FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Howard
SPY HOP PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: THE PREMIERE OF REEL STORIES 2010
Eight short non-fiction films by Salt Lake City high school students, and the World Premiere of The Direction’s new music video
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (August 12, 2010) — Spy Hop Productions is please to announce the premiere of eight short non-fiction films created as part of Spy Hop’s REEL Stories Documentary Arts Program. The premiere will be held Wednesday, August 18 at 7PM at Salt Lake Film Society’s Tower Theatre (876 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, Utah). This is a free, all-ages event open to the public.
Taught by award-winning documentary arts instructor, Frank Feldman, REEL Stories is a free, intensive four-month workshop in which students first learn the ins and outs of basic non-fiction filmmaking, then individually produce a five-minute short on topics of their choosing. This year, six high school students, and one college freshmen completed the program, choosing an impressive range of subject material:
Erin Cole (Judge Memorial): “Just Say Know” — Investigating the topic of sex education in Utah and why it's important for young adults to be educated about it.
James Hadden (SLCC): “The Sugar Pit” — Exploring what happens when one group of locally owned business didn’t receive the support they needed to survive.
Trisha Hernandez (AMES): "The Lack of It" — Teenagers are uninformed about HIV/AIDS. The schools are failing to teach them. Hear what a young, HIV-positive man has to say about living with the virus.
Rhea Herrmann (Realms of Inquiry): “Culture on Fire” — Imagine a culture surrounding an event that nourishes art, creativity, talent, and freedom. A city out in the black rock desert appears for a week, and though it only happens once a year, people prepare for and celebrate it every day.
Eli Jessop (Riverton HS): “The Halves and the Halves Not” — Explores the reasons for the Jordan School District split and the lingering effects on the district's budget.
Laela Omar (Cottonwood HS): “Hijab“ — An American Muslim girl explores reasons and opinions behind the hijab (traditional Muslim head covering).
Emalie Ruffy (AMES): “Behind the Piece” — Go behind the art to learn about a group of artists and their sacrifices for their work.
This premiere gives each of the student filmmakers a chance to share their stories with the local community via the big screen. Films from past workshops have gone on to screen on HBO Family, the MNN Youth Channel National Series, and PBS’ online youth media initiative “Listen Up!”, as well as numerous film festivals including the Museum of Television and Radio Docu-Jam and the IFP Los Angeles Film Festival
The screening will also feature a music video and accompanying behind-the-scenes video created by the Write-Shoot-Ride class. Now in its 10th year, the Write-Shoot-Ride class hit the open road to film the music video and a “behind the music” style documentary on location in Utah’s Uinta Mountains. The band The Direction, a medieval blues-rock band signed to the all-youth label Spy Hop Records, was selected for the music video. The Direction’s new album, From VII & IV, can be heard on iTunes. (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/from-vii-iv/id386898657)
About REEL Stories
REEL Stories, Spy Hop’s Youth Documentary Workshop, is an intensive program that gives Utah high school students the opportunity to work with some of the country’s best documentary filmmakers. Each participant comes out of the program having created a documentary short on the subject of their choosing. Past pieces have explored issues such a male body image, mental illness, the meaning of femininity, and the process of coming of age in different cultures. All the Reel Stories shorts are screened free to the community upon completion. The screening provides a wonderful opportunity to see the talent and creativity alive in our local youth community.
REEL Stories is made possible thanks to the generous financial support from Zoo, Arts & Parks of Salt Lake County; the National Endowment for the Arts; Salt Lake County; American Arts & Recovery Act; Adobe Youth Voices; George and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation; UBS; Morgan Stanley; and the Salt Lake City Arts Council.
About Spy Hop Productions
Spy Hop Productions is a not-for-profit youth media arts and education center whose purpose is to empower youth to express their voice and with it create positive change in their lives, their community, and the world. Our mission is to encourage free expression, self-discovery, critical and inventive thinking, and skilled participation via the big screen, the airwaves, and the web.
The White House recently recognized Spy Hop Productions as one of the top arts and humanities‐based organizations in the country. Spy Hop has been given the distinguished honor of being a semifinalist for the Coming Up Taller Award given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
About Spy Hop Records
Spy Hop Records is a teen-run record label located within Spy Hop Productions. Their goal is to create an independent, artist-driven record label that will serve to produce, distribute, and promote unsigned bands from the Salt Lake area.