Orlando Gomez was born and raised in Fresno, a place he will always call home, despite leaving at various times to pursue career opportunities. He has run his own production company, Stellar Lense Productions, Inc. for over 13 years and appreciates the opportunities to be rooted in and help grow the local Fresno film community because he is a firm believer that “a win for any of us is a win for all of us.”

Orlando’s previous work includes the Uber commercial “Spanish Lessons” (2nd place in national Uber commercial competition & multi Telly Award Winning), Toledo’s “Authentic commercial (airing on Comcast, 30, 24 and Maya cinemas), the Facebook exclusive series “Cousin Sal’s Sure Thing” (produced by Jimmy Kimmel where he edited the spec trailer and was hired as the graphics supervisor to the show) and most recently, he directed the local spec trailer for the TV series “Americanos.”

Orlando’s film, Needle & Thread” is a biography of Dr. Fitzalbert M. Marius, a 96-year old African American World War II veteran and cardiac surgeon who pioneered open-heart surgery in Fresno.

The idea to profile Dr. Marius came from Paul Loeffler, the voice of Fresno State Sports. Paul urged Orlando to learn more about Dr. Marius because he is a “Renaissance Man” with apparently no end to his talents and interests.

Paul was right. Dr. Marius has led an interesting and unique life; a life in which he performed 12,000 heart surgeries, broke racial barriers, explored hobbies including painter, poet, and biblical scholar. Orlando says, “In fact, my biggest concern was that it was too large and great of a story to tell in 5 minutes!” As such, Orlando decided to focus on a more narrow story of Dr. Marius’s life for this project and will likely return after The Big Tell to seek approval to do a full-scale documentary.

Stellar Lense does both corporate and creative work in the Fresno area and beyond. Orlando says, “At the heart of everything we do is a story and we love creating and sharing stories. Whether it’s a feature film, commercial or promotional Instagram video, the passion is always the same.”

Enjoy the premiere of “Needle & Thread” at The Big Tell Showcase on Friday, October 19 at 7 pm at the Tower Theatre in Fresno.

The Big Tell, presented by Bank of America, is a regional filmmaking initiative for ten Central Valley filmmakers creating 5-minute mini-documentaries about incredible people, places, and events in the Central Valley.

All ten films will be screened at The Big Tell Showcase: Walk the red carpet starting at 6:00pm before the show at 7:00pm. For more information and to reserve a seat for this free, all-ages show, visit www.thebigtell.org.