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Truth to Power: Film Contest Winners and Semi-Finalists

Over 100 teen filmmakers spoke Truth to Energy for this yr’s YFEP Film Contest. We invited teens to converse immediately to these in energy to lead change about points that matter to them. The 12 finalist movies tackled a wide range of polarizing, and typically taboo, subjects together with gun violence, immigrant family separation, gender equality, poisonous masculinity, shaming and bullying, and climate change.

The top three filmmakers will obtain cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250. The first place winner will even receive a scholarship to the New York Film Academy.

FIRST PLACE WINNERS: Molly Smith and Sage Croft (Clermont, FL)

Pricey America

Problem: Gun Violence

Audience: American citizens

Pricey America is an open letter on the topic of gun management from Era Z, co-directed by 19-year-olds Molly Smith and Sage Croft of Clermont, FL. The movie was produced by a forged of 20 students ranging from ages 5-19 and spotlights the psychological impression of gun violence on youth. Among a aggressive area, Pricey America gained the judges’ highest scores for its clear message and compelling visual method.

Judges’ notes: Incredibly forceful message from a robust voiced filmmaker. The script is pitch good, the supply even higher (robust appearing = great directing). The digital camera work and composition are spot on, very superior.

SECOND PLACE: Taylor Richardson (Edgewater, NJ)


Situation: Sexual Assault

Audience: Presidential nominees

Taylor Richardson’s emotionally-charged film, Disgrace, depicts a gaggle of students’ responses to sexual assault and “speaks to the power of a woman’s truth in society.” In a really close race, the judges have been blown away by the stark, devastating great thing about this film.

I hope “Shame” encourages the nominee to not draw back from acknowledging the faults in our society perpetuated by the federal government and to take fast motion to shield and increase the voices of girls and different marginalized individuals over the course of their campaign and presidency.

Judges’ notes: Wow – skilled quality sound design and the cinematography is outstanding! General really effective venture and a really robust portrayal of the impacts of sexual violence. It received at the emotion behind the problems in a strong means.

THIRD PLACE: Cerys Rotondo

I Am a Man

Difficulty: Toxic Masculinity

Viewers: Basic public

Harkening again to the Civil Rights Motion together with her title, Cerys calls on viewers to problem socially constructed concepts of masculinity and think about how those norms suppress voices and create predetermined roles. Judges praised Cerys for “making a single story the story of many” together with her experimental film, which uses poetry and skillful digital camera motion to painting numerous male perspectives and experiences.

From the very start little boys are taught to be robust and to construct up walls that have a tendency to by no means come down.  Talking about men who have been sexually assaulted or harassed is taboo in our society. We hear ladies share countless stories and see organizations coming collectively for ladies and their experiences with sexual assault yet neglect the other 10%. We never speak concerning the one in six males that may expertise sexual assault. (W)hy can we limit victims to one gender? Why can’t we as a society accept that men aren’t brick walls?

You reading this, have the facility to change these social norms and get rid of poisonous masculinity. You’ve got energy in every part you say, tweet, publish, and do. Increase your little boys and encourage the lads in your life to really feel what they’re feeling and categorical their feelings, as a result of if not, how will they ever really be heard? We’ve to ask ourselves, how are you going to anticipate someone to be weak, once we never permit it?

Congratulations to all of this yr’s amazingly gifted 2019 YFEP Film contest finalists!

Take a look at the rest of the semi-finalist films under.

Displacement and Migration

Households Belong Together, by Julieta Figueroa Loor, Adrian Cabrera Tejeda, Dulce Anahi Guevara Barreda and Imanol Obed Matul Perez (Truthful Haven Elementary Faculty, CT)

Audience: The federal government

We all deserve an excellent life because we are human. It is unfair that undocumented individuals are positioned in a detention middle and they’ve to be wrapped in aluminum, many individuals come to this nation to seek a brand new life and it’s unfair that they don’t let individuals in. (We) would really like the government to understand the injury it’s doing to undocumented households. No government has the proper to separate families and make them endure.

Palestinians Deserve Peace, (Honorable Point out)

Audience: U.S. Government and Media

After our administration moved the Embassy to Jerusalem and declared it the capital of Israel, a lot modified, but, most of all, Palestinians felt that we had abandoned them. We’d like to see what is absolutely occurring and care about these individuals, for they are human and deserve so much more than segregation walls, limited water, tear gassing, violence, and oppression.

Our media needs to cease portraying Palestinians as violent individuals, and begin sharing their actual, weak tales. I’ve hope, however we’d like to converse fact to power, and we’d like to do it now.

Gender Equality and Poisonous Masculinity

Boys Will Be Boys, by Angelina Velis (Ursuline Academy of Dallas)

In response to current media coverage relating to sexual assault, this brief movie exhibits the steps that ladies take day by day to make certain they don’t seem to be assaulted. Sexual assault is a critical problem and many ladies are assaulted day-after-day. Ladies in all places have to take the additional step to shield themselves while doing everyday things like strolling to their automotive or going out with buddies. 1 in three teenage women in Texas might be bodily or mentally abused and this brief film brings to mild the worry that ladies face whereas many males by no means have to think about whether or not someone will assault them.

Nashville Ladies’s March, by Casey Crowe (Brentwood Excessive Faculty)

A brief documentary movie masking the 2017 Ladies’s March on Nashville

Bridging the Political Divide

Civil Discourse?, by Hunter Wanger (Marblehead High Faculty, MA)

Rachel requested individuals in her neighborhood to share their ideas for building a “more civil and less violent” America.

So as to rectify the stark and violent political divide in the country, the one recourse is to sit down one-on-one and talk about these points moderately than yell anonymously out of a crowd or via the web. I needed to make a movie addressing this concept because I’m unhappy with the state of political discourse within the nation and needed to categorical this with man on the street fashion interviews. My film speaks fact to power by telling the political and media establishments that fomenting this divide just isn’t the best way forwards for this nation, and that the individuals are not proud of it.


You Reap What You Sow, by Jacob Updyke (Millburn High Faculty, NJ)

Jacob Updyke is an aspiring animator and storyteller who is captivated with environmental activism.  He’s also a 10th grader at Millburn High Faculty. It took him 7 months to train himself how to create animation, producing 1600 frames by hand.

I hope it should spread awareness concerning the topic of climate change and ecosystem destruction. We are becoming more and more more disconnected from these issues and it’s my biggest worry that we depart them behind completely.

Be slightly more acutely aware of what you do. Don’t depart lights on once you depart a room, don’t throw out plastic and prioritize a extra environment friendly means of power. It’s the little things collectively that kill our planet. I additionally assume we’ve got a duty as residents to get knowledgeable and demand our leaders take accountability. The federal government isn’t going to change until we modify.

Remembering Maria, by Joshua Soto, Jedriel Albino Fernandez, Yancy Almestica Joseph, Madelin Garcia Peralta, Yairinette Crystal Cordova Rivera (Truthful Haven Elementary Faculty, CT)

In Puerto Rico, a hurricane passed. Her identify was Maria.

While the hurricane was occurring, many individuals hid in closets and other locations in order that they and their youngsters (might be) protected. Most of the cities of Puerto Rico have been prepared for the arrival of the hurricane but some people who did not have houses had to go to some shelters that had water and food…Many individuals survived but many did not. Lots of these people who died have been very courageous individuals but in addition some individuals died after the hurricane because that they had no residence and no food. Many people have been very unhappy because some individuals of their household died.

Once I contacted my family they advised me that before there was not a lot fuel there was no mild however now it is enhancing as a result of there’s mild, there’s a little gasoline.

Gun Management

“Questions need to be asked before bullets begin to fly,” says Mikayla of the message behind her movie. “I am mentally and emotionally drained from unarmed African-American(s) being brutally abused and murdered by law enforcers.”

Palms Up, Don’t Shoot, by Mikayla Ibrahim

We’re referred to as African People, but aren’t treated as such. We are saying we reside in ‘The Land of the Free’ but we aren’t really free. We stay in worry day by day that just a routine visitors cease might flip right into a homicide within a matter of seconds. Questions want to be asked earlier than bullets start to fly. I feel as though my adaptation must be taken as a lesson to our government, to our regulation enforcers, to our youth, and any and everybody else who considers themselves as an American.

In an open film-letter to the Nationwide Rifle Association, Maya additionally asks crucial questions concerning the gun lobby’s motivations.

Sincerely, a Scholar, by Maya Bernardes

Typically, young individuals of this era are nervous to converse up on controversial subjects, including gun management. I did it the only method I understand how- writing a narrative with a shifting picture… Experimenting with the influence of music, reduce scenes, and voice-overs all compressed my inventive view in storytelling. Inside the four minute time restrict, I needed to inform a story a few Scholar wanting her voice to be heard and fact be informed to these in energy, as a name for motion.

Together with the Chairs of the New York Film Academy Departments of Documentary Film and Cinematography, artist and guest decide Sheryl Oring screened the highest 12 movies and chosen 3 winners. The second place awards were given to films that artfully tackled the taboo subjects of sexual assault and poisonous masculinity.