I’m a huge advocate of using film to raise awareness about important issues, so I was super excited to hear about Scenarios USA, a non-profit organization that holds an annual story, play, and scriptwriting contest for youth (ages 12-22) called “What’s the REAL DEAL?”  Teens have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the issues that today’s youth face, and the winning entries are then directed and produced by some of Hollywood’s finest talent and are ultimately distributed at film festivals, high schools, and other outlets across the country.  Some of last year’s films were directed by Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace), Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball), and Gina Prince-Blythewood (The Secret Life of Bees).

These short films address topics like communication, relationships, and decision-making and open up conversations about issues like STDs, teen pregnancy, body image and a host of other experiences written from a teen’s perspective. You can check out the inspiring short films on the Scenarios USA website, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the next contest deadline.


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