Urgent Inc. is hosting its seventh annual Miami 4 Social Change Youth Film Festival in North Miami Beach.
The event, organized in partnership with the city, will take place from July 21 to 22 at the Julius Littman Performing Arts Theatre. Participants will have access to 70 short films created by student filmmakers.
“It’s all types of filmmakers, 24 and under, who create content that addresses the issues that really matter to them,” says festival director Joey Lamar Ashley. “It’s also a huge networking opportunity. It’s one of those events where you’re going to be part of an experience with people who want to make a difference.”
The event will also include a pitch competition, workshops, panel discussions and master classes with industry professionals. This includes actor Sergio Delavicci, known for his roles in The fix, The post officeand Creed 2, as well as filmmaker and hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy.
Dr. Saliha Nelson, Executive Director of Urgent, says this is a great opportunity for young filmmakers to tap into their expertise.
“Sergio will focus more on the acting elements and work with … improvisation to enhance those skills for those who want to work in front of the camera,” Nelson said. “Fab 5 is going to be focusing behind the scenes. He’ll be sharing what he’s learned over the years making not only music videos but also feature films.”
Nelson notes how eager the students are to return to the original festival format to enjoy hands-on live training.
“We are back in person this year after two years of virtual festivals due to COVID,” she adds. “For the past couple of years we’ve been doing a virtual festival using YouTube Live, and actually we’ve had pretty good success with the virtual component, but the kids have told us they’d really like to be back in person. .”
In the end, for them, there was no comparison.
“They wanted their workshops to be in person and have the opportunity to meet their instructors in person,” Nelson explains. “They loved the camaraderie of watching the movies together, and they loved seeing how audiences reacted to their movies in real time.”
Nelson says the richness of this experience directly influenced the birth of the festival.
Urgent offers several youth programs, including its Film Arts Culture Entrepreneurship internship for high school students. Interns have the opportunity to submit their work to be included in the event.
“We created this platform seven years ago, initially, to really launch and elevate their artwork,” she says. “They’re able to produce content that they can put into our festival, which was what started the festival because we’ve had so many great stories to tell. So we’re like more people should be able to see that. They should also be able to interact with their peers who are also young, creative and develop a certain synergy.”
Program participants also gain production experience.
“We also have a team that works behind the scenes, which includes planning and execution, and so they can see both sides,” she notes. “So not only do they submit their work, but they also see what it takes to put on a festival.”
Nelson invites the public to come see what they have created.
“It’s really going to be a fun time,” she adds. “We have so many creative young people who are telling very interesting stories about the issues that matter to them. It’s also an opportunity to support the young people who are really doing positive things in their community and to celebrate how they really care. their craft while building skills and wanting to give back to their communities in a positive way.”
Ashley says the festival is also important because it provides a crucial platform for those who don’t usually have one.
“We celebrate all voices that have an impact,” he adds. “It allows people, especially people from marginalized communities, especially people who don’t have a voice, to finally have a chance to showcase their work.
“Often, especially young filmmakers, who don’t get a chance to show work that is really close to their hearts. Every young filmmaker should know that they have the power of one and the power of one can have a global impact.”
– Sergy Odiduro, ArtburstMiami.com
Miami 4 Youth Social Change Film Festival. Thursday, July 21 and Friday, July 22 at the Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater, 17011 NE 19th Ave., North Miami Beach; urgentinc.org/youth-film-festival. Tickets cost between $5 and $20 through eventbrite.com.