PALMDALE – Two films created by students at William J. Pete Knight High School in Palmdale were regional winners in the third annual Directing Change Student Film Program, a statewide prevention effort sponsored by Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement and the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) that empowers young people to promote suicide prevention and end the silence about mental illness among their peers.
The first place regional winner in the Suicide Prevention category for high school students was “A Second Chance,” written and directed by students Roy Lara, Jennifer Kirchner and Richard Martinez. The 60-second film encourages youth to reach out and help a friend by recognizing the signs of suicide. [View A Second Chance here.]
The first place regional winner in the Ending the Silence category for high school students was “Thinking Out Loud,” written and directed by Erica Granados, Allan Escobar, Kassandra Anderson and Julio Malt. Their 60-second film focuses on how those facing a mental health challenge are not defined by their illness, and with the help of family, friends and professionals, recovery is possible. [View Thinking Out Loud here.]
These two films were among 20 regional winners selected to advance to a final round of judging. The statewide winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 19.
In addition, one film from University of California Los Angeles won first prize in the Ending the Silence category.
This year 420 submissions, representing 1226 students from 112 high schools and seven University of California (UC) campus locations, were received. Participating students competed regionally by submitting 60-second films in two categories: suicide prevention and ending the silence of mental illness.
All submissions were judged by volunteer experts in mental health and suicide prevention, members of the media and professionals in filmmaking and video production. The films were judged based on how the entries creatively explored the topics while also adhering to guidelines about how to safely and appropriately communicate about suicide prevention and mental illness.
Winners were selected from the following counties: Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego, Placer, Stanislaus, Sacramento, Sonoma, Mariposa, Butte, Santa Barbara, and Yolo.
To view the full list of the regional winners and their winning videos visit: http://www.directingchange.org/contest-winners-finalists/