April 24, 2008
iMovie Mentors Program Film Festival Celebrates
Youth, Community, and Mentoring
The Alexandria iM2 filmmaking mentoring program for boys capped off a year of production with a successful season premiere. An audience of 150 community supporters attended the film festival at the Old Town Theater on April 1 to view films and crime-prevention community service announcements created by teams of mentors and their young charges.
The iMovie Mentors (iM2) program serves boys from George Washington (GW) Middle School. Adult male mentors attend a weekly workshop with youth to establish a mentoring relationship, learn the fundamentals of filmmaking, and help young participants acquire life skills. The film festival, sponsored by the City of Alexandria Court Service Unit and funded by a crime prevention grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, was the culmination of the program’s first year.
The program’s young participants arrived at the event via stretch limo, cheered on by fans as they walked the red carpet into the theater; seventh grade participants also sold tickets, operated stage lights, served as emcees, made presentations, and sold festival DVDs. One of the films featured a day in the life of Alexandria’s Mayor William D. Euille, who attended the event. Other films featured the group's experiences on a camping trip to Natural Bridge VA, the workings of the Potomac Belle yacht, a tour of the Alexandria Fire Department, and an investigation of ghosts haunting Alexandria. Between each movie, the youth and their mentors presented public service announcements about the dangers of computer fraud, gangs, violence, theft and littering.
Program participants raised $790 from ticket and DVD sales. These funds will pay for ongoing outings with mentors, including a camping/canoeing/fishing trip and a visit to King’s Dominion.
To view the films, visit alexandriava.gov/iM2 . For more information about the iM2 program, or to become involved as a mentor, please visit alexandriava.gov/iM2 or contact Linda Odell, Director of Alternative Programs with the Alexandria Court Service Unit, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.838.4180, ext. 251.