More than 600 students, families and mental health advocates gathered at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 13 to celebrate the achievements of nearly 996 student filmmakers who participated in CalMHSA’s second annual Directing Change Video Contest.
Created to empower young people to promote suicide prevention and end the silence associated with mental illness among their peers, the contest attracted an impressive 432 submissions from California high school and University of California students.
“I came into [Directing Change] an aspiring filmmaker and came out of it a better person.” – Kendra Goff, Sonoma County
Winning films in the suicide prevention category include:
- First: “A New Tomorrow” by Analy High School students Kendra Goff and Sullivan Rutherford (Sonoma County)
- Second: “Perception” by James C. Enochs High School students Caleb Meyer, Jacob McNeilly, Justin Benziger, Brandon Wilcox, Mariah Davis and Megan Johnson (Stanislaus County)
- Third: “Hey Taylor” by Canyon High School students Kimberly Stratton, Stephen Gracia, Cassidy Foelsch and Nicholas Jackson (Orange County)
University of California
- First: “Pain Never Lasts” by UC Riverside students Jared Odom and Morrise Richardson
- Second: “Push” by UC Santa Barbara students Gabe Fox and Carter Hiyama
- Third: “Paper” by UC San Diego student Rhiann Hang Lam Suen
Winning films in the ending the silence associated with mental illness category include:
- First: “Couldn’t Do It Alone” by Whitney High School students Madison Preston and Justin Conti (Placer County)
- Second: “Walk the Mile” by Pleasant Valley High School/ROP students Mary Beem and Lana Maderos (Butte County)
- Third: “If We All Speak Loud Enough” by Canyon High School student Nick Walker (Orange County)
University of California
- First: “We Are All Human” by UC Santa Barbara student Kathleen Oum
- Second: “Say Something” by UC San Diego students Ulysses Savage and Jessica Rosas
- Third: “Not to be Ignored” by UC Merced students Kennan Conner and Salvatore Angrisani
Directing Change Video Contest submissions were judged by volunteer experts in mental health and suicide prevention, members of the media and professionals in filmmaking and video production. Films were judged based on how the entries creatively explored the topics while also adhering to guidelines about how to safely and appropriately communicate about suicide prevention and mental illness.
This year’s line-up of statewide judges ranged from Hollywood actors and producers to leaders in education and mental health. Lending their expertise in film and television production, statewide judges included actor Max Adler, director and producer Bradley Buecker, producer Scott Budnick and assistant director and producer George Parra.
To view the full list of winners and winning videos, visit http://www.directingchange.org.