It often surprises people that a “TV show” like POV has a project like Youth Views, which works with youth, educators, and youth-serving organizations to use documentary film as a tool for youth engagement. Irene Villaseñor, POV’s Youth Views Manager, tells us more about what she does, and how to get films “out of the screening room and into the streets.”
When I first joined the Youth Views Project, other youth media and youth-serving organizations told me they were curious about POV’s interest in working with young people. Quite simply, Youth Views was created to carry out POV’s mission to explore the potential of independent media in public life by utilizing the power of storytelling as a catalyst for thought, discussion, and action among young people.
In the spirit of building community and fostering social responsibility, Youth Views trains young people to use media to creatively and effectively reach their educational and community-based goals. Last fall, I wrote an article for the Youth Media Reporter about how we have collaborated with youth organizers and media producers.
It takes more than just showing up with a film and doing a Q&A afterwards if you want to make a deep impact with viewers — especially the local community. Young people need to go beyond simply making and screening a film. They need to learn how to engage an audience, present community issues for social change, and partner with affiliated organizations. They must effectively use their products as resources for education and action — an approach that fosters both the long-term growth of young producers and the youth media field itself.
This is what Youth Views does — it trains young people in using media for social change.