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Pulitzer Center Update June 7, 2012

2012 CineYouth Festival: Free Spirit Media Students Win Chicago Award

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Student Donquelle Varner and Laura Howard of Free Spirit Media at the CineYouth Festival. Image by Robert Dowey. Chicago, 2012.

Chicago high school students Malique Fox, Lovely Howard and Donquelle Varner won the Chicago Award at the 2012 CineYouth Festival for their documentary, "Peace Building in Chicago." Filmed and produced as a part of a summer workshop hosted by Free Spirit Media and the Pulitzer Center, the film investigates the impact of gang violence on Chicago youth and highlights grassroots organizations working to build more peaceful communities. Pulitzer Center grantee and multimedia journalist Jina Moore mentored the students throughout the filmmaking process.
For the past two years, the Pulitzer Center has collaborated with Free Spirit Media to host six-week summer sessions that encourage urban youth to develop their authentic voice through documentary filmmaking. Pulitzer Center journalists share their reporting experiences, lead brainstorming sessions and assist the students as they produce original video projects about topics important to their own communities.
The CineYouth Festival is presented by Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival and celebrates short films made by young filmmakers from around the world.