Shortly after relocating to Los Angeles in 2009, Dutch filmmaker Joris Debeij began fashioning video portraits of local residents under the umbrella title I Am LA: Portraits of Real Angelenos. Now, thanks to the KCET program Departures, those videos are going to find a new audience. Here for example is one about East LA photographer Gregory Bojorquez:
On the KCET introduction page for this new, grassroots program component, Debeij explains what he’s been going for:
After living here a little while, I gradually started to become aware that there was a Los Angeles which was unknown to me before I was a resident. My eyes were opened to seemingly-hidden places and local gem spots, and to the interesting way different neighborhoods intersect and cause their inhabitants to blend together around the boundaries.
The result of this is a far more interesting city than one expects in comparison to the glitz and glam of Hollywood often singularly portrayed about LA in popular culture. As a European transplant, it was this side of the city – and the multi-faceted culture of its inhabitants – that made me feel comfortable calling Los Angeles home.
He’s absolutely right – to a point. While the diversity of LA’s topography, culture and arts scene can be gleaned far more easily today via first-person blogs, YouTube and so on, those weaned on a modest MSM diet ahead of arrival are still in for a shock.