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  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    I live in a military community and I made a film about my dad's PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and how it impacted my family. Sharing the film with my family has made our relationships better. And now that the film has been released, a lot of young people are thanking me for telling this story.

    Bailey Francisco

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    Stalking and sexual violence against women are difficult for people to talk about. I, myself, have a relative who was stalked. Victims often feel very helpless. I wanted to make a film that would empower women and bring the conversation to light.

    Destiny Rinder

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    Everyone can relate to music. That's why I wanted to make a film about local musicians in my community - their struggles, hopes and dreams. By telling their stories through film, I'm also able to show my passion for music and the arts.

    William J. Sobolik

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    A lot of people think of foster care as something horrible for kids. They don't realize there can be happy outcomes. I wanted to make a film that showed the positive elements of my friends' lives, how foster parenting can make a huge difference.

    Sandy Schwertfeger

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    Most people think graffiti is only done by juvenile delinquents. In my film, you see a real tradition and diversity of graffiti art. It's getting out of the museums and galleries and seeing what young artists are doing that makes me excited.

    Tino Pacheco-Johnson

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    As citizens of this planet, we rarely think about the environmental devastation we are wreaking on it. My film is a poetic essay to remind people that we all share the same home and we need to be good custodians of it.

    Garry Moyer

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    There's a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness. When my step-brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, my family felt a loss of control. Making HELPLESS has given a voice to this issue and helped us all come to terms more fully with the changes in our lives.

    Malia Romero

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    Documentary was a perfect way to capture five generations of bug collecting. My film tells the real history of the May Museum of Tropical Insects, which also happens to be my family's business.

    Andre Zimmermann

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    Documentary is more than just facts. It's about people. My film tells the story of my grandfather, someone I never met in person, but who used his artistic skills to build a business which has survived to this day.

    Sarah Patterson

  • I am a filmmaker.

    I am a filmmaker.

    Documentary is my favorite form of film because it hits people in the heart. My film is about a transgender woman struggling to take care of herself in Colorado Springs. The film is a way to give voice to LGBT experiences and to humanize the lives of people you may not know about.

    Amadea Katz

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The Youth Documentary Academy (YDA) trains young people how to direct and produce their own documentary films. For seven weeks, students between the ages of 14 and 18 learn all aspects of documentary filmmaking from professional filmmakers, faculty, and guest artists. More about us.

We need programs like the Youth Documentary Academy to help harness the talent of our young people and to provide them with hope. That they are driven to tell stories from their own communities and develop a craft to do so is a real gift to all of us.

David Dahlin, President, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

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