WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is showcasing the work of students from around the country who produced short films about service and giving back for a White House contest. The budding filmmakers include a Montana 6-year-old alarmed about climate change and a group of Chicago high school students who spin a hip-hop yarn of encouragement for peers facing adversity.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is showcasing the work of students from around the country who produced short films about service and giving back for a White House contest. The budding filmmakers include a Montana 6-year-old alarmed about climate change and a group of Chicago high school students who spin a hip-hop yarn of encouragement for peers facing adversity.
A California 17-year-old entered a "sockumentary" about helping the homeless one pair of socks at a time, an 18-year-old from Arizona uses his film to raise awareness about Navajo water rights issues, and an 18-year-old born with cerebral palsy documents his campaign to get wheelchair-accessible doors installed at his Texas school.
The films are among 15 shorts that will be screened Friday at the second White House Film Festival in an East Room turned movie theater for the afternoon.
Obama will use the event to announce a new initiative through the Corporation for National and Community Service to help inspire and mentor young artists. The American Film Institute and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have pledged to provide 1 million hours of mentoring over the next three years.
No "winners" will be announced at the festival and Obama won't hand out any gold trophies. But along with the recognition that comes from having one's amateur film shown on a big screen at the White House, the makers of the 15 "official selections" will get to spend Saturday toiling alongside actors and directors at workshops held at the Newseum.
Actors and directors are also expected at the White House on Friday, including Hillary Swank of "Million Dollar Baby" and Steve McQueen, director of the Oscar-winning "12 Years a Slave."
The 15 films were chosen in conjunction with the American Film Institute and were culled from some 1,500 entries, the White House said.
The filmmakers range in age from 6 to 18, and come from 12 states.
Actor Ken Howard, president of SAG-AFTRA, said the union's members are eager to reach out to the next generation of actors and filmmakers.
"Sharing the tools of the trade helps ensure dynamic new storytellers practicing the craft, and a vibrant future for the entertainment industry," said Howard, star of the TV show "The White Shadow."
"That's something that benefits movies, television shows, in fact, the entire creative community and the nation."
White House Student Film Festival: http://www.whitehouse.gov/filmfestival
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