Teen Filmmakers In the Spotlight
Most of us are familiar with the recent documentary Super
Size Me, in which Morgan Spurlock, the film’s
director, producer and self-proclaimed guinea pig underwent
thirty days of eating only McDonald’s. Similarly,
many of us flocked to the theatre to see Michael Moore’s Bowling
for Columbine and are
even more excited about Fahrenheit 9/11.
However, there are other documentary makers out there that
the majority of us don’t even know about—they
are the youth of New York City and part of the Educational
Video Center (EVC).
On a recent
evening in the Walter Reade theatre at Lincoln Center, three
documentaries were showcased displaying just a taste of what
these students explore on a daily basis.
EVC is run by a board of directors, including Bruni Burres,
Director Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (HRWIFF)
and Gail Gant, VP and Treasurer, who were present to provide
opening remarks and gratitude toward sponsors that have made
the program possible, specifically Time Warner, for consistently
supporting the aspirations of EVC’s youth producers.
is our third year doing this,” commented Gant, “And
it just keeps getting better and better.” “We’ve
been able to see these pieces as well as the youth producers
grow,” added Burres.
The first two documentaries, Patriarchy is
Malarkey! And Actions of Today, Blueprints for Tomorrow:
Youth Organizing to Transform Education by the Basic and Advanced Documentary Workshops, respectively, displayed
solid themes that managed to be successfully portrayed in
fifteen minutes each.
Patriarchy is Malarkey! opened
with voice-overs stating “There’s a war going
on and it’s not the one you see on TV. It’s the
war on women” and ended with the March on Washington
to protect women’s reproductive rights.
Actions of Today, Blueprints for Tomorrow followed the lives and dedication of a group of Bronx
students eager to create their own school, based on what
they feel other schools are lacking, including over-crowding
and a lack of respect.
The third documentary, All That I Can Be, produced by Youth Organizers Television (YO-TV), followed
the decision of an EVC alum, as he joined the US Army in
search of a way out of poverty. Although the audience only
received a thirty-minute clip, it was enough to create a
powerful message and a reiteration of the seriousness of
Along with producing
documentaries, EVC has created a curriculum DVD to be distributed
throughout schools in the U.S. and other countries. “In a time when we’re
being told more than ever not to question, these students are
acting on what they find instinctual, and they’re asking ‘why’,” commented
Tim Dorsey, the program’s Managing Director.
EVC has created an outlet
for students’ questions
and a possible way to acquire answers. As one student put it, “Even
though it takes up a lot of my time, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm every
day after school, I think it has helped my performance in other
classes, along with making me a better person overall.”
Gant said it perfectly
when she opened the night’s
event with the words, “You’ll see tonight…you’ll
want to get involved with EVC.” With such a solid cause
and powerful implementation, it’s hard to disagree.#