By Marybel Rodriguez


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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A love of films and filmmaking is what brought a South Florida teenager and his mentor together.

Arturo Sande and Brendan Santidrian share a special bond.

“One of the things the big things we have in common is that we are both movie lovers and Brendan is an encyclopedia of film. I know that I can say any film, any scene shot and he knows it, that is hard to find,” said Arturo.

It is the love they both share for movies and film making that brought them together.

“When I was like 16, I discovered You Tube videos. I saw tutorials on how to edit and I wanted to do that,” recalled Brendan.

Brendan’s mother, Yolanda Leonard thought it would be a great idea to expose him to the world of filmmaking. Brendan attended the Florida Film Institute summer camp and it was there where Brendan meet Arturo. Since then, Arturo has been a constant presence in his life.

Brendan has gone from being Arturo’s student to working with him as Brendan now edit’s most of Arturo’s projects.

“In reality he is the driving force behind a lot of what I do and the people who have asked me for documentaries, movies, visual work. In reality he is the creative force behind many of the things we do,” said Sande.

For Brendan, getting to where he is now has not been easy. At a young age, he was diagnosed with high functioning autism; a disability he says does not define who he is.

“Anything is possible no matter what; you can be what you want to be. I lived it and you can too,” said Santidrian.

That is a constant reminder from Arturo, his friend and mentor, who says not only has he played a big role in Brendan’s life, but also Brendan has played a lead role in his.

“He has shown me the importance of what mentors can do. That is something we hear every day but when you see it in a living breathing person and you see the evolution like he said keep going that’s something I always tell him keep going and he does.”

Arturo says he is the lucky one.

“We say that I’m his mentor but it also works the other way around I also learn every day from him,” said Sande.

Brendan is now working on an hour-long documentary.  His goal is to get a job as a full time editor and become more self-sufficient.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at mentoringmatters@cbs.com.

Click here for more Mentoring Matters.

Marybel Rodriguez

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