Last weekend, young filmmakers from Reel Works, Youth FX (located in Albany, NY), and Interference Archive came together for “Filmmakers on F.L.E.E.K.”, a screening-workshop series dedicated to “film, learning, empowerment, emancipation, and (k)ommunity”. Students reflected on questions such as: what are collective, community-oriented ways of creating films? How can young filmmakers maintain their personal vision while receiving group support? How do we ensure that our artistic goals are cultivated by teachers, supporters, mentors, and ourselves?
Darian Henry, Imani Peterkin, and other young filmmakers from Youth FX screened three films that they have collaborated on throughout their time with the organization: Tyler, the story of a murdered youth’s family and community healing from the trauma of losing a loved one, It’s Natural, a film highlighting the significance of Black women and their journeys with hair and self-love, and Inside the Ring, a short documentary telling the story of Albany’s city youth boxing program. Likewise, youth from Reel Works screened short documentaries that spoke to their experience as filmmakers, including Grief, etc by Catherine Robinson, This Is: Connections by Dexter Dugar, and Black & White by Jakhi Sidberry.
By the end, Reel Works and FX youth connected over shared experiences as young filmmakers, artists, and young people working to create a healing effect in the lives of others. The lesson learned this weekend: When organizations involved in similar work come together to dialogue and exchange ideas, we create a stronger, more sustainable network of positive change. -Angel Evans