Before There Was Bernalwood, There Was Bernaltown

Yes, that’s right: Before there was Bernalwood, there was Bernaltown.

Bernaltown was a 1997 film project by Gregory Gavin, starring neighborhood kids and a variety of locals. It premiered in early June 1997, in an outside screening at the Bernal Heights Playground behind the library. 500 people showed up.

A narrative neighborhood film project structured around the Powerbuilders, a foursome of pre-teen superheroes who resist an evil scheme to build a gigantic casino on top of the community’s sacred resource – Bernal Hill. Instead of fighting evil with guns the kids build fantastic crime fighting gadgets in a secret underground workshop from which they also launch their homemade soap box cars through secret tunnels into the narrow streets of Bernaltown.

VHS copies of the movie are — or were — available at the Bernal Heights Library and 4-Star video. You can watch some excerpts from it on Gavin’s website.

So, find a hat like mine, and you get instant street cred.