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Michelle Cabalu

Michelle Cabalu

Documentary Film and Video


Michelle Cabalu worked as a graphic designer for six years in the newspaper and book publishing industries before embarking on a career in film. As a linguistic anthropology student at UCLA, she conducted a research project in Manila, Philippines employing video and ethnographic interviews.

The Village

digital video

JUNE, 2002

The Village takes us into the lives of three members at "The Village", a progressive mental health organization that encourages people with mental illness to take steps toward their life goals as a means to recovery. The video chronicles these men's struggles with mental illness and their journey towards self-reliance.

Being Ghetto

16mm color film

JUNE, 2001
Through the eyes of the filmmaker and her family, this personal film examines the tensions that come with negotiating cultural identity.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Dore Schary Awards Finalist, 2002
Deep Ellum Film Festival, 2002

Blip on the Screen

digital video

Co-directed by John Neely
MARCH, 2001
In March of 2000, San Francisco's .COM culture was flying high. Hipster 20-somethings hit the nightly circuit of startup launch parties, and Stanford entrepreneurs burned through millions in venture capital in an effort to score the next billion-dollar IPO... A year later, the .COM industry is in shambles, the party circuit is dead, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ has lost over 4 trillion dollars in value. Blip on the Screen is a short film that examines the personal effects of the crash on the people who rode the boom for all it was worth, and a postmortem of one of the world's most spectacular bubble economies.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Tahoe International Film Festival, 2001
Bandits-Mages Film Festival in Bourges, France, 2001
Ivy Film Festival, 2002
Deep Ellum Film Festival, 2002


16mm black and white film

"It was during the time that Martin Luther King was doing the sit-ins and the marches...and I was doing my part with the skating rinks, integrating them." Walter Ellis, the first African-American competitive roller skater, not only made his mark by opening the sport up to black skaters, but gained notoriety with a winning 20-year career. Roll looks back on Walter's skating career as he returns to the skating rink for the first time after a long hiatus.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Best Documentary, Harvard Black Arts Film Festival, 2002
San Francisco Black Independent Film Festival, 2002
Roxbury Film Festival, 2002