Film Mentors: Films BYkids Season 2

Left to right: Nineteen-year-old filmmaker Mike Martin ("I Could Tell You 'Bout My Life") with mentors Hollis Meminger and Chieme Karasawa.

Left to right: Nineteen-year-old filmmaker Mike Martin (“I Could Tell You ‘Bout My Life”) with mentors Hollis Meminger and Chieme Karasawa. Courtesy: Films BYkids

Films BYkids, a collaboration between THIRTEEN and the non-profit organization, BYkids, gives voice to youth from around the world. The series pairs teenagers from diverse cultures with accomplished filmmakers to create short personal documentaries that educate and encourage understanding about global issues. Ashley Judd serves as series narrator, introducing each 30-minute film in the series.

CHIEMI KARASAWA – I COULD TELL YOU ‘BOUT MY LIFE

Chiemi Karasawa is an award-winning documentary director/producer whose work includes Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, The Betrayal: Nerakhoon (Academy Award nominee, Emmy Award winner), Billy The Kid, and Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes. She has worked with directors including Spike Jonze, Jim Jarmusch, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears and Martin Scorsese as a script supervisor. Karasawa is the founder of Isotope Films.

“BYkids realizes the desire to be active participants in a global narrative – empowering a youth to become their own storyteller is having faith in that dream!”

HOLLIS MEMINGER – I COULD TELL YOU ‘BOUT MY LIFE

Hollis Meminger is a cinematographer and filmmaker whose credits include The Blacklist (NBC), Narcos (Netflix), and Younger (TVLand). Currently, Meminger is working on a sequel to the Academy Award-nominated film, Streetwise. Meminger is an alumni advisor to the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, and founded the Bridgebuilder Cinematic Arts Program, where he teaches filmmaking to at-risk high school students.

“If we don’t listen to the youth of today who are drastically marginalized, we will never understand the future in which we live. We must help them to tell their truths in a voice and medium that will inspire the world to listen.”

JOYCE CHOPRA – MY BEAUTIFUL NICARAGUA

Joyce Chopra has produced and directed a wide range of award-winning films, ranging from Smooth Talk, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the Sundance Film Festival, to the A&E thriller The Lady in Question with Gene Wilder. She has received American Film Festival Blue Ribbon and Cine Golden Eagle Awards for her numerous documentaries, including That Our Children Will Not Die, about primary health care in Nigeria, and the autobiographical Joyce at 34, which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

“When we see the world through the eyes of these courageous young filmmakers, we can all learn so much about different cultures throughout the globe and about the universal experiences that unite us.”

ANJA BARON – OUT OF ALEPPO

Anja Baron is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and director who has received two Emmy nominations. In addition to filmmaking, she has worked as a correspondent for UNICEF, reporting on crises concerning women and children around the world, with a focus on human rights.

“BYkids lends a voice to the often voiceless, empowering youth in lasting ways while creating an invaluable platform for the global issues of a future generation. In turn, the viewer is not only afforded a rare glimpse into often-marginalized existences, but also given an opportunity to see important issues in a new light.”

ELIZABETH HUMMER – WALK ON MY OWN

Elizabeth Hummer is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has earned two Emmy Awards and four nominations. Hummer has worked for Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, WNET and MTV, giving kids cameras to help them tell their stories.

“I am proud to be a shepherd to the personal wisdom of young people on behalf of BYkids.”