Teen Filmmakers Take Over with Third EVC Youth Doc Series

Another season of Through Our Eyes: Three Decades of EVC Youth Documentaries is on tap at Film Society. The third installment of the award-winning retrospective series is slated to begin March 4, spotlighting topics ranging from youth health, teen depression, peer pressure, and corporate marketing tactics aimed at teenagers who smoke. Shorts in the series are created by teens through the Educational Video Center's (EVC) Youth Documentary Workshop.

Spanning three decades, the EVC retrospective documentary series captures life in New York City and beyond, through the P.O.V. of teen filmmakers. Each program is curated from the archives of EVC’s Youth Documentary Workshop program, whose projects have won more than 100 awards, including an Emmy and the White House’s Coming Up Taller Award. The third season kicks off with two new screenings this spring, with two more planned for the fall. This season’s collection of student shorts spans from 1990 to 2012.

Another installment of shorts set for April 8 will include shorts that highlight environmental issues, from the garbage crisis to pollution in the Hudson River and recycling in low-income neighborhoods. Each program will screen at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater and will be followed by a panel discussion.

"EVC’s student films are assertive and astonishing. These teens have a lot to say about their world. They boldly go where angels fear to tread," commented Film Society Programming Associate Isa Cucinotta, who programmed the retrospective with fellow Film Society Programming Associate Marcela Goglio. "EVC gives teens the knowledge and facility to create telling documentaries about the social issues they deal with daily."

Added Kent Jones, Film Society's Director of Programming at NYFF: "Every one of these pieces is balanced between the personal and the informative, the immediate and the presentational, sometimes touchingly, sometimes naïvely, sometimes awkwardly, and sometimes quite beautifully. I value the clarity of EVC’s video pieces, but I also prize their rough edges."

March 4: Youth Health & Healing

2009 – The War Within: Youth Depression (27 min): Youth tell harrowing, yet life-affirming stories of their struggles with depression and the treatments they have found to cope with it.

2011 – A Clouded View (24 min): An inside look at corporate marketing, stress, and peer pressure that makes thousands of teenagers pick up their first cigarette everyday, what the addiction means to them and their families, and how community health workers at Harlem Hospital are helping them kick the habit.

2012 – Breathing Easy: Environmental Hazards in Public Housing (23 min): EVC youth producers bring their cameras to a fellow student’s mold-infested Harlem apartment, documenting their struggles with asthma and local environmental justice advocates efforts to help a family in need. 

April 8: Water & Waste: NYC Teens on Environmental Justice

1990 – Trash Thy Neighbor (14 min): "A lively, creative presentation on the garbage crisis and the role urban young people can play in combating the problem..." – Safe Planet: The Guide to Environmental Film and Video

1991 – NYC and the Hudson River: Downstream and Up the Creek  (14 min): This visually creative work highlights the importance of the Hudson River and examines the causes and consequences of its pollution, through interviews with the Hudson River Keeper and visits to the then newly constructed sewage treatment plant in Harlem.

2006 – Still Standing (11 min): The story of a determined Hurricane Katrina survivor and grandmother who struggles to survive and rebuild what remains of her home without federal emergency assistance, in the midst of a real-estate frenzy that is pushing the poor out of their communities.

2007 – Shame on You: That Can Be Reused! (23 min): A must-see intergenerational documentary that explores environmental justice and recycling in NYC’s low-income communities with a focus on the South Bronx.

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