One youth at Hillsides took home the best supporting actor award and six won the best ensemble cast during the Kids in the Spotlight Movies by Kids, For Kids Film Awards held Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Fox Studios/Darryl F. Zanuck Theater. The teens also got the chance to walk the red carpet, meet celebrities, and dance the night away at the after party.
One participating Hillsides teen perhaps summed up what his peers were feeling when he said, “This was the best night of my life.”
The film festival and awards ceremony was the culmination of many months of work. The youth, with help from industry pros, wrote, cast, and acted in three short films that were made on the Hillsides campus. One of their acting coaches was NBC “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell, who acted as the host of the film awards. Before shooting the movies, they spent 10 weeks being trained in the essentials of screenwriting and filmmaking.
The teens made three films, Perfect Chemistry, Different Position, and The New Comers. Perfect Chemistry won the best ensemble cast and a Hillsides youth who acted in Different Position won best supporting actor.
“My personal goal for the kids is that they walk away knowing who they are just a little more, have more positive feelings about themselves, and are able to present their points of view just a little more clearly,” said Ramona McGee, the director of Hillsides group homes. “Judging from what I saw, we met those goals.”
As part of the experience, the Hillsides teens were also dressed in donated gowns and suits, had their hair and makeup done, and traveled to the film festival in style via a limo-bus.
Kids in the Spotlight, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides an arts and healing program to foster care facilities and schools throughout the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas. The awards show is the sixth annual red carpet event that showcases and awards ten 10-minute films written by, casted by and starring underserved youth. To learn more. please visit http://kitsinc.org/.
Hillsides, founded in 1913, is a premier provider of child welfare services serving children in foster care and families in need. The agency, headquartered in Pasadena, serves more than 6,200 children and families throughout Los Angeles County, including Pomona, Echo Park, and Baldwin Park. For more information, please visit www.hillsides.org.