By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mustang Alum Earns UCLA Producers Nod
Oakdale High School alum Hope Kindred, wearing her new UCLA Theater, Film, and Television shirt. Photo Contributed

There’s been a lot of change since Hope Kindred exited the Corral in May of 2018.

Formerly known for her 4-H and Oakdale High School FFA accomplishments, Kindred is now putting herself on the map in the film production and directing world.

The OHS alum was recently chosen to be a part of the UCLA Master of Fine Arts Producers Program. It’s a two-year intensive program focused on preparing students for careers in the entertainment industry as creative producers and executives.

“I am currently finishing my degree at California State University Long Beach,” Kindred shared, noting she will graduate this May, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theory and Practice of Cinema with an emphasis in Broadcast Production and a minor in Marketing.

“I have always been drawn to the art of storytelling,” she continued. “Whether I was sitting at the computer on the old Microsoft Paint App or literally putting a crayon to paper and drawing. I have always been telling stories.”

Kindred shared that acceptance into the MFA program is indeed an honor, as it is a small two-year program, which accepts 15 students per session. With thousands applying each year, only a select few are called to interview and be chosen for the program.

“I decided to pursue an MFA because I wanted to further my education and I saw the opportunities it would provide me with in the future,” the Mustang alum stated. “During my undergraduate career, I realized that I would love to teach others about filmmaking as well, with an MFA I will be able to do that at the university level.”

The film enthusiast hopes to further her career both in production as well as directing. It’s a far cry from the show ring of the Stanislaus County Fair or the barn at the Oakdale School Farm. Kindred noted it’s definitely a big switch; however, tools gained though OJUSD and FFA have proved beneficial even in her current film world.

“My time in FFA and the agricultural world taught me so much about life, develop imperative leadership and public speaking skills,” she said, “and cultivate my strong work ethic.”

Although a big part of her initial education and upbringing, as a storytelling enthusiast Kindred shared she knew a life rooted in agriculture would not be her long term goal.

“My passion for the arts was telling me it was time to move on and become the storyteller I was meant to be,” she said. “I am so thankful for everything I learned in FFA, for being such a huge and impactful milestone in my life.”

Proving to not only be the right choice, but the right fit as well, Kindred has directed and produced several student and independent short films and television projects.

“My most recent project titled, “Fade” – a short film focusing on the importance of maintaining relationships as a girl literally disappears from life – I received a scholarship from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” she shared.

The film student also noted that the word “no” is something one hears a lot not just in the film business, but during her education as well. A fact she attributes with helping her see how truly passionate she is about pursuing this career path.

“You learn from that ‘no’,” she said. “You learn from your mistakes and you move on with the new knowledge you acquire. Then you grow and prosper.”

Influence from others has also proved beneficial for this young woman, as she pursues a career in a cutthroat industry. Kindred credits her time in Jonathan Byron’s film literature class at OHS as impactful, as well as her four years of leadership.

“Guy Fowler’s class provided me with several different opportunities to build my leadership skills that have helped me get to where I am today,” Kindred said.

As for outside influences, the aspiring director/producer shared she’s been most impacted by her personal idol, Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda (known most for Hamilton and Encanto). Response to a letter she sent the actor several months following graduation has now become something she not only cherishes but relies on in everyday life.

“I see myself as an artist and storyteller,” she said. “He wrote to me, ‘Drown out the voices of the naysayers, believe in your own art, and let your passion lead your heart. I’m sure you’ll be great.’ I carry those words with me, every day of my life now.”

kindred 2
On the set, producer/director Hope Kindred holds a binder for a production on which she served as the first assistant director; the binder is the schedule and list of shots for the 12 hour day. Photo Contributed