Wynton had helped Ian type his script. But he wrote the script himself, with a tiny bit of input from his mom.
"He wanted to have a dog in it, and I said that would be hard" logistically, Wynton said.
Ian came up with "Man vs. Sac," in which a TV adventurer (a lively Jay Patrick) faces such brutal challenges as eating a hot dog from a street vendor after catching an unintentional glimpse behind the curtain of Grylls' show.
"There is this one episode where he is jumping in a river, and under his survival gear you can see a life jacket," Ian said.
Through a friend of a friend of his mom, Ian met TV horror host Mr. Lobo, who directed "Man vs. Wild."
Mr. Lobo consulted with him often during the shoot, Ian said, and came up with a key bit in "Man vs. Sac."
His mother, too, "was really helpful," Ian said.
Watching the shoot of his mother's quieter, more serious film helped broaden his sense of the filmmaking process.
PCS always has kept young audience members and budding filmmakers such as Ian in mind, said Ron Cooper, Access Sacramento's executive director. That's why PCS films must be family-friendly, even though some new filmmakers, seeking to make edgier films, have bristled at the rule.
"It wasn't just to create Disney-like films with puppies it was to make sure young people could attend the showing," Cooper said. "Because I am a big believer in the years of the 'magical child,' where we observe the world around us and find things of interest that later become our passion."
Ian, for his part, said he already is thinking of script possibilities for next year's PCS festival.
A PLACE CALLED SACRAMENTO
What: Ten short films made through Access Sacramento's grass-roots filmmaking program
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento