Film Courage: What has contributed to your success so far?
Alex Munoz, Filmmaker and Founder of FYI Films: I think it’s in my course of working with incarcerated youth, they have taught me the power of storytelling. It’s really, really, really powerful…just the story (for instance) of a young black man who was one of my students while he was at Camp Gonzales made a film about him going home and his fear about his father rejecting him again. His father always rejected him. So he made a film about this young black man who goes home and his mother is trying to make everything fine but the father says Get out here. I don’t want you here. You are a juvenile delinquent. I don’t want you here and I want nothing to do with you. So this protagonist has to go through being rejected yet again…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
FYI Films Mission:
FYI Films empowers youth affected by the juvenile justice system to improve their lives and become self-reliant. Through media literacy and the creative story-telling process, youth find their voice and gain valuable skills that are transferable to all areas of their life.
About FYI Films:
Founded in 2004, FYI FILMS has produced over thirty-five film workshops with youth in LA County, Guam and Hawaii. In these workshops, youth write, direct and perform their own short narrative films based on their past. By making films informed by their own immediate history, the process of filmmaking helps them to gain perspective on their lives. FYI FILMS regularly screens these films to policy makers, giving them insight into the lives of young people from economically disadvantaged communities, and thus helps inform them as they craft policy regarding juvenile offenders. FYI FILMS is a high impact program, and through a three year study, has proven to put a serious dent into recidivism rates in LA County.
FYI FILMS continues to change the lives of incarcerated youth. To date, the organization has helped to make over fifty-five films by offering high impact film workshops to a population that is both underserved and marginalized. FYI FILMS believes that every young person deserves a second chance to turn their lives around. Telling stories helps incarcerated youth gain invaluable perspective on their lives. By giving them the tools to make short, dramatic films based on their own personal and immediate history, it renders their past unrepeatable.
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