We are changing the face of Hollywood and building skills of leaders by training women of color and LGBTQ folks in filmmaking. They learn to produce their own short films, music videos and webseries. Our participants are ages 17 - 25 and are from Boyle Heights, San Gabriel Valley, South LA, and San Fernando Valley, Norwalk, and Fullerton. They tell stories with an emphasis on gender equality, healthy relationships, and violence prevention.
Intimate partner abuse, toxic relationships, rape culture and victim-blaming are all too often normalized and replicated through the stories we consume daily. We urgently need representation of people of color with an understanding of violence prevention to populate the Hollywood industry, as we are a huge exporter of culture on a global level, both behind the camera and in front of it. The youth in this program wish to continue their pursuit of a film career, and are eager to produce content.
Through media literacy training, the youth create films that reflect the world they which to live in, marked by justice. They are receiving training to become advocates of healthy relationships and gender equality, and critical consumers of media with intentions of challenging narratives that justify exploitation and abuse towards women, LGBTQ, people of color, working class, and other communities. The workshops are survivor-led and emphasize healing from gender-based violence in a safe space.
The youth who partook in our Nuevas Novelas training last year went on to obtain on-set experience in professional settings as volunteers in an extended job training opportunity. Some of our mentors also benefited from this program. One of our participants went on to continue organizing as an advocate with East Los Angeles Women's Center. Our hope is to one day attend the youth's premiere of their professional work at a festival and to see them obtain sustainable careers in the film industry.