Media Alert: NEA and City National Bank Supports Better Youth Real To Reel Youth Film Festival

NEA and City National Bank Supports Better Youth Inaugural Real To Reel Youth Film Festival at LA Film School Featuring Acclaimed Actor/Director Bill Duke Produced By Youth from Watts and Compton - Saturday, October 10, 2015.
By: Better Youth
REEL TO REAL Youth Film Festival
REEL TO REAL Youth Film Festival
LOS ANGELES - Oct. 5, 2015 - PRLog -- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced that Better Youth is one of only 163 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America grant. Better Youth received support for the creation and production of a youth-produced media showcase, spearheaded by Lead Youth Producer Johna Rivers and Better Youth Executive Director Syd Stewart.

REAL TO REEL is a local competition that honors global youth who make original and unique media projects that address an issue plaguing their local or global community. City National Bank will be this year’s partnering sponsor for the Financial Literacy and Film Financing panel with Karen A. Clark as the moderator. Actor and film director Bill Duke will work with youth participants from local media literacy and media production training programs. The day will include screenings of film and digital works from global youth filmmakers, a discussion with Duke, as well as a closing workshop with the Duke Youth Media Boot Camp staff on financial literacy and film production.

Confirmed Panelist:
Bill Duke (Actor and film director), Monique Coleman (High School Musical/RTR Artistic Director), Melvin Jackson Jr. (TheWire/EverybodyHates Chris), Brandon Fobbs (The Walking Dead/HBO’s GettingOn/Resident Artist - Youth Film Panel), Karen A. Clark (Sponsor-City National Bank/Moderator of Financial Ed Panel), Beth Casama (Former Sony/Universal Executive - Youth Film Panelist),Carl Gilliard (Actor/Director/Producer-Panelist), Chip Warren (Filmmaker/Producer-Panelist), Akuyoe Graham (Actress/ED of Spirit Awakening Foundation-Youth Film Panelist), and Barbara Stanton (Sponsor/Wattstar-Panelist), Jalen Coleman (RTR Youth Filmmaker), Johna Rivers (Lead Youth Producer - Better Youth),and Syd Stewart (Poet/Producer/ED of Better Youth).

Confirmed Attendees:
Desreta Jackson (The Color Purple/Sister Act), Dennis White (BET's Changing The Game/Parenthood/Notorious), Brandon Larkins (Cougar Town), Sara Barrett (Haunted Hathaways/Judgement Day), Marcellus Wiley (All Pro Retired NFL Star & now Host of ESPN’s SportsNation), Kelly Perine (UPN's "One on One"/"21 Jump Street"), Khleo Thomas (Roll Bounce/Holes), Camryn Howard (Straight Outta Compton), Chris Oneal (Nickelodeon's "KC Undercover), Chad Addison ("NCIS New Orleans"), Kieran Powell (International Cricket Player), Alice Macdonald (Contracted/The Malevolent), Bill Oberst Jr. (Known from the movie Scary or Die), Caroline Williams (Halloween II/The Malevolent), Kristin West (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/Expel the Wiked), Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project/Circus of Dread), Kareem Taylor (Promotional Voice behind CNN’s Black In America), Brandon Larkins (Cougar Town), DeMonica Santiago (Singer formerly of The Good Girls), Tyrone DuBose (Music Commentator for UnSung), Jae Head (The Blindside/Bravetown/Hancock/Friday Night Lights) and Matthieu Jean-Pierre (Spies In Training/Killing Lazarus), and Nikolas Whittemore (star of feature film Bad Kid).

Saturday, October 10, 2015
11:00 am – Media Check-In
11:30 am to 12:30 pm – Red Carpet Arrivals
10:00 am to 4:00 pm – Youth Media Showcase

LA Film School
6363 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Deborah Griffin, publicist
P: (323) 839-4521

For additional information, please visit

Event Sponsors include: City National Bank, Los Angeles Film School, Final Draft, GirlUp, UN Foundation, Wells Fargo, Trader Joe’s, Duke Media Foundation, Wattstar Cinema & Education Center, FilmFreeway, UpOut, National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture (NAMAC) and Volunteer Staff courtesy of Google.

Better Youth is a curriculum based performing and media arts mentoring agency for youth. The youth who participate in our program face challenges such as incarceration, gang violence, teen pregnancy, abuse and deterred educational pursuits. We are committed to developing urban youth by fostering life skills, character development, creativity, and a desire for leadership, advocacy and civic engagement. Our vision is to positively impact a constituency of youth who grow up in impoverished homes and to create a trajectory for personal and professional success. Our objective is to develop a community of global leaders passionate about the arts and community service.

Ninety-five percent of our youth participants are Latino and  African-American,  ages 12-24. South LA, specifically Watts and Compton, has a young demographic, with 40% of all residents under the age of 18. The average household income in Watts (under $18,000) is among the lowest in LA County and most residents are low-income, young families. The unemployment rate is 15% and around 40% of families live below the poverty line; both statistics are more than double the county average rates.

• According to the Los Angeles Gang Reduction and Youth Development program (GRYD), under performing schools and lack of community-based organizations contribute significantly to "lack of economic investment" within Watts.
• 90% of youth participating in our program have graduated from high school and are
• enrolled in a college or university and/or gainfully employed.
• 95% of our youth have performed, produced a media project or event in their communities for their peers, parents, teachers and community stakeholders.

Media Contact
Deborah Griffin
Source:Better Youth
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Tags:Film Festival, Celebrities, Filmmakers
Location:Los Angeles - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 11, 2015
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