“The Weight” is a PSA about Mental Health created by Vito Lyles, Neema Wangyal, Nick Sherman and Colette Grob from Canyon High School. It took home the highest honor at this week at the Directing Change Film Festival when it placed 1st in the state. Additionally, Canyon had over 20 films that were awarded for regional prizes this year in various categories relating to Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. The students collectively were awarded over $1,500 for their work and the school was awarded a $500 grant for the video program.
Here’s a link to the 60 second PSA:
The Directing Change Program & Film Contest is part of Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement. The program offers young people the exciting opportunity to participate in the movement by creating 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health that are used to support awareness, education and advocacy efforts on these topics. Learning objectives surrounding mental health and suicide prevention are integrated into the submission categories of the film contest, giving young people the opportunity to critically explore these topics. Program participants – whether they are making a film, acting as an adult advisor, or judging the films – are exposed to appropriate messaging about these topics, warning signs, how to appropriately respond to someone in distress, where to seek help, as well as how to stand up for others who are experiencing a mental health challenge.
Canyon’s Video Production students have participated annually by creating Public Service Announcement videos that focus on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. This year’s winners had an opportunity to network and participate in panels about how to pursue both their passion for advocacy and interest in film in the future at the award ceremony event and screening held in downtown Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel.
All of the winning films can be screened here: