By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, Chicago Crusader
South Side teens who got paid to learn how make a movie will get publicly recognized by their peers and family members on Friday, May 6, when their finished short film “Run With It” premieres at the Chicago’s CineYouth Film Festival.
High School students from the South Side of Chicago (including Englewood and Hyde Park) who want to explore their interests in media production were given the opportunity by Southside FYI to develop their craft from local pros.
Students commonly write personal stories about the challenges they face in their lives; which over the past 10 years has often taken the form of gun and gang violence faced by the youth.
The film “Run With It” depicts two young African-American males who stumble upon the aftermath of a violent crime. Their loyalties to each other are tested by an old acquaintance who shows up at their door. While filming a chase scene in Englewood, real, undercover police stopped the action after running right into what looked like a possible deadly situation. Fortunately, no guns were drawn.
With the support of local award-winning filmmaker John Mossman of Southside FYI and CineYouth Festival Director Rebecca Fons, these teens were given the chance to change the way they see the world, publicly be praised for their work and gain hope for a brighter future.
This film placed the two brothers in a quandary, as the older brother, who was fresh out of the military and a bit subdued and quiet about his experiences while enlisted, knows pretty well who the suspect is; he’s an old family friend. However, he doesn’t want to snitch on the family friend. The younger brother just yearns for the attention of his sibling, while the mother is shown going to work in the medical field, trying to keep her family afloat.
After the two witness the shooting, they are visited by the suspect who plays a game with the younger brother, while threatening the older brother that he must not rat him out to the cops. What evolves is a show of commitment to a life-long friend butting up against a commitment to protect family members against negative outside influences.
“Run With It” is a great short film that is part of a film festival that has really done well with working with youth and showing them real, life film making skills. This film and more like it offer something for everybody, and the kicker is that it is free.
As an internationally competitive film festival for students ages 22 and younger, the 12th annual CineYouth Festival will be presented from May 5 to May 7 at Columbia College Chicago (1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor in Chicago). Plan to attend. For more information and a full schedule, visit http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/cineyouth/schedule-and-films/
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