Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Portland filmmaker made her reputation through carpentry, Oregon Tradeswoman and diversity/inclusion mission.

COURTESY PHOTO: DAWN JONES REDSTONE - Dawn Jones Redstone (left) helps set a scene for lead actress Ana del Rocio (center) during the filming of "Mother of Color." It is Redstone's first feature film, after building a career in carpentry and trade education and now film work. It shows Nov. 4 at Hollywood Theatre.It would seem a bit odd for a filmmaker to venture to Poland in eastern Europe as part of the US in Progress program for the American Film Festival.

But, it turns out, the Polish love American film, said Portland filmmaker Dawn Jones Redstone, who brought her first feature film "Mother of Color" to Wroclaw, Poland for a week last year in a trans-Atlantic Ocean event between producers and European film industry people.

Jones Redstone, the writer and director, attended it with Tara Johnson-Medinger, producer of "Mother of Color," one of six American films at the festival.

"I submitted and was accepted. I thought, 'Is this a scam?'" Jones Redstone said. "But, it was amazing, and a little unnerving to screen work in progress on a big screen. We got some feedback. The film changed quite a bit since the screening, and it was helpful.

"When you move into the feature film world from shorts the whole distribution process is new. There are a lot of things to learn. I'm in the process of how to deliver the film for distribution. Don't have distributor, yet, but we will have a distributor." She also met with programmers and publicists.

COURTESY PHOTO: DAWN JONES REDSTONE - Dawn Jones Redstone poses with actress Ana del Rocio, who helped produce the Portland filmmaker's "Mother of Color."Local moviegoers will watch the film Friday, Nov. 4 at Hollywood Theatre. Some tickets still remains.

Jones Redstone has quite a backstory as a carpenter and Oregon Tradeswoman instructor. Her move into film has brought her two professions together in notable ways. Her "Sista in the Brotherhood," about how women, and in particular women of color, can work their way into construction, has actually become a teaching tool for the male-dominated industry. And, recently, she made a short for the Port of Portland about its new wooden roof in the Portland International Airport main terminal.

But, now it's time for the feature film to be her priority.

The story of "Mother of Color":

It tells the story of Noelia, a smart, single mother of two who dreams of running for office someday, but struggles to get by and find care for her kids. When she's offered the chance to interview for a position that will change everything, she begins receiving messages from her ancestors. Noelia senses that something bigger is at play as she works through a series of obstacles to get to the interview and follow her dreams.

"The ancestors are trying to tell her something, and we're talking about the idea of healing from ancestral trauma," Jones Redstone said. "Intergenerational trauma is a science-backed, proven thing. The film hints at wound-carrying, but the main character has an incredible opportunity to change her life."

COURTESY PHOTO: DAWN JONES REDSTONE - Here is a scene from "Mother of Color." Ana del Rocio (right) plays Noelia, who has the opportunity at a job but she begins receiving messages from her ancestors. "Ancestors are trying to tell her something," director Dawn Jones Redstone said.The main character was influenced by the lead actor Ana del Rocio, a politically minded "policy wonk" who also has two kids. A person who "has plans, but 'I don't have child care,'" Redstone said.

The film also stars Kacey Tinoco, Julian Hernandez and Patricia Alvitez and it includes special appearances from City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty and Luz Elena Mendoza of the band Y La Bamba, who also created a song for the film.

Bringing the film to Poland for feedback and guidance helped out. Jones Redstone said she learned about what distributors (such as streaming services) look for, and how programmers and publicists can help.

"My favorite part was how welcoming they were," she said. "They want to promote Polish production services, and each film was connected with some sort of award in that way, and I actually have distribution in Poland on Polish TV, that's amazing. It includes a fee, too, so I have some money waiting.

"We met with different companies, and there are unique services there, and some can be more affordable. They want outsiders," she added. "Of the films that went, we're all still in touch, all keeping tabs on each other's films as we go out in the world."

COURTESY PHOTO: DAWN JONES REDSTONE - Ana del Rocio served as the inspiration for Dawn Jones Redstone's "Mother of Color.""Mother of Color" made its world premiere in October 2022 at the Tacoma Film Festival and screened the same weekend at the Workers Unite Film Festival in New York City and the Louisville International Film Festival in Kentucky.

Jones Redstone admits being nervous about local audiences seeing "Mother of Color."

"What are people going to like? How's this moment in film going to go? Will they laugh?" she said. "I try not to focus on that. It's an experience, I love having these screenings. With short films, we always sold out the theater. The scale is times 10, including the audience" at Hollywood Theatre.

Jones Redstone, 51 and a Portland resident for 26 years (originally from San Antonio, Texas), has built a reputation and learned how to tell stories through short films.

The "Sista in the Brotherhood," which she directed, brought her some notoriety in 2016.

It's based on her own experience and a doctoral thesis by co-producer Roberta Hunte. The 20-minute narrative film was filmed at the then-Sellwood Bridge construction site, and it incorporated themes on the experiences of women and women of color working in male-dominated trades and industries. Black Rosie the Riveter is a recurring theme through the film.

Jones Redstone, of Mexican descent, worked as an instructor in Oregon Tradeswoman for nine years and for six years as a carpenter.

In 2016 she told the Portland Tribune: "I experienced on a first-hand basis a clear pattern I saw happening on a larger scale. The reason we wanted to shoot on the Sellwood Bridge and highlight a project like that is because federally funded projects have workforce diversity requirements, and part of what we're seeing is how in theory that's a good idea, but it may not be enough."

Jones Redstone has made about 20 shorts about tradeswomen.

"Sista in the Brotherhood" is still used today by Collective Eye Films for educators; it's part of a university catalog. Auto workers in Detroit are using it, and the federal Department of Labor and state Bureau of Labor and Industry have used it.

The film has its own website:

"I didn't know it'd be as well-received as it was," Redstone said. "It has continued to reach folks."

Jones Redstone proudly wants to help other women, including "my community — I'm a queer woman of color, and I've done that with all my films," including "Mother of Color," employing women and nonbinary people of color who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

She added: "We need more people who look like me to be in the film industry."

For more about "Mother of Color," see the film's website, see For tickets:

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