The 2nd annual Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes film festival hosted by RYSE is now underway. It is a great opportunity for young filmmakers ages 13 through 24 to submit a film no longer than 12 minutes by the deadline of September 9th, 2016. The film festival is also looking for films that have a specific focal point on current and relevant social justice issues such as the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems, anti-violence programs, the school to prison pipeline, the criminalization of immigrants, gender justice, food justice, and education justice.

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But what exactly is RYSE? RYSE is a youth centered organization who continually aims to empower youth and young adults and give them the education and resources necessary in order to help become active members of their own communities and tackle problems that could be oppressing them and their neighbors.

“Empowering youth and young adults to navigate different systems and life situations is crucial to the work we do at RYSE and we understand that having creative outlets to release the impact of the trauma they  face on daily basis is imperative,” says Youth Justice Director Stephanie Medley.  “Our film festival, ‘Truth Be Told’, gives young creative filmmakers an opportunity to express and showcase their visions, reflections, rage, and solutions to many societal issues through the lens of their cameras.”

It goes without saying that the Truth Be Told film festival is a great artistic outlet for young filmmakers to really make their voices heard through the power of art and self-expression. This is even more so highlighted when considering the age limit of the festival itself. Cash prizes are also included as an extra incentive, which gives a great opportunity for young teens and adults to rise above their ranks and prove their ability as an artist and as a community member in their respective neighborhood. For more information on the festival or on RYSE, please visit their website at Rysecenter.org here.

You can also view last year’s winning film, STOP by Julia Retzlaff here.