December 23, 2007

Fifteen on the cutting edge

Native Reign in SeattleWe all know high school can be a double-edged sword. It’s that time in your life when there seem to be endless possibilities while at the same moment despair and doubt can creep into every thought. Well two students from our Native Lens program, Travis and Cody, found a way to channel this complexity and share some of the daily pressures that can face a 15-year-old, meet the needs of their big health class project and get a movie made about underage drinking and peer pressure. The video rocked their grade, they got an A and they were given more positive feedback from their teachers then they have ever experienced in a school setting. Through shear charisma the boys created a pivotal piece of work that cannot be summed up as a classroom project but as a force of artistic history.

Well that was over a year ago and that health class project has taken on a life of its own. Fifteen has inspired conversation, debate, tears, excitement and confusion, all the signs of vital art. Our neighbors to north have embraced the sheer brilliance of this work and have found a number of platforms to screen the piece. Recently, a real honor was bestowed upon the boys’ work as they received an honorary mention for Fifteen at the ImagineNative Film Festival in Toronto. This was such a surprise yet an affirmation for media that matters. For me Fifteen is a breathtaking short that makes no excuses for being real and honest.

No comments: