LBCC Student's Short Film Examines Long Beach Ranch Area
In a little-known pocket of west Long Beach, horse ranch owners are battling the county and city to keep their traditional rancho lifestyle alive. And Long Beach City College film student John Salcedo has captured the homeowners’ struggle in his latest short film, The Last Long Beach Ranch.
Salcedo became aware of the story last fall, after LBCC Geography professor Dr. Ray Sumner stumbled upon the ranches while scouting the Los Angeles River for an area her class could visit and study. She spoke with some of the ranchers, who welcomed her and students.
“I saw this as living history, living cultural landscape,” Sumner said. “When I heard how threatened this little community was, I thought it would be nice to be documented.”
Sumner contacted the LBCC Film Department, and Salcedo quickly volunteered to make the film.
As depicted in the film, a group of homeowners in Long Beach’s Wrigley area situated along the L.A. River own horse stables and corrals on their property. For decades they have been using the county-owned horse trails alongside their property. In recent years, the city and county have made plans to enhance the open space, which will push out the trails and eventually the residents.
“This film … is critical to bringing credible attention to our long unheard voice,” said Renee Lawler, Vice President of the Equestrian Association of Wrigley Heights and a member of the Historic Equestrian Trail Association of Southern California (HETSC), who appears in the film.
Salcedo, who has made a number of films for nonprofit groups under his moniker L.A. City Films, plans to enter the short in the Long Beach Indie International Film, Media and Music Festival. Sumner said she plans to show the film at several upcoming geography conferences.
This isn't the first time one of Salcedo's films garnered attention. Last year, his documentary video series, “Hyperbaric Miracles: Episode 1 & 2,” was nominated for a 2016 PRISM Award. The PRISM Awards recognize media productions that entertain while presenting realistic portrayals of substance abuse disorders, mental health issues and their treatments.
Salcedo said his films are “about informing, educating and engaging people on causes that are not being heard,” Salcedo said. “It’s very gratifying.”
Salcedo, who is graduating in June, is currently working on a feature-length documentary for the LBCC Theater Department entitled Vikings of Theater.