Budding Filmmaker From Northern Westchester Follows Woman Running For Office In Hudson Valley

A budding filmmaker from Northern Westchester has started a crowdfunding campaign to help launch a new documentary he has produced.

A Cortlandt filmmaker is raising funds for his new documentary focusing on a Hudson Valley city council race.

A Cortlandt filmmaker is raising funds for his new documentary focusing on a Hudson Valley city council race.

Photo Credit: Jared Peraglia

Jared Peraglia, a Cortlandt native, documentary filmmaker, student of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and an alumnus of The Harvey School in Katonah launched the campaign on Thursday, May 20, for his documentary "Here to Stay."

"Here to Stay" follows the campaign of 23-year-old first-generation Mexican-American woman, Giselle Martinez, running for a City Council seat in Newburgh, Peraglia said.

Martinez believes in her city and has bold plans for its future. If she manages to pull off a win, she would be the youngest council member in Newburgh history.

But getting elected won’t be easy. Martinez faces unprecedented levels of hate, racism, and xenophobia, Peraglia said.

Martnez has personally encountered the effects of immigration xenophobia and police violence. In fact, that’s one of the many reasons she decided to run for office. 

“So goes Newburgh, so goes American,” Martinez said.

Peraglia said that Newburgh, and Giselle, are only one hour up the river from the town where he grew up. 

"Learning about Giselle’s campaign, I was taken by the pure passion she has for her city and was inspired to learn she shares a love for the people of the Hudson Valley and the mutual belief in making it a fairer and more equitable place," he said.

To film and produce the documentary, Peraglia teamed up with Samantha L. Garcia, a Latinx filmmaker also studying at New York University. 

The pair plans to raise $16,500 by Saturday, June 17 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. 

They are calling on their community in the Hudson Valley to contribute and make this film a reality.

“We very well might be documenting the next big figure in American politics,” Garcia said.

Alongside the film is an impact campaign to inspire young people to run for local office, Petraglia said.

"By contributing to the project, donors are helping get a film on-screen that will inspire the next generation of diverse leaders," he said. 

 And if that isn't enough, donors are also opening doors and removing hurdles for young talented filmmakers, he added.

To donate, click here. To date, they have raised more than $5,000 of the $16,000 needed.

To follow the film's future visit @heretostayfilm.

to follow Daily Voice Mount Pleasant and receive free news updates.