News / Arts & Entertainment

Organization Helps Troubled Teens Heal Through Filmmaking

Helping Troubled Teens Heal Through Filmmakingi
X
August 15, 2014 9:47 AM
Writing a song, painting a picture, or acting on stage is not only fun but can also be therapeutic for a person who is coping with a painful past. Producer Deyane Moses is in southern Los Angeles where a non-profit organization is helping troubled teens heal through filmmaking.
Deyane Moses

Writing a song, painting a picture or acting on stage is not only fun but can also be therapeutic for a person who is coping with a painful past. In southern Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization is helping troubled teens heal through filmmaking.

Teenagers running down the street and then violently attacking a person - this is a scene from student filmmaker Fernando Lopez’s first movie, and it's something he has seen before.

“Filmmaking is the perfect outlet for me to release all my emotions, whether it’s in writing, acting or directing," Lopez said. "And I get to share a little bit of myself."

The 17-year-old starred in and directed a film called "Our First Movie." It is a tale of two aspiring filmmakers who clash over turf and stolen camera equipment.

“By the end of the day, we end up seeing how we’re not so different after all. We both have a story to tell,” Lopez said.

Lopez’s story is partly inspired by his mother’s time in jail, which left him withdrawn and defensive, like his co-star in the movie.

But two years ago, he joined Southern California Crossroads, a nonprofit organization that helps youth in violent communities gain skills and find career paths. Filmmaking is one of its many programs.

Telling stories, gaining strength

The students use their personal stories to create fictional movies addressing real-life scenarios and helping them cope with the past. Their films are shown at public schools throughout south Los Angeles to bring healing to the larger community.

“It’s an eye-opening experience because we get to see a side of each other that we never really have," Lopez said. "Because the topics we deal with are very personal. You see how that, like, plays into our own lives and how we relate to it."

Drama therapist Mimi Savage said the arts are therapeutic, though revisiting past emotions can be dangerous without professional guidance.

“For instance, when working with youth or working with people with mental illness," Savage said therapists must consider "where they are, where they are developmentally, for instance, so that we don’t re-traumatize them or so what they want to express doesn’t put them back into that place of pain or trauma."

Student films have tackled bullying, gangs, domestic violence, suicide, homelessness and friendship.

Southern California Crossroads' executive director, Paul Carrillo, said teens from his old neighborhood need the program.  

“I can name a few dozen individuals who I grew up with and if there was a program like this, they probably wouldn’t be dead or in jail right now,” he said.  

 

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”