Kids in the Spotlight Film Festival

If you missed the Kids in the Spotlight film festival last fall, here’s some news that will get you looking forward to this year’s! Click here for the full story by Princess Manasseh in the Los Angeles Sentinel. Here’s an excerpt:

From narrowly missing cancelation to a sold out production at Sony Pictures, this year’s Kids in the Spotlight (KITS) Film Festival proved what persistence, determination, and the power of prayer can do, according to KITS Executive Director Tige Charity.

On Saturday, October 26 KITS held its fourth annual Film Festival featuring, as tradition, movies for kids, by kids.   The months leading up to the event however were nerve racking for Charity and KITS board members who were unsure whether or not their budget would allow them to secure a venue.

“I honestly didn’t think we were going to be able to produce a festival for you this year,” an emotional Charity told the crowd at the festival, “but I fought, and I would not give up.  I kept saying, ‘some door has got to open for these kids, I cannot disappoint them, we have got to give them their day.’”

KITS is a program designed to empower kids in the foster care system through the art of filmmaking.  For ten weeks, kids ages 11-17 attend a filmmaking workshop afterschool and on weekends where they are trained by industry professionals in virtually every facet of filmmaking, from screenwriting, to acting, to casting, to wardrobe.  Over the course of the workshop the students create a short film.  The program culminates with an annual film festival red carpet style and with celebrity hosts and attendees.  The students films are screened and awards are given with their families in the audience, making the showcasing of their films, a true day in the spotlight.

Eventually it was a call from KITS board member actress Claudia Wells to a friend at Sony Pictures Studios that lead to the securing of a venue for this year’s festival.  Sony donated the use of its Holden Theatre on the company’s Culver City lot to screen the films made by the kids.

Charity made it clear in her festival closing speech, that the entire event, everything from the securing of the venue to the stuffing of gift bags, was made possible through donations of time and resources from individuals who believe in the cause.

In the same way KITS a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which was founded by Charity in 2009 has operated through donations of time, skills, money, and resources.  A relatively new organization, KITS does not rely on grants; funding rather is the result of Charity and fellow board members “pounding the pavement” in search of donations.

Click here for the full story by Princess Manasseh.