It was a Hollywood premier, complete with a red carpet, bright lights, cameras and a gourmet reception. On a perfect summer evening in August, a crowd of 200 Aviva residents, staff and special guests gathered for the annual Aviva and Youth in Action Film Collaboration screening at Sony Pictures Studios’ Cary Grant Theater.
This year’s premier featured three short films, all written and directed by Aviva’s youth. The audience laughed at “Nailed It,” a film about a hilarious Halloween evening in the emergency room and then shed tears at “Truth Be Told,” a film about a transgender teen who is bullied at school and desperately wants to be loved and accepted for who she really is. “Shifty,” the third film literally had moviegoers on the edge of their seats for a story about a lab that houses monsters, and what happens when one escapes.
Jason Lesner, founder of Youth in Action Film Collaboration and project director, welcomed guests and introduced a unique behind-the-scenes film that gave the audience a glimpse into the creativity and work that went into each film. It provided insight into the significant impact the project has on the participating residents and showcased countless hours on the part of the volunteer professional producers, writers, directors, actors, editors, photographers, videographers and post-production teams who assisted our teens. The films would not be possible without their time and commitment.
The screening was followed by a Q&A with the residents and their production teams, and delicious reception provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering.