FILMS BYKIDS!

March 21, 2019 at 4:45 am

Exile, illiteracy, disease, war, and bigotry. PBS’ Films BYkids pairs master filmmakers with teenagers from around the world to help illuminate the world’s most dire issues.

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Aired on March 20, 2019.

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>>> CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD
ARE USING FILM AS A TOOL FOR
GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING.
BY KIDS HAS TEAMED UP WITH 13 TO
CREATE A TV SERIES CALLED "FILMS
BY KIDS" TO GIVE A VOICE TO
KIDS.
THE SERIES IS ENTERING THE
SECOND SEASON AND NARRATED BY
EMMY AND GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATED
ACTRESS, ASHLEY JUDD.
>> THESE TEENAGERS HAVE
COMPELLING STORIES TO TELL.
FROM THE DEVASTATION OF CLIMATE
CHANGE, TO LIFE AFTER ESCAPE --
>> I ESCAPED FROM SYRIA.
>> AND LIFE AFTER INCARCERATION.
FIND OUT WHAT THEY'D LIKE US TO
KNOW ABOUT THEIR WORLD IN THEIR
OPEN VERY FILM.
FILMS BY KIDS.
>> HERE THEN TO TALK ABOUT ALL
OF THIS, THE SERIES EXECUTIVE
PRODUCER HOLLY CARTER.
NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.
>> WONDERFUL TO BE HERE.
THANK YOU.
>> LET ME START WITH THE
ORGANIZATION BY KIDS.
TELL ME HOW IT CAME ABOUT AND
WHAT IT DOES.
>> THE SHORT STORY IS THAT I HAD
BEEN A PRINT JOURNALIST OUT OF
THE GATE IN MY CAREER, I WAS AT
"THE NEW YORK TIMES."
THEN WITH MY OWN KIDS I BEGAN TO
SEE THAT CHILDREN ARE THE BEST
REPORTERS BECAUSE THEY TELL IT
STRAIGHT AND THEY'RE COMPLETELY
AUTHENTIC.
SO, YOU KNOW, THIS IDEA THAT WE
WOULD GIVE A KID THE AUTHORITY
TO TELL THEIR OPEN STORY
PARTICULARLY FROM COUNTRIES
AROUND THE WORLD WHERE THE MEDIA
DIET HERE AND PARTICULARLY THE
SCHOOL DAY IS NOT FILLED WITH
GLOBAL STORIES, BUT THIS WAS OUR
WAY OF BALANCING WHAT OUR KIDS
ARE LEARNING ABOUT THE REST OF
THE WORLD AND NOT JUST BALANCING
BUT REALLY GIVING THEM THE
ABILITY TO LEARN TO BE
EMPATHETIC WHICH IS AT THE HEART
OF WHAT WE DO.
>> SO TALK ABOUT THE CREATION
THEN, THE PARTNERSHIP WITH 13
AND HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
>> WHAT A GREAT PARTNERSHIP.
WE COULDN'T BE LUCKIER.
WHEN I FIRST CAME TO MEET WITH
THE PARTNERS AT WNET, THREE OUT
OF THE FIVE FILMS OF SEASON ONE.
IT TOOK US EIGHT YEARS TO MAKE
THOSE FIRST FIVE.
IT'S TAKEN US TWO YEARS TO MAKE
THE NEW SEASON.
AND WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE
KIND OF LEGS THAT THE FILMS GET
PARTICULARLY IN THE EDUCATION
SPACE.
OUR MANDATE IS TO MAKE OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE MORE EMPATHETIC AND
GLOBAL CITIZENS.
WE DO A LOT OF HARD WORK WITH
THE HELP OF PBS LEARNING MEDIA,
TO DO APPROPRIATE WONDERFUL,
ENGAGING EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL.
WE HAVE A NUMBER OF OTHER
PARTNERSHIPS THAT MEAN THESE
FILMS AND THE WRAP AROUND
EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL IS REACHING
A LOT OF PEOPLE.
>> TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF
PUTTING THESE FILMS TOGETHER.
THE NOTION OF COMBINING THE
KIDS, IF YOU WILL, WITH
EXPERIENCED FILMMAKERS.
>> WE SIT AND COME UP WITH A
GLOBALLY RELEVANT STORY THAT WE
WANT TO TELL.
THINK SOMETHING LIKE CLIMATE
CHANGE OR DISPLACEMENT.
WE THEN PICK A COUNTRY WHERE
THAT HAS NOT BEEN ON THE FRONT
PAGE OF THE PAPERS OR IN THE
NEWSPAPER MUCH IF AT ALL.
WE THEN PAIR WITH A NONPROFIT ON
THE GROUND THAT HELPS US WITH
FINDING A GROUP OF KIDS FROM
WHOM WE PICK THE LUCKY ONE.
>> I HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH THE
FILM OF THE FIRST STORY.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE
FIRST STORY.
>> SO THE FIRST STORY IS OF A
FILM MADE BY NOW 19-YEAR-OLD
MIKE MARTIN WHO AT THE AGE OF 17
WAS SENT TO RIKERS FOR FIVE
MONTHS.
WE WENT LOOKING FOR A FILM THAT
WOULD HELP EVERYBODY, BUT
PARTICULARLY YOUNG AMERICAN
STUDENTS TALK ABOUT ISSUES
AROUND RACE, POVERTY, JUVENILE
JUSTICE REFORM.
WE WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO PARTNER
WITH AN ORGANIZATION HERE IN NEW
YORK CALLED FRIENDS OF THE
ISLAND ACADEMY.
WE FOUND MIKE FROM A GROUP OF
KIDS.
HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE WILLING
TO REALLY EXPERIENCE SOMETHING.
I MEAN, IT'S INTENSE.
>> IT IS.
>> HIS MENTORS ARE NOT ONE, BUT
TWO SPECTACULAR FILMMAKERS.
THEY WORKED TOGETHER OVER THE
COURSE OF A LITTLE MORE THAN A
MONTH.
AND WE HAVE A LOCAL COMPOSER WHO
DID SPECTACULAR MUSIC.
YOU WILL SEE IN HIS FILM THAT
PART OF THE FILM WAS HIM TAKING
A RAP SONG THAT HE HAD REALLY A
POEM AND BASHIRRY JOHNSON HAS
HELPED HIM RECORD IT IN THE
STUDIO AND IT BECOMES REALLY AN
INTEGRAL PART OF THE FILM.
WHICH IS AMAZING BECAUSE WE'RE
BY KIDS, WE ARE ALL ABOUT USING
SHORT FILM TO TEACH OTHER PEOPLE
THROUGH MENTORSHIP.
SO TO HAVE MIKE LEARN NOT ONLY
LEARN HOW TO BE A FILMMAKER BUT
TO BE A MUSICIAN.
>> THESE ARE PROFESSIONAL
QUALITY FILMS.
THESE ARE NOT KIDS TAKING OUT
THEIR CELL PHONES AND SHOOTING
SOMETHING.
WHAT I THINK YOU'RE DOING IS
MARVELOUS SO CONGRATULATIONS TO
YOU AND EVERYBODY FOR WORKING
ON.
WE LOOK FORWARD NOT ONLY TO THE
SECOND SEASON, BUT HOPEFULLY
MORE SEASONS.
>> SEASON THREE COMING SOON.
>> THANK YOU.
>>> AND A REMINDER FOR YOU FILMS
FOR KIDS THROUGH MARCH 24th ON
13.
GO TO METRO FOCUS.ORG FOR MORE
INFORMATION.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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