Film Courage: Growing up when did art begin to matter to you?
Alex Munoz, Filmmaker and Founder of FYI Films: I really didn’t know much about art or the process of expressing one’s self creatively. But one day I was in second grade and went to after school daycare and there was a rock painting contest. We were told to go get a rock and paint the rock. So I got a rock and I took the rock home and I just looked at it. The next day I went out and got some paint with my grandma and I painted this rock and I turned it into this rock painting competition and I won. I grew up in a really dysfunctional home where it wasn’t common to be praised, it wasn’t commonplace to be applauded for something. When I won and I got called up, everyone was clapping…(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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