The Media Center was a sponsor this year of Cinequest’s inaugural youth engagement and empowerment program – Picture the Possibilities.  PTP is a global initiative where Cinequest/PTP staff visit youth all over the world and make short movies with them.  This year’s theme was “what would you do to change your world?”  Their first job site was East Palo Alto and then off to LA, New York, Beijing, Mexico City.  The world premier of this year’s short youth films was held yesterday afternoon at the beautiful California Theater in San Jose, one of the many downtown venues Cinequest has taken over for its 22nd festival.

The youth participants from East Palo Alto were in attendance and came up on stage after the screening for a Q&A with CQ Co-founder Halfdan Hussey and some of the PTP staff, including Dustin Coleman and Marcela Villegas.  I single out Dustin and Marcela because they were the staff I saw the most, who came to the MC to borrow our equipment to help empower these kids.  PTP had their own cameras but needed boom poles, mics, lavs, C-stands, etc. which we were pleased to loan them.  And I was super excited to see an MC lavoliers on the collars of the various kids nd to know that our tripods were holding up the cameras taping each shot.

It takes a village to raise a child, and a collaboration to make a movie about a child.  Film is the ultimate collaborative experience.  If one person isn’t pulling his weight, you’ve got a flop on your hands.  The quality and depth of the PTP shorts were amazing and revealed the dedication of CQ/PTP to giving youth a voice to shape their own destinies and then providing a word-class venue to be heard.

The PTP website is live so you can watch any of these films now right online.  If you see the PTP brochures or the Cinequest Festival Guide, you’ll see us listed as a proud sponsor.   The Media Center slide which was designed by MC volunteer Michael Wyant ran before and after the PTP screenings.

If, after seeing these films, you want to get involved, send an email to CQ Co-Founder Kathleen Powell  Let her know your ideas and what you can do to help.   Kathleen has been working with Cinequest since its founding and is as passionate now as she was then.

And if you are interested in checking out the Festival, there are films running all day and all evening long through Sunday March 12.

And finally not to toot my own horn, I am blogging about some of the films at Cinequest. Check out:  “The Lady Versus The Irony Lady” or “Life Happens – Not Your Average Buddy Film”.   And be on the lookout for my interview with Paly Grad ’04 Brad Leong who directed the comedy “Dorfman” featuring Elliot Gould.

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