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Zoom In 31 Update: The Kids are Fed Up, Take a Cooking Class

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La Shea Sanchez got the fall 2014 BAYCAT Academy Youth Media Producers excited about healthy cooking ast Wednesday, Oct. 1

La Shea Sanchez surveys the room as each student, nose scrunched and lips pursed, holds a piece of fresh, raw broccoli to their mouths. She instructs everyone to take a crunchy bite, and almost immediately protestations begin. “What does it taste like?” she asks. “Gross!” “Dry!” “Like broccoli!”

How does the food you consume influence the state of your mind?

 

For the past couple of weeks, BAYCAT Academy’s youth media producers have been exploring answers to that question. This past Tuesday, the media-makers enjoyed a cooking class as research for this fall’s artistic theme: mental health. Students learned how to cook simple, nutritious meals with La Shea Sanchez, supervisor for the Bayview Opera House Dare 2 Dream Arts Enrichment program, events coordinator at the BVOH, and healthy eating instructor. At first hesitant to munch on raw veggies and gulp smoothies blended with spinach, the class soon gave way to enthusiasm and cheers for second and third helpings as the kids learned how to positively fuel their minds with healthy food for their bodies.

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BAYCAT Youth Media Producer Jade helps make a healthy salad with La Shea and her fellow media-makers

The culinary class followed a community screening of the documentary, Fed Up, which details the profound impact of America’s sugar industry on obesity in this country and the poor health of our children. After the screening, the students connected the film’s arguments with Zoom In’s theme: “A lot of people when they’re sad they eat a lot, and that can affect their physical health as well as their mental health,” shared Ginger, BAYCAT Advanced Filmmaking student. The media producers were so inspired by the film and its message that they elected to make changes in their own lives: the Music & Advanced Filmmaking students deciding to eliminate juice as a class refreshment option and Jazzy, a Music Production student, pledged to give up eating Hot Cheetos.

Since the two workshops, the filmmaking students have solidified themes for their group projects and will begin production soon…

You can catch the premiere of Zoom In 31 in person at BAYCAT on December 4th at 6:30pm PST, or online through our livestream!

 

BAYCAT, BAYCAT Academy, BAYCAT Productions, youth media, education, autobiography, documentary, San Francisco, Bayview Hunters Point, family, foster care, filmmaking, I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival, International Black Women's Film Festival, black women, self-representation, short film, the beach, Ocean Beach

The Beach: My Diary – Officially Selected For Two Film Festivals!

BAYCAT is proud to announce that Youth Media Producer Alia Gabrielle has garnered two official film festival selections for her short autobiographical documentary, The Beach: My Diary. Alia’s film will be screening at the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival later this month, an Oakland-based festival celebrating its second year exhibiting the work of talented San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers.

 

The Beach: My Diary will also be featured exclusively for the online film festival channel of the International Black Women’s Film Festival, MOVING IMAGES FORWARD. Alia’s documentary was selected to be celebrated along with works from the U.K., Australia, Senegal, South Africa, Zanzibar, France, Canada, Malawi, Kenya, and more. Alongside these films, The Beach: My Diary helps to continue the festival’s tradition of pushing beyond the Hollywood-construed stereotypes of black women populating popular media, and instead showcasing the the stories of black women as self-represented through their own voices.

Alia

The film centers on Alia’s relationship with the beach- why it’s special to her, how it gives her peace, and how it helps connect her with her mother. BAYCAT recently conducted a short interview with Alia; during the interview Alia shared that her mother was also a filmmaker, and spoke about one film in particular she helped her mother make: “it was actually about the beach…and it was a story about a little girl finding her way in life.” Earlier this spring, Alia found her way to BAYCAT Academy. While taking classes as a Youth Media Producer, Alia found the inspiration and opportunity to tell her own story. “I kinda had all that bundled up inside and BAYCAT let me express it finally.” Her reaction to her film’s success: “I was shocked: I was like, wow my film was that good that it got into those film festivals.”

 

Alia shared that while she plans to continue making films in the future, she also hopes to pursue her passion for helping kids in the foster care system. Alia says that before becoming adopted by her mother, “when I was younger and I was in the foster system, I wanted someone to support it more…the thing I wanna do is kinda be like a big sister…And help them out and make sure that they’re not alone. Make sure they don’t feel alone.”

 

You can catch Alia’s film on September 28th at the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival and online from midnight December 4th to 11:59PM/PST December 14, 2014 at the International Black Women’s Film Festival’s MOVING IMAGES FORWARD.

 

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Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds!
Got any media or stories to share?

Crazy. Isolated. Dependent.

Happiness. Depression. Self-esteem. Stress.

Needs to be addressed.

How can we help.

These are some of the words and phrases that came to mind when BAYCAT ACADEMY’s latest cohort of youth film and music producers were asked to respond to the question, “What does mental health mean to you?” The youth media producers brainstormed ideas to commence preparation for their upcoming collaborative project, the newest episode of their award-winning TV show: “Zoom In”.

 

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This 31st addition to the series, to be titled “State of Our Minds,” will explore a variety of issues and perspectives orbiting the topic of mental health & wellness, and addressing stigma created by the media revolving mental health issues. BAYCAT’s Youth Media Producers will film documentaries, write songs, and produce music videos to tell these stories through the art of digital media.

Mark your calendars for 6pm on Thursday December 4, 2014 when BAYCAT will hold our next open house and our Youth Media Producers will premiere “Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds”.  You can also follow the show online at BAYCAT live.

Are there videos, songs, blogs, and other media about mental health that have inspired you? Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? If so, become a part of the conversation and share in our comments section


Turning 10

Earlier this year, BAYCAT celebrated it’s 10th anniversary, a decade of empowering underserved youth and young adults in the San Francisco Bay Area through education and employment in the creative digital media industry. BAYCAT believes that every story matters, and by providing youth with access to education and resources in filmmaking and music production, we encourage and aid young people to create media that positively impacts themselves, their communities, and the world. If you dig what we’re doing, we encourage you to get involved. There are so many ways that you can make an impact, and we can always use your help!

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BAYCAT Stories: Stella

From Watching Media to Making Media

As part of our short film series celebrating the stories of our young media makers, BAYCAT would like to introduce Stella Gutierrez, a San Francisco teen, aspiring filmmaker and Youth Media Producer in our program. This piece was created as part of our 2014 TechSF Internship program.

Stella finds in BAYCAT a home, a family and a place where she can grow beyond just watching TV shows and can begin making movies of her own. “I see filmmaking as a door into other people’s lives and their perspective of things,” she expresses. Stella sharpened her curiosity and creativity during the summer of 2013 when she produced the short documentary Tech Free For a Weekend. The film explores the difficulties and challenges of local San Francisco writer and community artist Carrie Leilam Love’s attempt to live tech-free (no digital screens) for 48 hours. Stella’s documentary won her an Official Selection by the 2013 International Black Women’s Film Festival, as well as official selections at the 2014 CineYouth Film Festival and the 2014 Project YouthView Film Festival.

In the future, Stella aspires to make a film about her OCD and share her story with others who also struggle with the condition, and “show them that you’re not alone. There’s always hope.”

To learn more about BAYCAT and how you can get involved in helping us educate, empower, and employ youth and young adults from underserved communities to produce meaningful and impactful digital media, please visit our homepage at baycat.org. And if Stella’s story has inspired you, please help us share her story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and beyond!