Director Jasmine Quiñones’ Short Film ‘Push’ Integrates Artistic Expression into Sports
Combining her Passion for Film, Wellness and Skateboarding, the Artist Talks About Her Most Personal Project Yet
By Britni Rachal
Photos by Jon Scotty
The adrenaline rush and the clickety sound of a skateboard sliding across the pavement, making moves and jumps … Director and creator Jasmine Quiñones can’t get enough of the challenge of skateboarding and the way it makes her feel. So much, that when imaging company FUJIFILM Corporation contacted the Austinite of almost four years and asked her to collaborate on a project of her choice, she immediately chose to create a short film on skateboarding, now titled “Push.”
“It’s very hard, but I love it, because it teaches you so much about life and resiliency,” explains Quiñones, who is currently working on mastering heelflips, a maneuver that involves flipping the skateboard in the air for a full rotation along the board’s nose-tail axis. “You really have to constantly face fear. Facing yourself and getting over it enough to try a new trick or ride down a scary ramp that you don’t want to ride down. When you succeed at doing what you were trying to practice for three hours, it’s the most exhilarating feeling that I’ve ever experienced.”
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Quiñones has a life-long passion for skateboarding; though she did step back for 10 years to focus on other projects, including earning a bachelor’s degree in Communication from University of Massachusetts Amherst, which led her to an unpaid internship doing film and photography after graduation.
Fast forward almost seven years, and Quiñones is now becoming known for working not only with FUJIFILM, but other global brands, including REI, New Balance and Ferrari. The latest film, “Push,” is her favorite project, and already the winner of “Best Experimental Film” at the TopShorts film festival.
“It’s every creator’s dream to get a call from a big brand that says, ‘Hey, we are willing to put money behind an idea that you want to do,’” explains Quiñones. “This is one of the first projects I’ve done that was so personal to me. It was literally like I’m making a project for myself, and FUJIFILM is super gracious and generous enough to back this film for their camera campaigns.”
Quiñones describes the project, which wrapped up in April 2022, as one of the biggest steps in her career, because it is helping her transition toward directing. Exploring identity is also something she wanted to include in her work, which she did with “Push.” It tells the story of how she was comfortable with her identity and skateboarding as she was younger, but drifted away from the sport because she personally didn’t feel like she fit in with people around her. Most skateboarders in the early 2000s were not women. The resulting product is a very authentic piece, along with a genuine work style.
“It’s really easy to listen to what everyone else has to say and what everyone else’s opinions are about who you are, who you were, what you should be. It’s really easy to get lost in that, so that’s why I love making work about being yourself,” says Quiñones. “No matter what age you are, I feel like sometimes people have problems being authentically themselves. There’s a lot of noise out there and a lot of influence. The film I made with FUJIFILM is a direct ode to finding out who you are.”
Mental well-being is an important aspect that Quiñones is trying to incorporate into more of her work. Being relatable and tapping into topics that don’t get talked about as much is important to the 28-year-old, who is hoping to make more sports and fitness content surrounding wellness, along with content to bring people together.
“It makes me feel good to know that work like that can hit people in a deeper spot,” says Quiñones. “In some ways, I like to remind
people that we are all living through similar things. Very similar experiences. Very similar emotions. It’s so easy to forget that.”
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Future goals for this award-winning creator, who was also named “Best Editor in Austin” by Austin Under the Stars Film Festival, include focusing more on YouTube and checking off some new clients on a list of sports, fitness and automotive brands she’s hoping to work with. Better documenting her own story, in hopes of helping others, is a specific focus.
“I’m a big believer of trying not to gatekeep things about the industry and being on YouTube to share anything I’ve learned in hopes that more people like me will pick up a camera and use their voice to tell a story,” says Quiñones, who hopes that her work will empower and inspire the future generation of Austin creatives.