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Heroic Celebration: BAYCAT Original Shorts to be Featured at MY HERO Film Fest!

Our BAYCAT Academy youth media producers are enjoying continued success on the festival circuit! We are proud to announce that three our youths’ films have won awards and will be featured at the MY HERO Film Festival this Saturday, November 22nd!

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A BAYCAT Academy youth music producer raps at Candlestick Park for an original track, “Just Maybe”.

BAYCAT Academy’s music video, Just Maybe, directed and edited by young filmmaker Anthony Rivas to an original track written, recorded, and produced by BAYCAT youth music producers, has won 3rd Place in the Student/Mentor Music Video category! Originally produced for Zoom In Episode 29: Outside Your Door, the film was created in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. Challenged to express how they feel about the outdoors, the youth shared their complex perspectives on whether the outdoors are always a safe space for urban youth.

 

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BAYCAT Academy young filmmaker, Maceo ‘Moony’ Mayorga plays The Perfect Mayor

The Perfect Mayor, which has also recently won 2nd Place at the 2014 BAYMN Film Festival and was selected for the 2014 Project YouthView Film Festival, has garnered 3rd Place in the High School Experimental category at the MY HERO Film Fest! Written and directed by Advanced Filmmaking student Ginger Chen, the film takes a fun look at who the perfect San Francisco mayor would be, if he or she could be everything that her young constituents would want her to be.

 

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Alia in a scene of her short autobiographical film, The Beach: My Diary

And last but not least, Alia Gabrielle’s moving autobiographical short, The Beach: My Diary, has won 3rd Place in the Student/Mentor category at MY HERO! Alia’s film was also officially selected for the I Hella Love Shorts Film Festival this past September, and will be featured exclusively online this December 4th – 14th as part of the International Black Women’s Film Festival. In telling her story, Alia shares why the beach is so meaningful to her, and how it helps connect her with her family.

 

Congratulations to our youth! Thanks for being our heroes and inspiring us to work for positive change. Can’t wait to see what new stories the youth are telling this fall? Come to our Open House at BAYCAT on December 4th for the world premiere of Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds, or join us via our livestream!

WATCH, SHARE: NEW RELEASE! BAYCAT Pathways Interns ask, “What About Water”?

What About Water director Alyssa Hailemariam on set

What About Water director Alyssa Hailemariam on set

We’re in a drought. While that’s been a big issue and concern for Californians this year, BAYCAT seized the opportunity to learn more about what we can do about it.

This past summer, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission funded a Summer Learning Grant for our Pathways Interns. The goal: to learn more about our Bayview Hunters Point community’s perceptions about water, how the Bayview makes the most of our vital resources, and what we all can do to conserve water everyday.

Our 2014 interns have just wrapped producing, directing, and editing the new documentary, entitled “What About Water”! WATCH the film on our Vimeo page now, and SHARE with your friends!

AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives to BAYCAT!

What if another way of supporting BAYCAT was as simple as a one-time update to your Amazon account settings? Good news: it is!

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The AmazonSmile Foundation makes it easy to support your favorite charities – without costing you a cent. Whenever you shop on AmazonSmile and purchase an item marked, “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation,” the foundation contributes 0.5% of your purchase price to the organization of your choice. (You’ll still find the same great prices, huge selection of products, and convenient shopping service that you already do on Amazon)

So how to begin? Go to smile.amazon.com and under “pick your own charitable organization,” select “BAYCAT”. That’s it. Why wait? Start empowering youth today! (Just be sure to always shop through smile.amazon.com, not the regular site.)

 

Not an Amazon-shopping fiend? You can still support us by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and sharing our content!

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A Shared “State of Mind”: Filmmaker Debra A. Wilson Visits BAYCAT

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BAYCAT Academy youth media producers Zette and Bella chat with Bay Area filmmaker, Debra A. Wilson

This week at BAYCAT Academy, Bay Area filmmaker, Debra A. Wilson, stopped by to chat about mental health and share her documentary, “A State of Mind,” with our youth. Affected by Robin Williams’ recent passing and his struggle with mental illness, the youth decided this fall to explore the subject of mental wellbeing through their own eyes and films. As the young media producers prepare for the world premiere of their works at our Open House on December 4th, they enjoyed the opportunity to share inspirations with a fellow filmmaker exploring the same issues.

Wilson’s latest documentary examines the stigma of mental health through Alexander and Timothy’s love story, a couple who have both been diagnosed with schizophrenia. As Wilson’s camera allows us a look into Alexander and Timothy’s daily experience of mental illness, the film challenges us to consider the inadequacies of our mental health care system, confront our fears about acknowledging the mentally ill, and recognize our collective responsibility to end stigma.

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BAYCAT Academy young filmmakers Bella, Zette, and Orione watch a preview for Debra A. Wilson’s moving documentary, “A State of Mind”

Wilson’s relation to Alexander (being cousins) fuels her passion to create this film. Witnessing his personal struggle motivates her to give his story a voice, and by doing so, hopefully spark a dialogue, a movement, and a desire for change. We at BAYCAT support Debra’s mission, and ask you to consider donating to “A State of Mind”’s Indiegogo campaign so that the film may continue production, and Timothy and Alexander’s story can be told.

 

Can’t wait to see what our young film and music producers have been creating this fall? Look out for upcoming previews of their producitons and join us at Open House this December 4th for our world premiere of Zoom In 31: State of Our Minds. Can’t make it in person? You can still tune in via our livestream.

 

Debra A. Wilson has been featured on Showtime with her previous documentaries, The Butch Mystique and Jumpin’ the Broom: The New Covenant. Her films have screened in film festivals worldwide and have garnered Juried and Audience Awards.