BHERC Youth Diversity Film Festival Creates Cultural Bonds As Youth Filmmakers From 14 Countries Share their Stories
Youth from 14 countries defy Pandemic reaching across language, oceans and US states to share views, insights, issues and events that uplift and give them hope.
— Damani Douglas, Youth Filmmaker, “Melanated: The Color Underneath”
LOS ANGELES, CA, US, January 28, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) recognizes and supports the unique talents and voices of youth with the provision and promotion of the platform of the 11th Annual Youth Diversity Film Festival (YDFF). Traditionally brought to the community annually as a live event, this year due to the pandemic the YDFF festival made its online debut on www.BHERC.TV. Saturday January 16th thru Thursday, January 31st, 2021.
YDFF is one of the longest running youth film festivals to focus on diversity, sharing short narrative, animation, and docu-short films from a varied group. A welcome and incredible outcome of this year’s YDFF– in addition to the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the young filmmakers’ stories — have been the cultural bonding of the young filmmakers through their online interaction. “Our young filmmakers are very astute and in tune with what is going on in the world today,” notes Sandra Evers-Manly, President. “YDFF gives them a platform to share their stories with an international audience. They have found that they have a cultural tie that binds them that they were not aware of before that will inform their storytelling from now on. That is a powerful opportunity for all of us!”
The young filmmakers shared their perspectives with each other through social networks, online round tables and panels. Discussing their approach to filmmaking, how they got started, who their mentors are and where they want to go in the future with their filmmaking. Supporting each other and sharing their journey. For many, they tackled heavy topics close to their hearts such as social justice, mental health, racial injustice, horror, suicide, and on the lighter side skateboarding, wanting a pet, Rap battle, and comedy. The online audiences have been extremely affected as well. Witnessing what their counterparts in each other’s countries are going through and that it is a lot like the same issues of all young people. The YDFF created an understanding that they share a cultural bond. A sharing of the same pride and personal honor in the “telling” of their unique, unadulterated views and hopes for the future and the experience of sharing it with a supportive audience. Listed are a few of the filmmakers quotes about their cross cultural international online experience:
• Damani Douglas, New York, New York: “Melanated: The Color Underneath” – “The amplification of black voices around the world through BHERC is a success that lives in my heart. Though our differences are many, our commitment to advocating for social justice through film connects us all. As youth filmmakers, our creative drive to provoke change and instill hope is our greatest asset.”
• Inam Inam, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India: “Charisma” – “We feel happy to see more creative films of talented filmmakers. This is the great platform for all growing generations.”
• Luis Lopes, Brockton, Massachusetts: “Hope” – “This festival is a great chance to learn and to teach what you learned to your fellow filmmakers.”
• Evangelina Sarett, Novosibirsk, Russia, Russian Federation: “Adventure in parallel Universes” – “Incredible festival! Amazing films! Youth Diversity Film Festival was really great to be part of. We saw some wonderful independent films there and learned lots from other filmmakers. Absolutely fantastic, thanks!”
• Jordyn Rae, Orcutt, CA: “There’s Food in the House” – “I am so glad I got to experience such greatly made films by even more amazing filmmakers! Getting to know the people who made these very powerful films and learning their stories behind the scenes was definitely an experience I won’t forget!”
• Beatriz Velloso, Vieira de Ouro Filmes, Sao Paolo Brazil: “My diary at the end of the world: Football Edition” – “I and everyone on the team, are very happy to participate in this wonderful festival. I have watched every movie and classrooms and I get tears in my eyes when I see people so passionate about art. That shows us the beautiful cultural diversity, and that we are all human. I learn a lot about culture and what moves people on this small planet. Thank you very much and JESUS bless. In particular I send hugs to the Brazilians who are here too.”
In addition to the films that are available 24/7 through January 31st, 2021 on www.BHERC.TV were panels with industry professionals that provided insight into three areas of expertise in the film, television, and stage professions. Sound and Editing, Animation and Costume Design. Each panel provided access to mentorship and inside, real time real life information and experience by some of the best professionals in their fields. “Our Youth are an important part of the founding and ongoing work of the BHERC,” states BHERC YDFF Director Billie Green. “This festival is presented annually to continue the BHERC mission to provide an outlet and opportunity for young filmmakers to share their stories about issues, challenges, and successes to a broad audience as well as access to professionals who will mentor and support them on their journey.”
In the past, the BHERC YDFF selected and screened 500 entries from the US. This year, YDFF increased its outreach for submissions utilizing Film Freeway receiving more than 1500 submissions from the US and multiple countries. The 60 plus films selected for 2021, are as diverse as the areas they hail from and the young filmmakers they represent including the US, and 14 countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Kenya, Russia, Estonia, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Bangladesh, Korea, Denmark, India, Hungary, and Iran.
Don’t miss these last days of this festival of incredible films by youth from across the globe online thru Sunday, January 31st. Take the time to log in and learn, be inspired, moved, gain insight from the filmmakers and from the films. Sign-up today at www.BHERC.TV Admissions for the online festival are $25.00 Festival Pass, $10.00 Adult Day Pass and Students $5.00 Day Pass. All Panels are Free. For additional information about BHERC and all of its programs visit www.bherc.org. BE ACTIVE – ENGAGED – INSPIRED – www.BHERC.ORG.
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