The pandemic has been tough on us all – even for those who didn’t personally contract COVID-19 or have to care for someone with COVID-19, the disruption of life and this “new normal” have required some adjustment (and readjustment) of all our lives. While many adults lost jobs, had to move and had to supervise their children’s remote learning, teenagers have also been especially hard hit. From the more obvious drawbacks of a lack of social outlets to missing out on milestones they may have looked forward to their whole lives, such as in-person graduation or prom, teenagers have had an especially tough year.
This is part of the reason we created the Teen Video Challenge – we wanted to give them a voice to share how the pandemic has affected them in a creative way. One year on, we decided to bring back the challenge – Birmingham area high school students were challenged to create a short video (could be any style, we encouraged them to be creative!) about what mattered most to them during the pandemic. The winners of the Challenge would receive a small stipend and have their films showcased at the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival.
The winners of the 2021 Teen Video Challenge are Chris Chaei, who submitted a documentary-style project about how the pandemic affected his creative work, and Miriam Anderson and Kelan Millican, who took a more lyrical approach with their project, Terra. You can see both of these films at the 2021 Sidewalk Film Festival, August 23-29 in downtown Birmingham. Exact showtimes for these projects will be announced later in July. This is just another reason to make your plans to get your festival passes now. Congratulations to our winners!