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The Seventh Annual URBAN VISIONARIES FESTIVAL March 24 to 26, 2004, at The Museum of Television & Radio

Thursday, March 4, 2004

New York, NY—The seventh annual Urban Visionaries Festival will take place from March 24 to 26, 2004, at The Museum of Television & Radio in Manhattan. The Festival, featuring fiction, documentary, and experimental videos exploring issues critical to youth such as race, sexuality, hip hop, and immigration, is New York City's only film festival produced, curated, and presented by youth. The festival strives to showcase youth media's rich and diverse talent, offering the public an appreciation of the work currently being developed by urban youth producers from the New York metropolitan area. 

This year's festival is a collaboration between youth media makers and educators from New York City's premiere media literacy organizations, including The Educational Video Center, Downtown Community TV, Global Action Project, Listen Up!, Manhattan Neighborhood Network's Youth Channel, The Museum of Television & Radio, T.R.U.C.E., Ghetto Film School, and Black Media Foundation. 

Last year's Festival attracted almost fourteen hundred young people from New York's five boroughs to see youth-produced work, meet the filmmakers, share ideas, and screen their own videos. This year's Festival will feature screenings, youth performers, panelists, visual artists, and a networking after-party. Also included will be the continuation of Video Slam, an open call to Youth Makers to submit work.   


The Festival will be presented in three parts, each day featuring a different theme. 

The following programs are free and open to the public, but tickets (for everything but Video Slam) must be reserved in advance by calling (212) 621-6724. Admission to Video Slam is on a first-come, first-served basis. All events, except the After Party, will be held at The Museum of Television & Radio, located at 25 West 52 Street, New York, NY.  

Wednesday, March 24 

Screening Program One: "Urban Myths"

Screening Times: 10:00 a.m. to noon, 1:00 to 3 p.m., and 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Filmmakers invite viewers to question their assumptions about the many different ways people create and recreate their lives in the city. This program challenges traditional concepts of family, relationships, community, and religion, among others. The films to be screened are: 

  • Bringing Home Harlem (Black Media Foundation, 15 min.)
  • A documentary about past and present Harlem.

Tobacco Poem (TPTV, Global Action Project, 1 min.)

A young man uses spoken word to deliver his impressions on watching his mother smoke cigarettes.

Cool Heart (Downtown Community Television Center, 20 min.)
A story about one youth's journey from Brooklyn to Laos and the different barriers he overcomes to understand another culture

  • Tobacco PSA (TPTV, Global Action Project, 10 min.)
    A comment on the marketing and advertising strategies of powerful tobacco companies in the U.S.

  • Share Our World (Downtown Community Television Center, 14:20 min.)
    Profiles the lives of several young Muslim women raised in New York, examining the differences between American and Pakistani culture and the struggle to maintain balance between the two.

  • Strictly Family: Changing the Definition (10:58 min.)
    Three young New Yorkers profile their very different families, reflecting upon the changing ideas about family and its meaning to the teens today.

  • A Trip Home (Andrea Wong, 6:23 min.)
    The profile of a biracial girl who tries to find her place in the world.

  • Pay Attention PSA (YMCA Teen Action Program, 30 sec.)

  • Slamming NYC Style (Amy Chiara, School of the Physical City, 11 min.)
    The history of slam poetry, with a look at a slam competition in New York City  

Thursday, March 25 

Screening Program Two: "Act Up, Act Now!"

Screening Times: 10:00 a.m. to noon, 1:00 to 3 p.m.

Act Up, Act Now! tackles questions such as "What's wrong with our community and how do we go about changing it?"  Filmmakers expose issues and also look at creative ways to raise awareness and celebrate the successes of other young people in the process of working toward social change. The films to be screened are: 

  • Fighting to Learn (Educational Video Center, 13 min.)
    Explores different issues concerning the New York City education system, such as district economic inequalities, the allocation of less experienced teachers to the neediest districts, and the influence of school size and curriculum on student achievement.

  • Should I, Shouldn't I (Global Action Project, 2 min.)
    An animated short about the pressures on a young girl to have sex.

  • A Mile Walked (Global Action Project, 13 min.)
    A documentary on the lives of young women who turned their lives around after being sexually exploited.

  • Whose Streets, Our Streets (Educational Video Center, 14 min.)
    Interviews with and highlights from the work of several young outspoken New York City activists.

  • Stop the Cycle of Abuse (Global Action Project, 1 min.)

  • You Have the Right to Break the Silence (Sista 2 Sista, 10 min.)
    Explores police harassment of young women of color in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn.

  • Silenced Voices (Global Action Project)
  • An exploration of international youth rights, looking at the juvenile justice system through the lens of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  • The Truth About Domestic Violence (Clarkston High School, 6 min.)
    A documentary created to raise awareness of domestic violence.

  • Beautiful (Black Media Foundation, 7 min.)
    The story of a teenager who overcame an eating disorder.

  • Finding My Heart in Vieques (Downtown Community Television Center, 15 min.)
    A New York teen travels to Puerto Rico to join the fight against military bomb testing in Vieques, gaining a sense of identity as a Puerto Rican and a new understanding of what it means to fight for what you believe in.  

Video Slam!

4:00 to 6:30 p.m.

An open call to Youth Makers (aged 13 to 19) to submit work.  Participants should arrive with a VHS copy of their short by 3:30 p.m. Tapes should be cued to an excerpt up to seven minutes in length. This is a competitive screening with prizes awarded.  

Friday, March 26

Screening Program Three: "Creative Nation"

Screening Times: 10:00 a.m. to noon, 1:00 to 3 p.m., and 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Filmmakers look at issues of identity, emotions, and racism making use of all the creative tools available to them. This program includes experimental and non-fiction pieces that are funny, dramatic, and as real as the situations and the experiences that inspired their work. The films to be screened are: 

  • First Love (Ghetto Film School, 3 min.)
    A young man in love with his basketball has to make a decision between it and the other love of his life.

  • Keep on Living (Paper Tiger TV, 5 min.)

  • The Hatrix (Black Media Foundation, 15 min.)
    Created by the students of S.T.A.R (Social Thinking and Reasoning) and the Black Media Foundation as an adaptation of the hit movie the Matrix, the Hatrix is a world full of violence and hate.

  • Logan Goes to Hell (Jakub LaMendola, 8 min.)

  • A Beautiful Day (Reel Youth, 8 min.)
    A young girl walks down the street, envious of the happy carefree people she sees, but soon learns that things aren't always the way they seem.

  • Lil' Thoughts (Sam Boyd, Wide Angle Community Media, 2 min.)
    A young woman falls in love and struggles with the homophobia of her family and friends.

  • Onion Rings (Augie Dannehl, 10 min.)
    The story of a man and his onion rings.

  • Robot (Antonio Cisneros, 3 min.)
    A kitchen accident leads to a teenage identity crisis when a girl discovers she is a robot.

  • Charcoal (Reel Youth, 12 min.)

  • Secret Agent (Thomas Schuster, Clarkston High School, 2 min.)
    A stick figure lives the life of a double agent.

  • Roaches in the Kitchen (9 min.)
    A young man trying to find a job comes to terms with stereotypes.  

Special Guests

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

A panel discussion and Q&A with professional filmmakers who will also screen clips of their own work.   


7:30 to 10:00 p.m. 

Location to be announced.   

For more information on the Urban Visionaries Festival, visit or contact Festival coordinator Denisse Andrade at (212) 594-9577. 

The 2004 Urban Visionaries Youth Film Festival is made possible in part by the generous support of The Open Society Institute's Youth Initiatives Program, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Time Warner Foundation. 

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. In 2001 the Museum initiated a process to acquire Internet programming for the collection. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.