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Project VoiceScape Collaboration Provides Funding, Pairs Leading Filmmakers With Emerging Teen Artists Nationwide
New York — June 1, 2011 — The Adobe and PBS Foundations, together with the PBS series POV, are pleased to announce that 15 projects by 22 teen filmmakers will receive grants from Project VoiceScape, a collaboration between the Adobe Foundation’s global signature philanthropy program Adobe Youth Voices and POV, public television’s longest-running showcase for independent nonfiction films.
Project VoiceScape encourages middle- and high-school students nationwide to use digital media tools to create compelling stories about issues and concerns important to them. The 15 winning projects will be awarded $2,000 each in completion funds, and the students will be mentored by award-winning documentary filmmakers. In addition, three finalists will be selected and featured on the POV website (, PBS Teachers website ( and Adobe Foundation websites. Project VoiceScape grant recipients will be honored at an event in Washington, D.C., in October 2011 (details to be announced).
Project VoiceScape is also providing select PBS member stations nationwide with funds to support student-created media training from KQED San Francisco’s Digital Media Center, and software donated by Adobe. These PBS stations will become part of the Adobe Youth Voices network, providing opportunities to showcase students’ work and collaborate with other Adobe Youth Voices participants around the globe.
“Project VoiceScape received 250 applications, with program content ranging from immigration to the environment, identity, disabilities and women’s history,” said POV Executive Vice President Cynthia Lopez. “It was clear to the editorial committees that these young people are on the pulse of what is important in today’s society. The choice was a difficult one, but we are thrilled to announce the 15 films selected for completion, and look forward to mentoring the next generation of documentary filmmakers producing innovative work for public media.”
“We salute these students — their passion to create and speak out on important issues will be an inspiration to youth all over the world,” said Adobe Youth Voices Senior Manager Miguel Salinas. “Empowering youth to create with purpose using digital media tools is at the heart of our mission. We’re proud to be partnering with the PBS Foundation and POV to continue this important work.”
Project VoiceScape’s 15 winning programs:

Tyre BrownSan Francisco, Calif.“What Is Jerkin?”: A gang-related turf dance from the ’80s is reinvented for positive goals by urban youth.
Negesti CantaveBrooklyn, NY“Bed Stuy: Do or Buy?”: Gentrification in the historically African-American community of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.
Bidhya Dhakal
Jalisa Edwards
Armando Emery
Indra Karki
Raul Ortega
Lal Thapa
Xiuhua Zheng
Oakland, Calif.“Sexploitation: Oakland Youth In Crisis”: Young girls on Oakland’s street corners: Are they prostitutes or victims?
Alejandra GamaGoodyear, Ariz.“Right to Be an American”: Children of illegal immigrants in Arizona and their struggles.
Mohamed Gardner
Imani Peterkin
Albany, NY“Seeds of Hope”: A mother turns tragedy into hope after her son is killed.
Angel GatusSan Diego, Calif.“Musical Warrior”: A young boy with cancer inspires others to care through music and friendship.
Drew Morton GoldsmithMiddleton, Wis.“No Pity”: Autism disability self-advocates’ empowered response to our culture’s pity for the disabled.
Madena HendersonTroy, NYUntitled: The financial struggles of students going to college today.
Julia LevySeattle, Wash.“The Fifth Star”: Follow Naomi as she explores the story of women receiving the right to vote in Washington State 100 years ago.
Sergio Ricardo OrtizViera, Fla.PWNING at Life: Behavior patterns of one person who plays videogames and another who does not.
Emileigh PotterSan Antonio, Texas“The Dreamers”: A look at the struggles that Bennie Veliz, the poster child for the Dream Act, has encountered to fulfill her dream.
Matthew SeifeScarsdale, NYUntitled: Follow a baseball league for people with disabilities as the teammates enjoy social interactions and develop life skills.
Trevor SeinesSan Diego,“In Between: The Story of Oscar Velasquez”: This 27-year-old has faced the prospect of being deported ever since being illegally brought into the U.S. as a baby.
Jesus Manuel VillalbaBronx, NY“Gardens of Justice”: New York City’s food-justice movement in community gardens.
Morgan WilcockMinneapolis, Minn.“This Gay and Age” (working title): The evolving expectations surrounding teen gays and lesbians due to stereotypes and media influences.

POV | American Documentary oversaw the national call for entries on the POV website. PBS Teachers also plays a continuing part in Project VoiceScape, helping educators obtain advice from youth-media experts on inspiring students to produce exciting and innovative content. Building on PBS’ long-standing relationship with teachers and the education community, the site also provides access to Adobe Youth Voices Essentials, a set of free curricula and resources to help educators launch, guide and sustain effective youth-media programs.
POV, recognized internationally for its rigorous editorial selection process of outstanding nonfiction films, employed a two-tiered process of outside review to evaluate the 250 Project VoiceScape submissions. From these, 60 film proposals were selected. A five-member editorial committee of noted filmmakers, educators and media-literacy experts then screened the works and selected 30 films for final review. POV’s editorial team selected the 15 finalist projects to receive grants.
The Project VoiceScape Editorial Committee members included:

  • David Gaynes, who began his career in local television news as a journalist on both sides of the camera for stations in the metro-New York area, Hartford, Conn., and upstate New York. He is a filmmaker for the digital video branding company Reel Biography. His latest directorial effort (and first feature) is “Keeper of the Kohn,” which won Best Documentary at the 2005 Vail Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2005 Palm Beach International Film Festival.
  • Jessica Lee, the founder of Lightbox Media and a producer of educational materials for independent media. As outreach and development manager at POV from 2007-2010, she helped facilitate hundreds of free community screenings, spearheaded partnerships with national organizations and oversaw research for POV’s companion materials. She holds a master’s degree in education leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Cyrille Phipps, a media educator and video documentary maker. As a video instructor, she taught in more than 20 public junior and senior high schools in the New York City area. She has collaborated on documentaries that have aired on PBS, TNT and the BBC, and was the co-founder of Black Planet Productions. She was the recipient of a Fellowship Award from the New York Foundation for the Arts and most recently from The Urban Arts Initiative/NYC. Phipps is in production on “Seen But Not Heard: AIDS and the Untold War Against Black Women.”
  • Clarivel Ruiz, the director of youth community media for the Downtown Community Television Center, where she manages youth-media instruction and media literacy workshops in New York City high schools and community centers. In 2006, she taught four young African-American women media arts, resulting in “Not As Seen On TV,” a documentary about the post-Katrina New Orleans. Ruiz was co-producer of “Talkin’ Water,” an award-winning short about the women’s journey to make the film. Her latest project is “Mami y Papi,” a documentary about her parents’ immigration to New York from the Dominican Republic.
  • A Brooklyn-based filmmaker and writer, Angela Tucker was the Director of Production at Big Mouth Films, a social issue documentary production company that is a project of Arts Engine, Inc. There, she produced “Pushing the Elephant” (IDFA, Independent Lens), the Emmy-nominated documentary, “Deadline” (NBC), “Election Day” (SXSW 07, PBS’ POV) and “Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater” (Great Performances). She was also a consulting producer on “Pop Star on Ice” which inspired the series “Be Good, Johnny Weir.” Angela directed two short pieces for The National Black Programming Consortium and ITVS’ Initiative, “The Masculinity Project,” entitled “Invisible Men” and will direct a web series for them entitled “Black Folk Don’t” scheduled to launch in June 2011. She is also currently directing “(A)sexual”, a feature length documentary in post-production about people who experience no sexual attraction. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University where she was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship. Her thesis fiction short, “The Birthday Girl,” screened in various festivals and was awarded Milos Forman Finishing Funds. Angela has her BA with Honors in Theater and African American Studies from Wesleyan University. In 2010, Angela was a Yaddo fellow.

About POV
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and beginning its 24th season on PBS in 2011, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV, which airs June-September with primetime specials during the year, has brought more than 300 documentaries to millions nationwide. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s social issues. More information is available at
About American Documentary, Inc.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc develops collaborative strategic-engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation. More information is available at
About PBS Foundation
The mission of the PBS Foundation is to solicit funding for PBS by seeking extraordinary grants and gifts. Working collaboratively with member stations, the PBS Foundation’s fundraising efforts benefit and enhance the system as a whole by providing a source for revenue at the highest level. The PBS Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and a 509(a)(3) supporting organization of PBS. For more information, visit
About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBSPressroom on Twitter.
About the Adobe Foundation
The Adobe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created and funded by Adobe Systems Incorporated to leverage human, technological and financial resources to drive social change and community improvements.
About Adobe Youth Voices
Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation’s global philanthropic initiative that empowers youth from underserved communities with digital media skills so they can comment on their world, share their ideas and take action on issues that are important to them. By harnessing the energy and insight of youth 13-19 years old, Adobe Youth Voices aims to inspire a dialogue for change in their communities. The program engages youth to express themselves through documentary videos, photography, print media, radio diaries, animation, Web communications and other media. Since 2006, the Adobe Youth Voices global network has grown to more than 700 sites, grantees and organizations in 45 countries, and has engaged more than 76,000 youth and 4,000 educators in schools and out-of-school programs. For more information, visit
POV Communications:
Cathy Fisher,, 212-989-7425
POV Pressroom: or via cell at 646-729-4748
For Adobe Youth Voices:
Cynthia Fetty,, 650-762-2872

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POV Pressroom
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.