The Grand Street Arts' Youth FX

YouthFX People

Darian, Bhawin and Michael at Grand Street Community Arts Center

By Liz Clancy Lerner

Darian Henry and Michael Mejia are teenage filmmakers from Albany and they're presenting their work at Madison Theater Thursday night. They're part of Grand Street Community Arts Youth FX , a six week intensive, hands-on summer film program.

The mission of Youth FX is to "empower and inspire youth through the acquisition of technical skills in the emerging field of digital media as well as to foster their creativity through the art of visual storytelling." I can't speak for all of the students, but from the short time I spent with Darian, Michael and the program's director, Bhawin Suchak -- their mission succeeded, and then some.

Their film, The Third Rail, blew me away. I had the opportunity to screen it this past week and I wasn't expecting what I saw -- at all.

YouthFX Film Still

What struck me most about the film is its depth: the images (striking in composition and color), the story (the plot isn't complicated -- it's about the end of the world from a kid's perspective, but it's executed well), and the depth of these kids. The thing is, you see that they're teenagers and that some of them may be doing this for the first time, but the film itself is beyond that.

The film is so mature.

Narrative film is a genre, that as a filmmaker, I stay very far away from. I prefer documentary because the content is already there. Fiction takes imagination, guts and creativity -- all of which these teenage filmmakers have.

Michael and Darian worked on the film with a handful of other students in the program, but they both take DP (director of photography) credits. Michael even has a small acting role at the end.

I asked them what the hardest part about making the film was -- and like any project that takes many minds, it was working together. Darian says "yeah, we did butt heads," but they worked through it. And as Bhawin added, working well with others is a big part of succeeding in filmmaking.

Youth FX on Set

The Third Rail is one of six short films that will be screening this Thursday. Other films include a documentary about a pizza parlor and a film about a Latino youth conference.

The students that take part in the program primarily come from Albany and outreach is specifically targeted to teenagers living in the South End, West Hill and Arbor Hill neighborhoods. There will be another session this summer, but the dates have not yet been announced. (You can become a fan of them on Facebook to stay updated.)

Says Bhawin of the program's students: "I am really proud of them and what they have accomplished -- they are really talented and amazing."

Youth FX Screening Flyer

These kids have talent and plan on making a career of it. Both Darian and Michael, seniors in high school, are applying to film school for the fall.

The Youth FX screening at the Madison begins at 7pm on Thursday, February 3.

Film still, on-set photo and flyer courtesy of Youth FX.

Find It

Madison Theater
1036 Madison Ave
Albany, NY 12208

Comments

Everything Youth FX and the participating kids have ever made has been mind blowing. I never knew that kids could be capable of creating such thorough film pieces, but Bhawin and the kids always seem to deliver. He is a remarkable teacher and this city is fortunate to have such an outlet for teen creativity.

Your exuberant critique has me very interested. I think I'll check it out.

This event and the movies were all amazing. I ran into Bhawin the next day and he mentioned they might be doing another screening. If that happens I highly recommend seeing it both to support the program and have a great time.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Today in America

Our country's been going through some rough times politically. It's hard to feel optimistic at the moment. Then you watch 20 people become American citizens.... (more)

Breathing Lights project finale

The official wrap-up for the Breathing Lights public art project is set for April 7 at Proctors. Blurbage: Why spend a $1M on public art?... (more)

Drawing: Tickets for John Mayer at TU Center + a gift card for Ama Cocina

John Mayer is set to play the TU Center March 31. And we have a pair of tickets to give away. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.... (more)

Public meeting for second phase of Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany

The second phase of the Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany is set to start later this year and the city has a public meeting... (more)

Brunch is back at The Low Beat with Celina's Kitchen

Celina Ottaway took a circuitous route to the kitchen, but it's paid off. The global influences of her life in business, journalism, and personal endeavors... (more)

Recent Comments

For print resolution, not-for-profit Albany-specific historic images (photos. prints, paintings and advertising) Dave's best bet would be the Albany Institute's website. They have a collections database of thousands of images to choose from, and depending on the size, reproductions can be made in a price range of $15 to $55 dollars.

Drawing: Tickets for John Mayer at TU Center + a gift card for Ama Cocina

...has 43 comments, most recently from theshakes

Public meeting for second phase of Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany

...has 6 comments, most recently from Anthony

Highway cap

...has 1 comment, most recently from Elisabeth

Buffet dinner at Salsa Latina

...has 5 comments, most recently from Nicola Parisi

A few more details about the upcoming CDTA bike share

...has 2 comments, most recently from Blergh