Los Angeles County is home to some of the most famous, glamorous people in the world. It’s also home to thousands of foster youth, some of the most traumatized, least visible of all.
But for more than 10 years, a local nonprofit has been providing them with an intensive 10- to 15-week filmmaking program, helping hundreds of children to participate in the making of short films that reflect their life experiences.
Tomorrow, when 75 of their projects will be available for free to everyone on IndieFlix, the stories of these young people will suddenly have a lot more visibility. The directors, screenwriters and actors may not ever be as famous as, say, Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family”). But Burrell, who happens to be deeply involved in the program along with others in the film and TV industry, insists it’s quality stuff, whether silly or sobering.
The project is a collaboration between Kids in the Spotlight, or KITS, which runs the filmmaking classes for Southern California foster youth ages 11 through 17, and IndieFlix, a foundation-supported streaming platform that backs all sorts of film projects that seek to inspire social change and positive action, especially the works of young people and women.
“When we started this journey in 2009, our goal was to give a voice to the talents and truths of an underserved group that is often overlooked and voiceless,” said Tige Charity, executive director and founder of KITS. “We never imagined, all of this time later, that we would have our own channel to give these voices the platform they’ve earned and deserve.”
The Dec. 18 launch, which starts at 6 p.m. PST, offers a triple feature and a discussion of the lasting impact on the youth who worked on the films. Here’s a link to the foster films channel on IndieFlix.
“Don’t just watch it do good,” Burrell said, noting that any money raised during the screening will be used to support foster youth. “Watch it because these films are remarkable.”
Come to think of it, who knows? Maybe some of these young folks actually will hit it big in Hollywood.