Emilio Torres, director of the short film “The Ladder,” takes a break outside the Clinton Theater on May 28 during the Oregon Short Film Festival Spring 2022, where his film was being shown. Photo by Hall Anderson

As far back as Emilio Torres can remember, he wanted to be a filmmaker. 

It started in 2005 when his parents took him to see “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” Torres recalls something “clicking” in his head as he watched the Star Wars prequel trilogy come to a conclusion. Then came the DVD box set of the film that his parents gifted to him on his birthday. It was full of behind-the-scenes, making-of documentaries, and once Torres saw that there were people whose lives revolved around making movies, he was hooked.