Pilgrimages – Tower of Youth Festival 2016

rsz_20th-logo-design_copyDr. William J. Bronston brings his Tower of Youth Festival, an all-day celebration of the best youth-made films in America and Canada, back to the Crest Theater tomorrow.  This is the 20th iteration of the Tower of Youth, and although Dr. Bronston remains as passionate as ever about the power of media to empower and transform, he claims that this year’s festival is also his last.  Dr. Bronston has assembled several past festival participants to join the festivities tomorrow, which should make for a proper sendoff.

Of course, the focus will remain on the films and young filmmakers, and Dr. Bronston has assembled another strong slate of shorts, with an especially eye-opening collection of documentaries.  Although the filmmaking is often prosaic and rarely slick, it’s powerful to watch these teenage directors document their worlds, crafting intimate cinematic dialogues about art (“Art for a Lifetime”) and family (“The Story of 3 Rings: A Memoir of Dana Schwartz”). There’s also a welcome emphasis on films that deal with issues surrounding race (“Fighting with Music”), gender (“Sticks and Stones”) trans youths (“Walking in their World”) and war (“Growing the Rose – Landmines in Cambodia”).  These films give a voice to the voiceless, and a power to the powerless.

*The 20th Annual North American All Youth Film and Education Day takes place Friday, October 7, from 9am to 5pm at the Crest Theater in Downtown Sacramento.  For more information, check out the Tower of Youth website and Facebook page.