Robert Bahar was the producer and writer of Made in L.A. (POV 2007). He represented POV recently at the Film Your Issue awards ceremony in Los Angeles to present the prize to the winner of the POV award.
Last week I had the privilege of presenting the POV Award at the Film Your Issue awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Film Your Issue is a competition that invites teens and young adults ages 14 to 24 from around the world to submit short films about issues that they are truly passionate about. The hope is that the competition will catalyze dialogue among young adults, and encourage potential future leaders to engage in civic discourse.
The ceremony was held at the Cary Grant Theater at Sony Pictures Studios and featured stars such as Kirk Douglas and Bill Maher, as well as business leaders including the publisher of USA Today, Craig Moon. But despite the star power, the real stars of the evening were undoubtedly the young filmmakers whose films and speeches came straight from the heart. I was there to present the POV Award to the film New Orleans for Sale, by Brandan Odums and Nik Richard (both 22) and their collective, 2-Cent Entertainment. In just 87 seconds, the film is a sharp, perceptive look at the actual paid tourism, and by extension, the voyeurism that represents a part of our national emotional response to Hurricane Katrina and the devastation left in its wake. It poses questions about why neighborhoods are not being rebuilt, and about whether there are disincentives for reviving the city as it once was. The mixture of documentary and performance techniques makes for a striking short piece:
The 2-Cent team actually brought 10 people out for the awards ceremony, so the podium was rather crowded for the awards presentation. And they got to stay up there for a while, as New Orleans for Sale also received three other prizes including the jury award, the NAACP award and the Silverdocs award! The prizes are fitting, and I’d love to see the film take off as a viral phenomenon. People absolutely need to see it, and these young voices do need to be heard.
I made my first documentary at 19, and I have always believed that films, media and especially documentaries can make a difference and lead to social change. So it was thrilling to spend an evening watching films made by young filmmakers who are fighting so hard to make a difference through these creative, powerful short pieces.
You can view all the winners at http://www.filmyourissue.com.