Yesterday, Reel Works celebrated its latest and largest graduating class of all time. 14 students mastered the challenges of the Fall 2012 Lab, without having one dropout. Before a full house at the HBO Theater, the newest Reel Works grads presented their films, which they have been working on for the last six months, eagerly and full of determination. Finishing their projects was not an easy task, but a tough struggle for the young filmmakers and almost all of them admitted that they had thought about giving up at least once. But finally, they succeeded with the help of their mentors and by putting one foot in front of the other. For the students, it was certainly worth the effort and yesterday’s audience agreed by rewarding them with a standing ovation.
Apart from the new graduates, we would like to thank all of the committed mentors and our teaching artists Patricia Hicks – writing mentor, Zach Lennon-Simon – Teaching Assistant and Philip B. Swift – Lab Instructor, all lead by Director of Education, Laurel Gwizdak. You did an incredible job!
“These 14 filmmakers have worked very hard to have their voices heard and tonight was a battle cry for all teenagers who feel that they have a story to tell. Also 4 of the films from this class featured original music composed by teens from our very own music program! It’s a great night for youth media!”– Zachary Lennon-Simon, Teaching Assistant
The newest 14 films to add to the Reel Works roster are:
- “The Chase” by Akino Roseman asking the question “Are you living your life or do you just exist?”
- “It’s More Than Dancing” by Luckny Jacques, a profile of two particular high school street dancers, in which he shows us why and how he relates to them more you would think.
- “Notes of Autumn Lee” by Autumn Channer: When you’re feeling all alone in the world, there’s only one person that you feel you can talk to: your journal.
- “Temporary Home” by Julianna Negron showing us what it’s like to be a teenager without a permanent home.
- “KEY-Ping Hope” by Helen Wong, showing us the merits and accomplishments of Key Club and how helping others helped her get through a rough point in her own life.
- “Por Amor” by Kenya Del Carpio discussing the generational differences in her family and in their expectations for her.
- “Leslie” by Ethan Stark-Miller, a portrait of a neighborhood boxing instructor who inspires his students to be more than they’re capable of.
- “Strength” by Star Cummings: Even being born with Cerebral Palsy isn’t going to stop Star Cummings from accomplishing everything she wants to in life.
- “Stop and Frisk: The Conversation” by Jasper Briggs, a conversation about Stop and Frisk that poses the question: is there any good that comes out of this polarizing policy?
- “Gang Life” by Trevor Leckie, a look back at the harrowing experiences a young teenager had while being a member in a gang.
- “A-Yo” by Ashley Green, discusses her love of K-Pop and how it helps her escape from all of her problems. Even if its her parents divorce.
- “Rouge Blood” by Stephanie Cherng, a stirring portrait of a father’s escape from Cambodia and how it shaped his life forever.
- “Story of the Sticks” by Josh Charles: On a chair, walking down the street, sitting at a desk: anywhere is a good enough place for Josh Charles to practice what he loves to do best.
- “Double Standard” by Tibian Ahmed, who has faced prejudice because of her religion since childhood, shares with us how this has affected her world view and how she’s working to change that.
Please help us by continuing to support these students and spread the word about their stories. Join the conversation at #giveteensavoice.