Edward James Olmos helps make filmmaking in California classrooms to train lifelong learners

Los Angeles-In the late 90s, actor, filmmaker and activist Edward James Olmos co-founded the Los Angeles Latin American International Film Festival.

“I have been very fortunate to work in schools, libraries, community centers, hospitals and youth detention centers,” said Ormos, who has been deeply committed to reaching young learners for many years. years.

The film festival is now the Latino Film Institute. It is also home to the Youth Cinema Project (YCP). YCP is a program running in dozens of school districts across California.

“The way the youth cinema project was created was to realize that the cavalry weren’t coming. We had to save ourselves because no one was going to save us, ”the television said. Writer and CEO Rafael Agustin said. Institute of Latin Cinema.

Two professional filmmakers guide the students. They can enroll when they reach 4th grade.

“This year is the whole year and they will learn how to do all aspects of filmmaking and storytelling,” Ormos said.

Kimberly Mendiola Leon, now a high school student from Bell Gardens, Calif., Joined the program to build confidence and rekindle the pursuit of storytelling.

“I love to write since I was little. I used to write short plays like old socks, or make dolls and wear them for my family, ”said Mendiola Leon. Quite”

“I remember having to write a screenplay when I joined YCP in college. One of the mentors told me that I really like my writing and that I should continue. He said. He saw me think it was something in the movie industry. “She said.” That’s why I came back in the movie. “

Previously undocumented immigrants aim to change the misrepresentation of TV and movies

Rafael Agustin, now an American citizen, recognizes his challenge as an immigrant to lead him to pursue his career as a television writer. It aims to change the misrepresentation of undocumented immigrants.

“I always knew we were immigrants. I didn’t know we were undocumented immigrants, ”Agustín said. “In high school, I was an exaggerated immigrant student. I was the class president, the prom king, and the top 10% in the class. Later, when I applied for college, I found it was undocumented. “Agustin is thinking. A more appropriate term is “undocumented American”.

“Many years later, I asked my mother why I hadn’t said it frankly. She said this line that I always steal from her. He said. “This is what I am in the art of. I am grateful for all immigration matters because of the way I got there. I was in a non run community college without find out how long this immigration was in play. “

Agustin said he saw a study that found undocumented immigrants on TV were less likely to find jobs, be educated, and more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens. ..

“It just shows us that undocumented American history on television is completely distorted,” Agustin said.

“I think MP Joaquin Castro said it best when he said the El Paso shooting changed everything. People see us as Americans and as members of a loving community. Otherwise, [but] When we think of ourselves as aliens or alien invaders, something like mass slaughter happens. And that is the exact reason why it is so important to see us represented, ”he said.

Investing in lifelong learners

“One day, I won’t have to do an International Latino Film Festival. It will be the happiest day of my life because everyone is crazy about watching movies all over the world. They will be Latin. We will celebrate the contributions of Americans of African descent and Latinos of African descent. Africans, Asians and indigenous peoples. “

“Our goal is to train lifelong learners,” he said, referring to the Youth Cinema project.

The project also aims to send any students they work with to the university, according to Agustin.

“The icing on the cake will create these pipelines and platforms for anyone who wants to work in the entertainment industry,” he said. “This is what we are trying to do as a laboratory, a Latin cinema laboratory. We are building a pipeline, a platform and a launching pad from the community to the entertainment industry.

From actors to activists, people share the story of celebrating their heritage, of expressing their Latino, Latino or Hispanic identity, of expressing and embracing diverse cultures. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with “Our America: Todos Unidos” on the streaming TV app owned by ABC and Hulu.

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