The Educational Video Center teaches documentary video production skills to young people from underserved high schools in NYC. At last night's benefit, I watched snippets from three student docs.
Still Standing, the first film, told the story of Mrs. Gertrude whose house was destroyed by Katrina. Her insurance claim was still not paid seven months after the hurricane. Evacuated to Houston, Texas, she returned one day to the neighborhood to find that the city had demolished the house without her permission. She suspected that the predominantly white neighborhood wanted her out of there. The city sent her a bill for the demolition job.
Are You Game? is about the videogaming craze. Technically it is more sophisticated than the first, but the narrative loses its way among the interviews of various people: game designers, gamers, parents. The last film, Losing Ground: The New Face of Homelessness, focuses on the plight of families who have lost their homes, and taken refuge in the city's shelter system. The cut I saw also makes reference to gay teens thrown out of homes because of their homosexuality.
I chatted with one of the filmmakers during reception; she was a lesbian (a pretty girl friend stood by her side). The issue of gay homelessness is close to her heart, and she intends to pursue it in a video project of her own after school in EVC is over. That kind of passion is a testament to the work of EVC. The EVC is looking for volunteers and donations.