A unique program enabling at-risk youth in Toronto to learn the art of storytelling through film, launched on July 10th through Serve! with the support of a number of notable film industry professionals.
Presenting Our Vision (POV) is a one-of-a-kind seven-week program where vulnerable youth aged 17-19 are given the opportunity to make their own films. They will be mentored by professionals within the film industry through various hands-on workshops, and will produce a two short films that will be screened in September, 2007.
Distinguished producers, directors, actors and writers are participating in POV’s workshops this summer, including Martin Katz (Executive Producer, “Hotel Rwanda” and “Shake Hands with the Devil"), Hubert Davis (Academy Award nominee, “Hardwood"), Don Carmody (Co-Producer, “Chicago"), Fabrizio Filippo & Adam Till (Co- Creators of “Billable Hours"), Semi Chellas (Executive Producer, “The Eleventh Hour"), and Jerry Ciccoritti (Gemini winning Director). They will be sharing their experiences and teaching their craft to the 16 participants of this inaugural program.
POV is a program of Serve!, a youth service organization that provides experiential education to vulnerable urban youth in Toronto, in association with macIDeas and Vitality Media. The participants work in two teams with two POV team leaders and two Serve! team leaders being led by assistant POV program director Jennifer De Lucia.
“For over a decade Serve! has connected with youth through a variety of means,” says Serve! Program Manager Elaine Munro. “We are pleased to be launching the POV program which will give youth a unique opportunity to tell their stories.”
The concept was originally founded by Marcello Cabezas, Artistic Producer of macIDeas. “We very much wanted to create a program that gave talented youth the skills to tell their own stories,” explains Cabezas. “We want to nurture the next generation of filmmakers - POV exists to give those youth that opportunity and also gives us in the film and television community, a unique occasion to give something back.”
Program Director, Jeff Kopas from Vitality Media also shares these sentiments: “We believe that film and storytelling is unique way to connect with youth and have them connect to each other.”
Participants in the POV program are youth interested in pursuing studies and work in film but lack opportunities or resources due to economic barriers and challenges. During the seven week program, youth participants will be engaged in the core features of Serve!’s programming, including personal development, teamwork, and community service projects.
The POV program would not be possible without the assistance of generous sponsors including macIDeas, as well as a pledge from Bassett Media Group.
Matthew Bassett, CEO of Bassett Media Group said, “We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and dynamic program. We would just like to thank all of the artists who have taken time to help contribute their knowledge and experiences to this program. My team and I are honored to be a part of such a special group.”
The program will also be supported by a fundraising event during the Toronto International Film Festival.