Wednesday, October 13, 2010

[MISP] YDI Mi Voz - Filmmaking Classes for Teens Auditioning Soon!

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On Wednesday, October 20th and Thursday, October 21st Youth Development Inc.'s (YDI) Mi Voz program, which teaches above-the-line filmmaking skills to teenagers, will hold auditions for its Fall 2010 session.  The auditions will be held in the YDI Mi Voz office at 100 Roma NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico from 4-6 each day.

This will be the 5th consecutive session for YDI Mi Voz.  Each session has a theme: previous themes were "Through Their Eyes," about the life of the middle schooler from their perspective; "The Zia's Heart" about New Mexican art and artists; and "Spirits of Enchantment," where students documented stories on New Mexico's Supernatural culture.  The Fall 2010 session's theme is "Our Storytellers," and will match up an aspiring young filmmaker with one of New Mexico's elders to document their stories and experiences before they are lost to our culture forever.

"Our Storytellers" is a series of short documentaries that will be produced, directed, shot, edited and delivered by a group of teenagers ages 13-18 in Albuquerque.  Each short documentary will document New Mexico's rich history through the words of those who lived it and formed it.  On the eve of New Mexico's 100th anniversary as an American state, preserving these stories is extremely crucial; to identify where we are going as a state, we must first rediscover where we have been.  What better way to do this than equip our youth with new technology to document the stories of our seniors?


According to  the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs:


·         The cultural disparity or "generation gap" between today's young people and current septuagenarians and octogenarians growing wider by the day.

·         World events, technological developments, and the influence of media play a larger role than ever in today's teen's lives.

·         The presence of the "greatest generation" is rapidly diminishing.  For example, of 16.1 Million people who served in World War II, only 3.2 are still alive.  Of that only 21,086 live in New Mexico.  From that, about 1,000 WWII veterans die everyday.*

·         For New Mexico's older generations, access to a means of preserving their stories is limited.



"Our Storytellers" will be produced by a new selection of students under the YDI Mi Voz banner.  YDI Mi Voz is a safe and free after school program for teenage young people where they learn all aspects of visual storytelling using digital video.  The purposes of the program are:


1.       It contributes to building a "native workforce" for New Mexico's blossoming film industry, giving young people a head start in using industry standard tools and techniques. 

2.       The finished products will preserve the stories of New Mexico's elders and present them to a broader audience, letting its audience know our seniors are living treasures, and by learning about their contribution to New Mexico's culture and history will help move us forward in these areas.

3.       By providing Mi Voz classes under the YDI umbrella, students and their families have access to the wide range of social services YDI provides.


We are actively seeking out participants for this session.  During the 6 month after school course, students will be taught producing, directing, shooting, and editing using top of the line digital video equipment.  The course is a tax-deductible $300 to participants; in some cases more affordable than many after school activities including sports, cheerleading, and many other arts learning programs.   20 students will be selected, but must pass an audition by their peers first- Mi Voz "senior students" who have successfully completed the course in previous years. 

Classes are taught by Marcos Baca and Brian Beeler, working professionals in the area of digital art and filmmaking, and graduates of UNM's Fine Arts college.  10 youth instructors who have participated previously will be at every class to mentor new students.

Sponsorships are available as well.  For a donation of $300, one student can participate in the program.  World-renowned sculptor Reynaldo "Sonny" Rivera and veteran actor, stand-up comedian, and co-star of Emmy Award winning, produced-in-New-Mexico "Breaking Bad," Steven Michael Quezada have already offered to sponsor students, with a challenge to their peers in the arts and entertainment industry.  "People always want to invest in commodities that will pay off in the future," Rivera says, "what will pay off more than a skilled arts & entertainment workforce?  That's what these guys at YDI are doing"  Quezada adds "I appreciate like-minded people and believe very intensely in giving opportunity to our young people, so they can succeed in whatever area they want to."  He adds, "With programs like Mi Voz teens can see that the opportunity is right here in New Mexico- they don't have to move away from their families to realize their dreams anymore."

The UNM Department of Cinematic Arts, 18-time Emmy winning, Albuquerque-based independent producer Chris Schueler, and Director of the international "Experiments in Cinema" Film Festival, Professor Bryan Konefsky have all endorsed Mi Voz.  During the course, students will also be able to attend guest lectures by:

·         UNM Department of Cinematic Arts Chairperson Dr. Susan Dever

·         UNM Department of Cinematic Arts professor and Director/Founder of Basement Films Bryan Konefsky

·         Co-star of Emmy award winning TV show "Breaking Bad," Steven Michael Quezada

·         Director of the Albuquerque Film office, Ann Lerner

·         Emmy award winner Aaron Paul

·         3-time Emmy award winner Bryan Cranston

·         "Breaking Bad" star Dean Norris

Why should parents enroll their children in Mi Voz, compared to other after school programs? Mi Voz is Albuquerque's oldest and most proven filmmaking curriculum. Since 2005, our students have produced about 40 short films: documentary, promotional, narrative, and experimental, all of which have been shown at local AND international film festivals.

Mi Voz is a two-time recipient of the New Visions New Mexico contract award. In 2008, Program Director Marcos Baca was named one of the "40 Under 40" Top Young Professionals to watch by New Mexico Business Weekly. Baca and fellow instructor Brian Beeler are a time-proven dynamic duo, working professionals in the field of visual storytelling, and heavily connected within New Mexico's strong artistic community.

For more information contact YDI Mi Voz Program Director Marcos Baca at (505)212-7442 or

Photos can be found at:

Video of Mi Voz youth produced documentaries can be found at:

YDI Mi Voz retains all proper rights documentation to all images, photos, videos, and likenesses.

Marcos G. Baca
Public & Media Relations Manager
Mi Voz Program Manager
Youth Development Inc.
100 Roma NW
Albuquerque, NM
Youth Development Inc.

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