Kids In The Spotlight Celebrates Foster Youth Filmmakers in Los Angeles
Annual Event Recognizes Inspiring Talent and Their Stories
LOS ANGELES – Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) media arts non-profit recently hosted its thirteenth annual KITS Film Awards at Regal L.A. Live in Downtown L.A. on Saturday, November 5th. The film screening and awards ceremony honored the creative achievements of foster youth filmmakers telling their stories their way. The emerging artists received awards from Tiffany Haddish, Nadine Ellis, and James Pickens, Jr. to name a few. The event was possible with the generous support of The Canet Foundation, Music is Unity and Picture Head.
The night also acknowledged some of KITS’ biggest supporters. Zach King, filmmaker, illusionist and author received the Gary Burrell Humanitarian Award, named for actor Ty Burrell’s father and the work he did for foster youth. King, who is a foster parent himself, uses his platform to teach and inspire the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers. Gregory Metzger was one of the recipients of the Jordan Award, for dedication in raising foster care awareness through the arts. Metzger has been a fierce advocate of KITS since joining the board of directors ten years ago. Tamesha Scott also received the Jordan Award, she is a “day one” member and uses her own experience in the foster care system to elevate the mission of KITS.
Photo Credit: Van Green
Additional event sponsors included Schimmel & Parks, The Refinery, The California Wellness Foundation, and She Ready Foundation. The award winners for foster youth achievement were:
Best Actor: Ages 12-17: Jeremiah Dorsey / Ages 18-22: London Jones
Best Supporting Actor: Billy Jones
Best Ensemble Cast: Ages 12-17: “Scripted” / Ages 18-22: “Rite of Passage”
Best Screenplay: “Rite of Passage”
Best Film: “Rite of Passage”
KITS is best known for Script-to-Screen, a transformative media arts education and vocational training program serving foster youth ages 12-22. Participating youth write, cast, and star in their own original 10-minute films, which are directed and produced by industry professionals.
This nationally acclaimed program serves some of the 38,000 youth living in the Los Angeles County foster care system. The 10- to 15-week curriculum engages teaching artists to lead classes in screenwriting, acting, casting, and editing, helping foster youth heal and grow from trauma through the power of storytelling and filmmaking.
The Script-to-Screen program cultivates technical skills, goal-setting, mental well-being, and confidence through concrete achievements. Through this program, KITS prepares youth for entry-level jobs and media arts internships and opens the door to a network of industry peers and mentors.
“We are privileged to have impacted the lives of so many youth these past 13 years,” Kids In The Spotlight Founder and Executive Director Tige Charity said. “KITS has mentored hundreds of youth in foster care, giving them a voice and helping them rise above their circumstances. Our organization will continue to give our youth the confidence and motivation to succeed in life.”
To learn more about KITS, please email email@example.com
About Kids In The Spotlight (KITS)
KITS is a Black-led, Los Angeles County-based organization that helps foster youth heal and grow from trauma through the power of storytelling and filmmaking. In the KITS flagship Script-to-Screen program, foster youth ages 12-22 write, cast, and star in their own short films, telling their stories their way. KITS envisions a pipeline of Black and brown leaders in positions of decision-making power. By building the pipeline, KITS pursues the restoration of economic stability and generational wealth for Black and brown youth.
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