On a beautiful fall Saturday in Oakland, students, educators and families filled the Kaiser Center’s 400-seat theater to watch 20 compelling youth-produced films that focused on social change and the high school dropout crisis.
The Rise to the Occasion Youth Media Festival was organized by KQED, along with other members of the Bay Area Youth Media Network (BAYMN), a consortium of more than 20 non-profits that believe in the power of media production to engage youth voice, self-expression and empowerment as well as to inspire social change.
Films not only expressed the complexity of issues that cause students to dropout of high school, they also explored the topics of health, race, sexual identity and discrimination.
Check out the winning videos below. Please note that each of the video players are playlists that host 3 videos, respectively. To view the other videos in the playlist, click on the text that says “Playlist” on the bottom of the player. A window will slide up and you can see the other videos. Click on one to view.
In addition to the film screenings, students from Bay Area Video Coalition’s BUMP Records performed two songs from their critically acclaimed album, An American Graduate. You can listen to the album below, or go ahead and download it for free at Bump Records.
The festival was one of many American Graduate events held this year in the Bay Area. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the initiatve helps local communities across the country find solutions to address the dropout crisis. Find out more at kqed.org/americangraduate.