On Wednesday, May 31st we attended Concrete Stories: 2017 Brooklyn Youth Media Festival at BRIC, where we’ve been before to watch the monthly poetry slams. When we arrived, we walked the red carpet and were interviewed by the “press” to hear about our expectations of what we were about to watch. We went in not quite knowing what to expect, blank canvases, and emerged in awe with full hearts. There were ten films, all under ten minutes and all written, directed and performed by youth in Brooklyn. The stories and styles ranged from discovering sexuality to a black-and-white 1950’s mystery to cyberbullying to what it means to be an “oreo”. Through their art, we felt like we were able to really connect on a personal level with all the filmmakers involved. We saw a glimpse of their world through their eyes.
One of our favorites was Safe Space which followed a gay teen boy battling his demoralizing conscience, which turned out in the end to be his father’s voice. With the help of a loyal friend, he was reminded of his self-worth and the importance of being true to himself. Another highlight was the film Are You an Oreo? which brought to light racial stereotypes that attempt to put us each into boxes based on the color of our skin. We were reminded of the importance of being exactly who we are, without apology, no matter what anyone else expects. It’s always great to be yourself!
At the end, awards for best picture, best director and best cinematography were handed out. All we can say is there is a LOT of talent here in Brooklyn and we can’t wait to see more in action.