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Educate & empower youth's voice through film

by ICiT, a department of Artist for Community Transfo
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Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film
Educate & empower youth's voice through film

Dear ICiT Partners, 

This past year was an incredible roller coaster for our ICiT youth. As you know, we finished both of our youth’s films, Upside of Down, and Love is Alive. For Jaida and Jessica, this was a life changing experience. They were given a chance to have their voice heard. They had something to say. And people listened. 

Now it is time to move into the next season. 

Our mission has been to educate and empower youth through storytelling and bring their original and compelling stories to the community through world class cinema, produced by the finest filmmakers. Each component of this journey is vital. The camp, where youth learn how to write and create; production, where they see what goes into bringing their script to life; and exhibition, where they and their story are celebrated. When you think about it, this is pretty cool. A chance to create, see what you create get produced at a high level, and then experienced it on the local and international stage. Its not hard to see how this can have a great impact on someone’s life. Especially a 12, 14 or 16 year old. 

Moving forward though, we are trying to find a way to make this endeavor sustainable. One of the things that we have done, due to the way that the project is structured, is make the program biyearly. So we have taken this year off from programming and are looking to next year to welcome a new class of bright young minds. 

We thank you for your generous support this past year. You have allowed something very special to take place. Our hope is that you stay with us as we move forward and get to experience a whole new group of lives transformed. Think of someone like Jessica. When she came to camp, she was a little uneasy in her own shoes, and unsure of what she had to say. By the end, when she was on stage in front of 400 people, introducing her film, she was confident, bold and fully sure of her voice, knowing that people could and would listen. We can do that again. And again and again. One life and voice at a time. 

If you haven't had a chance to watch the films, please do so HERE. And please share it with your families, friends and networks. These were made because of you. We hope you take pride in what you have allowed to get made. Tell us what you think about the films. Tell us what you think of what we are doing. We want your feedback. We really do. 

Boldly going into a bright future, 

David and the ICiT Team

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Jessica and Jaida at their premiere at OZ
Jessica and Jaida at their premiere at OZ

Dear ICiT Partners, 

It has been a while since our last update, and we are excited to let you know some of the exciting things that have and are about to take place. 

Because of your generosity and partnership with ICiT, we were able to finish both Jessica and Jaida’s films with an extraordinary team of professionals, and give these youth a moment that they, and their families will never forget. 

On April 16th, we had a sold out event at OZ, one of Nashville’s most exciting new arts venues. At this event, around 400 people got to see our two youth’s films, The Upside of Down, and Love is Alive. Both Jessica and Jaida were able to share about why they wrote their stories, what this experience has been like and the impact that they hope it has on their community. Then the films were shown. Wow! One brought tears of emotion; the other, laughs of pure joy. It was incredible to see such an emotional response. And quality of production and artistry was nothing short of world class. 

After the event, dozens of people came up and asked Jessica and Jaida for their autograph. There were hugs, tears and words of validation. We saw what we had always envisioned: These youth believed they had value now. They knew that they could be a voice in this world. 

On April 19th, both films were screened to a packed house at the Nashville Film Festival. Filmmakers come from all over the world to this festival. They were now seeing two young women from Nashville, TN tell their stories. The youth got to walk the red carpet, and were glowing. Jaida, who is 14, came up to our team afterward and with tears in her eyes, said, “Thank you...I will never be the same.” That makes it all worth it. 

This past year has been extraordinary. The Nashville press caught the story and there were publications about ICiT in the Tennessean, Nashville Lifestyles, Nashville Scene, NPR, Channel 5, Nashville Arts, and a story coming out in a few weeks in Nashville Native. They wanted to tell this story because its such a powerful story to be told. When we give youth a chance to be a voice, and create, they can do remarkable things. We saw that first hand. And its because of you that it was possible. Because of you, Jaida and Jessica will “never be the same.” 

On June 25th, we will be releasing this year’s two films, The Upside of Down, and Love is Alive, online. You will be able to stream it or download it. Visit www.icitfilms.com. We would love for you to watch it and share it with your friends and family. We want these stories to be heard around the world so that people can be inspired and compelled to create. 

So, what do you think about what ICiT has accomplished this year? We would love your feedback on being a part of this ongoing journey. 

We are boldly moving forward. For Jaida and Jessica, they now have the tools to take them to their full potential. Which youth will be empowered next? 

Gratefully, 

David and the ICiT Team

Jessica signing autographs after her film
Jessica signing autographs after her film
Jessica talking, with her cast and crew
Jessica talking, with her cast and crew
Jaida, with her cast and crew. Glowing
Jaida, with her cast and crew. Glowing
Jaida at the Nashville Film Festival
Jaida at the Nashville Film Festival
ICiT screening at the Nashville Film Festival
ICiT screening at the Nashville Film Festival
The Upside of Down poster
The Upside of Down poster

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Crew on Jaida's film set
Crew on Jaida's film set

Dear ICiT Partners, 

It is incredible how fast time flies when great work is being done with extraordinary people. Because of you, and your partnership with us, ICiT has been able to finish production on our two films written by Jaida (age 14) and Jessica (age 17). Because of you, we have been able to have an impact on not only their lives, but on all of the youth that have gone and participated in our program through the filmmaking process the past few months. I would like to share some stories with you so that you can see the impact that you have had with us. 

One of the things that we do once one of our films goes into pre-production, is have our winning writers paired with our director and producer and they start working on their script so that it can become the final shooting script. This is a very exciting process for the writer, because they are now taking their raw ideas and fleshing them out with the creative talent that will be filmed. This causes them to really ask what kind of story they are wanting to tell. We were very impressed with how they took the script to a place of real human depth and emotion. We had a professional screenwriter come in to offer some final feedback, and she said of Jaida's script, "This is in the top 3 best short film scripts I have ever read, adults included." That was pretty incredible for Jaida to hear. 

We had a fully professional cast and crew for both films. On some days there were over a hundred people on set: running, working, busting their butts to make an incredible film. We had the best cinemetagraphers, production designers, actors, and supporting crew that Nashville has to offer. One person came and said, "how were you able to get this high level of talent for a short film?" Jessica and Jaida were both on set the whole time and you could see how their faces were glowing the whole time. It was obvious what they were thinking: "All of these professionals are here because of me. They believe in my idea enough to give their best." How do you put a price on that? Priceless. 

We are getting an incredible amount of media coverage for ICiT that will be released in the next few weeks. There are articles coming out in the Tennessean, Native, Nasvhille Lifestyles, Channel 5, NPR, the Scene, and others. They are all capturing this story, because they believe that something really special is happening. First youth are being invested in a way that is rarely seen. They are being invested in a way that says, you have value, and that value is important enough that a city will rally behind you. Second, two remarkable films are getting made, that will put the talented Nashville film community in the spotlight, in a way that shows that there are real masters of this craft in this city. And third, people are being inspired to take youth seriously, and give them a chance to have a voice and an impact. These are all things that will not only impact a few, it will impact a multitude. 

So what do you think? What are your thoughts on what is happening? We want your feedback, since this is now part of your legacy.

We are in post-production now, and the films are going to be premiered at the Nashville Film Festival, the third week of April. We need and want you to be there. I believe it will be a moment unlike any other you have experienced. It will be the unveiling of a child's dream that became reality. How often do we get to see that first hand?

Thank you for your partnership and for working with us to make ICiT a reality this year. Lets build something that lasts and has lasting impact. 

Sincerely, 

David Perry and the ICiT Team

Jaida with our director and producer
Jaida with our director and producer
Motke, Paul and Rob
Motke, Paul and Rob
Jessica with Paul and Rob
Jessica with Paul and Rob
Jessica with director Paul
Jessica with director Paul
Crew on Jessica's set
Crew on Jessica's set

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Organization Information

ICiT, a department of Artist for Community Transfo

Location: Brentwood, TN - USA
Website:
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ICiT, a department of Artist for Community Transfo
David Perry
Project Leader:
David Perry
Brentwood, TN United States

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