We were first inspired by a youth presentation at the Seattle International Film Festival last year. A local nonprofit recruited minority youth from all over the country to participate in a filmmaking exercise: Produce a short film from scratch in 36 hours. Following the intense, day-and-a-half program, students proudly showcased their films in-person to a SIFF audience.
Inspired by this, we approached a local community partner where we’re proud to sponsor their multi-media program for inner-city youth. An hour and several enthusiastic nods from
Franklin High School students later, we planned to debut a short film produced entirely by them at the Seattle Asian American Film Festival’s opening reception. The Franklin High School students are a part of the Asian Counseling and Referral Service’s (ACRS) Southeast Young Men’s Group and the film would address the digital divide as it is experienced by the teens.
Earlier this month, the 2nd annual festival kicked off with an opening reception hosted by Comcast at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle. The teens presented the trailer to their up-coming full-length video about the digital divide and shared their experiences developing the film. Of course, that’s the video embedded above.
Joseph Mills, the ACRS youth program coordinator, said he appreciated the opportunity to create a dialogue about the digital divide with the teens and increase the capacity of the program through Comcast’s support.
“I can say already that Comcast’s support has been essential in our progression as a program,” said Mills. “The support has allowed us to enroll more youth into the film program, and we have been able to upgrade our some of our equipment to a professional standard.”
Vanessa Au, the film festival co-founder along with Kevin Bang, said, “Comcast has been a great supporter of multi-media programs in diverse communities. Part of the mission of SAAFF is to promote Asian Pacific Americans in media and the arts and believe it’s important to have a place where different perspectives can be fostered and shared. Thank you Comcast for your partnership!”
The full-length short film by ACRS’ Southeast Young Men’s Group will be available online next month at their website.