So constantly we hear and read about bullying, teenage substance abuse, school drop-outs, and about a billion other social issues affecting our young adults. Wouldn’t it be amazing to give them an outlet to express how they feel? An opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. To show them that there is a way out, a way to move ahead, hope for a successful future.
I remember as a pre-teen being bullied so badly that I had to change schools. I also remember then, being a bully myself to feel like I had regained some sort of control in my life! The feeling of helplessness makes everyone react in different ways. Drugs, alcohol, abuse, even suicide. Had there been a way to help me understand, an opportunity to get it out in a positive way, how had my own life have been different?
What in the hell does this have to do with film you are probably asking. Project Aware began in 2003 with a goal to raise awareness about youth prescription drug abuse.
Empowering young people to lead.
Teens are making AMAZING, WONDERFUL, and utterly IMPRESSIVE films on these difficult situations. Take the most recent film ‘A Shoestring for Mackenzie‘.
In January of 2010, Project AWARE solicited ideas for a movie to be shot at their advanced Summer film Institute. Ema Jane Hutchins, a Sophomore at Sanford High School, and a a crew member for 2 previous Project AWARE movies responded with a powerful story of a 17 year old girl who had experienced challenging times, and now lives the life she wants. It is about the character’s dreams and about the positive impact she has on those around her.
There are more films such as Influenced, Untold Stories, Falling, and April’s Heart. Each summer, Project Aware holds The Summer Film Institute “Camp” for young adults 13 to 18. There, they are to create a film about a social issue to be determined by a group.
Working as a team, young filmmakers will learn the “A-Z” of video production including production coordination, casting, directing, lighting, sound, photography, and post production including some editing, and more.
What creative minds our future leaders have. It is such a good feeling for me to see that there are changes being made, help for those who feel as I did so many years ago. A change, who says change isn’t good?