On 18 May 2018, the Cal State LA Television, Film and Media Department’s Student Production Unit premiered three student-directed documentaries at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, the culmination of the course Community Impact Media.
Community Impact Media, which is partially funded by Hauser & Wirth, brings together students, mentors, and social change initiatives and organizations to foster collaborative working relationships that result in short documentaries. These documentaries are tangible products that support the students’ careers and creative visions, while bringing awareness to issues facing vulnerable communities in LA and exploring initiatives that support their needs. For the spring 2018 semester, students focused on the work of Cal State LA Prison Graduation Initiative, Project Rebound, and Youth Justice Coalition, three local initiatives that have been affected by funding constraints. The resulting documentaries are a call to action for public support – they communicate how these initiatives provide educational support for incarcerated people, combat recidivism, and impact juvenile and criminal justice policies. The organizations plan to use these films to share their message with an extended audience and in their fundraising and outreach activities. The three student directors, Krystal Manuel, Kelli Quock, and Madeline Tondi worked directly with the organizations and received one-on-one mentorship from local filmmakers throughout the process of making the documentaries. These relationships have spurred the mentors, most of who are owners of their own production operations, to explore the possibility of hiring some of the students for upcoming projects and collaborating outside the classroom.
‘This experience has taught me about the direct impact that filmmaking can have in creating positive change within our communities,’ states student director Kelli Quock. ‘Working on this documentary was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences that I've had, and it has sparked some new inspiration by showing me that I'm able to create art that can help people and programs get their message out into the public.’ The partnership between Cal State LAand Hauser & Wirth began in fall 2017 with the first iteration of Community Impact Media. The project was co-developed to establish an ongoing program that brings together media making and storytelling mentorship to support a new generation of diverse filmmakers and to encourage students to reimagine film as a tool to catalyze social change.
‘As we enter the second year of this partnership,’ states Iwan Wirth president of Hauser & Wirth, ‘we see yet more evidence of the incredible amount of emerging talent and entrepreneurial leadership in this innovative city. We are committed to supporting scholarship in all forms, including filmmaking where we hope to encourage diversity within the industry that is the backbone of Los Angeles. We are particularly proud that the students’ films fulfill a powerful role in highlighting the essential work of local social change initiatives.’ Cal State LA Assistant Professor and filmmaker Heather Fipps leads the university’s Student Production Unit and the Community Impact Media course. ‘This project has been such a rewarding experience and a real opportunity for our students to reimagine the role of filmmakers as neighbors and citizens committed to meaningful social service. Hauser & Wirth’s support and investment into Cal State LA’s Television, Film and Media Department has elevated the quality and caliber of our work, and reaffirms our University’s mission of engagement, service and the public good,’ says Fipps about the project and partnership.
View the student-directed documentaries: Cal State LA Student Prison Graduation Initiative Directed by Madeline Tondi [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwrbOVZRFu0&t=8s\[/embed\] Project Rebound Directed by Kelli Quock [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN63lXFNKL8\[/embed\] Youth Justice Coalition Directed by Krystal Manuel [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOC7\_yXWLqA\[/embed\] Learn more about the Cal State LA Student Production Unit here: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30N\_9fNRfFQ&index=1&list=PLyQogDWAvxmgVQigF3jW126QzAR8GHZhW\[/embed\]
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