Visionary In Harmony with Hope award winners are tackling violence by:

Student filmmakers have shone a spotlight on street violence with winning films including: 

  • The Street Crusade: A documentary style look at various people and groups striving to make a difference in the world of gang violence. From education to tattoo removal, people are dedicating their lives to making a change in individuals’ lives as well as their community at large. Film By: Eric Tollar, Emerson College Winner: First Prize, 2008.

  • Homeboy Industries: A film about the largest gang intervention program in the US, possibly the world. The people within the organization call it “a miracle,” a “family,” “magical,” and “a chance to be a better man.” With the motto “nothing stops a bullet like a job,” Father Greg Boyle has given gang members a chance. Film By: Wendy Carillo, USC. Winner: First Prize, 2009.
  • Power to Kill: This film examines gun violence, asking, “What if every gun owner had to experience dying firsthand?” Through a futuristic simulator, this film creates a world in which the power to kill is never taken lightly. Film By: Jack McClintock, Ohio State University Winner: Honorable Mention (Sci Fi), 2012
  • Propagating Peace: A powerful look at how a person can make a difference in their community. “Propagating Peace” centers around Sharath Mekala, the founder of Village Vitals, an organization dedicated to connecting the people around him and propagating peace through an increased sense of community in Atlanta. Film By: SockCymbal, Georgia Tech Winner: First Prize, 2010.  
  • 100 Strong: A film about 100 Strong, a San Diego nonprofit organization dedicated to giving back to their community 100%. Inspired to action by the acts of violence within their community, the group’s members are committed to making a difference through peace, support, and information. “It’s not a hundred people, it’s just a hundred strong. Community action. Film By: Joseph Moore, Team Kohortz, San Diego State University. Winner: Second Prize, 2011.

Students have tackled tough issues in insightful way, including violence and tensions between community police and the African American members of the communities they serve:

  • ID: This film combines music and spoken word with a portrayal of the tension between an African American community and the police. The filmmaker reminds us that we all spend our lives immersed in stereotypes, and ask us to consider what happens when we take a moment to look deeper at ourselves and those around us. Film By: Joyce Eli and Jean Lu Bevins, Indiana University. Winner: Honorable Mention, 2015
  • Victimized, A Victims Eyes: When a young black man is shot and killed by a white police officer, his family must work to move forward. This film explores all angles of the road to forgiveness, both in forgiving others and in forgiving oneself. Film By: Patrick Walker, Georgia Perimeter College. Winner: Fourth Prize, 2015

Students have also tackled the subject of violence in relationships, including abuse, bullying, and trolling, with winning films including:

  • Awakened: This filmmaker’s message is straightforward: love isn’t abuse, and nobody is immune. Film By: University of Tampa. Winner: Honorable Mention (Message) 2016
  • Disobedience:This well-crafted film touches on multiple social-justice issues, including child witness to violence, bullying and gender identity, with a cameo from a Blue Morpho butterfly, allowing hope to take a beautiful, fantastical form. Film By: Jade Jiyau Zhau, UCLA. Winner:First Prize, 2015
  • Ink: This film brings the inner reality of verbal violence to the fore, giving lie to the old saw “sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me.”  Words can leave a lasting impression. Words can wound us.  It’s a powerful visual, seeing how the words actually show up, on this young person’s body. Film by: Joss Serrallier, University College London Winner: Honorable Mention (UK) 2015
  • US: A woman battles with herself as she hides from her abusive partner, deciding what to do next. Film By: Matthew Singer, Northeastern Winner: Honorable Mention (Inner Strength) 2015
  • Who We Are: A young woman pursued her dream to produce her own music, only to be flooded with hateful insults online. This film serves as a reminder that it takes so little to be kind, and we always have the option to support each other, even strangers on the internet. Film By: Ziona Wright, University of Tampa. Winner: Honorable Mention (Most Insightful Ending) 2014

The following films we deem too graphic or disturbing to embed with the rest. Follow the links, to watch them, knowing that viewer discretion is strongly advised. 

  • Frozen, Wary, Phobic of Being Seen: The students named it and told the story before it hit the headlines: rape culture is shameful. In this powerful film, the wake of the abuse is written on her very skin, as the narrator reminds the viewer to stop, listen, believe, and place the blame where it belongs. Film By: College of New Jersey. Winner: Third Place, 2016
  • I Trusted You: A film that asks a brutal question: When someone you know and trust violates that trust in a horrific way, how can you find it in yourself to forgive them? Film By: Team Tinashakiyah Productions, Atlanta University Center Winner: Honorable Mention (Horror, this category is now closed) 2011
  • One in Five [Sexual Assault PTSD Trigger Warning]: During a study group Jamie’s friends pressure her to explain why she hasn’t been herself recently. As she imagines what would happen if she told her friends about her recent sexual assault, her deepest insecurities are revealed. When she refuses to divulge her secret, many of her friends storm off, but one remains offering her a sliver of hope and a positive path towards the future. Film By: Audrey Easton, Emory University . Winner: Third Prize, 2017
  • Take the Hit: A disturbing look at the effect of verbal abuse on a young woman, and the dangers of not seeing the signs. Film By: Olivia Grant Esterhuysen, Team Poms, U. C. Berkeley Winner: Honorable Mention (Horror, this category is now closed) 2011   
  • The Sculpted: In this film, one young woman tells the story of her community-driven genital mutilation – a form of violence – at a young age. Setting her very personal words to visceral, sometimes shocking and uncomfortable imagery, “The Sculpted” is a film that is not easy to forget. Film By: Miholyn Soon & Ellie Jones, University of Westminster. Winner: First Prize (United Kingdom) 2015

Statistics on violence in the USA can be found on the following Statistica page: page: https://www.statista.com/topics/1750/violent-crime-in-the-us/. We hope that information/films in this spotlight page have filled you with new hope for the future, and perhaps inspired you to action as well. For more ideas for how you can make a big ripple with your time, treasure, and talents visit our “make a ripple” page, www.elfenworks.org/ripple.

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