Redwood City filmmaker Tony Gapastione was profiled in Climate last August, at a time when his short film “Neighbor,” a provocative mini drama about human trafficking, was released. Gapastione entered it in the Silicon Valley Film Festival and “Neighbor” was accepted and shown at local high-tech campuses in mid-December. (Check out www.neighborfilm.com for details.) In real life a pastor at Peninsula Covenant Church, Gapastione, 42, is channeling his creative energies into two new productions. One is another indie film, “SELF I.E,” which will debut in February. The story about what happens to a rather shy young girl who composes a glamorous Instagram identity for herself was shot over three days in early November at Canada College, on a SamTrans bus and other local locations. Fundraising is also going on for a feature-length film he’s involved with about a San Francisco man on a mission to help the poor. If you want to see “SELF I.E.” for yourselfie, go to www.self-ie.com. Screenings and other updates will be posted.
The Caltrain Holiday Train stops at Redwood City every year – as it did on Dec. 2 — but that’s not where the Redwood City connection ends. There’s a lot of volunteer help involved in getting the spectacularly lighted train decorated every year, not to mention rounding up volunteers to play Frosty and Rudolph for the night.
Among the volunteers and behind-the-scenes supporters and workers from Redwood City were Pat Pfeiffer, Diane Beach and Jim Schenkel, and (pictured) SamTrans/Caltrain Executive Director/GM Jim Hartnett, Pfeiffer, and Rory Oldham, who has a winter home at the North Pole. Also pictured, Mrs. Claus — aka Sharon Kohlmannslehner — who is a SamTrans employee.
The popular event began in 2001 and helps generate toys donations brought to the train stations as people come to watch a 20-minute show and get a chance to meet the extended Claus family. Redwood City always draws a particularly large and enthusiastic crowd of families who gather downtown for the Hometown Holidays parade and take in the holiday train on the way home.