The documentary pays tribute to SF community heroes who rose during the pandemic

A new documentary pays tribute to community heroes who rose during the pandemic. “It Takes The Hood To Save the Hood” examines how San Francisco’s SoMa was affected by the pandemic and how volunteers have gathered to care for those in need.

As the pandemic subsides, a new short documentary pays tribute to the heroes of the San Francisco community.

It’s called “It Takes the Hood to Save the Hood”, a first-time contribution by photographer Harvey Lozado.

“When I think of SOMA, I think of people’s resilience, we are survivors here,” says organizer Rudy Corpuz, Jr. in the opening moments of the 30-minute film.

Corpuz is one of five people profiled for their work and dedication when COVID-19 hit the South of Market neighborhood.

They were personally honored on Thursday evening when the documentary premiered on a big screen at StrEAT Food Park on 11th Street.

The documentary shows how volunteers came together to help the people who needed them, such as thousands of pounds of food and delivery drivers for home-bound recipients.

Community organizations had to band together and spin like never before when people panicked.

“There are people who care for their families on their own and are now unemployed,” says Carla Laurel, another person featured in the film.

Laurel is the managing director of the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center.

“People didn’t know what to do, how to deal with EDD, how to deal with rent, and we had to find all of that out when it came.”

Among the audience at the demonstration were many employees and volunteers who went beyond themselves in the past year.

“I hope we can hold this solidarity and unity together after this pandemic,” Corpuz told KTVU.

Corpuz is a former felon and founder of United Playaz, a violence prevention organization.

During Covid, he rallied others who had served their time to help the weak around them.

“There is no greater responsibility than to give in one’s life for someone else’s life,” said Corpuz at the screening event.

“Because we all know that there were many people who actually died from the pandemic.”

In the film, Corpuz is even more direct.

“We helped people who had no money bury their people and they were afraid they didn’t know what to do,” he says.

The mini-documentation looks at the resilience of SOMA, both in the past and in the future.

“The people who left, the tech geeks who left, I don’t know what that means to them, but we’re still here and we will continue to be here,” said Aureen Almario, Artistic Director of the Bindlestiff Studio, a Filipino American theater company.

Almario and the other honorees came on stage after the premiere to receive bouquets of flowers and applause.

“Thank you for making us all look beautiful on screen,” Almario told filmmaker Lozado.

Although they haven’t looked for it, the recognition is appreciated.

“It is priceless to be recognized and welcomed for doing something positive for our people and the community,” said Corpuz.

Lozado says that after some editing tweaks, he hopes to bring his work to film festivals and make it widely available.