Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes

WHAT: Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes highlights and empowers youth voices and visions by showcasing riveting films from young filmmakers speaking their truth of what justice is through their eyes. Their films offer a glimpse into the complexities of social justice topics from gender equity and equality to human rights, education to economic justice, and more. 

WHEN: October 28th, 2017 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM

WHERE: East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St, Richmond, CA 94801
[View Parking Information Here]

WHO: This is a community event and all are welcome.  Since some of the subject matter will touch on sensitive topics, parental guidance is suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children under 13.

TICKETS: General Admission is free. Higher ticket level packages are available and come with exclusive Festival memorabilia , VIP access to the pre-screening reception, and more. RSVP NOW to see details on all packages.

Can't join us? Support RYSE Center by sending us a donation!

Questions? Email

The Films

Documentary by Filmmakers Ages 13-18

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Best Documentary (13-18): Our Treasure

The Aikuma Project preserves threatened languages by sharing stories as told by people in their language across the world. Through the Treasure Language Storytelling Initiative, the Aikuma Project has allowed communities to find their voices, and realize new meanings to their ability to speak their native languages.

The Filmmakers:

Jelina Liu is a filmmaker, musician, artist, and social activist who will be a senior in high school in the fall. She wants to use filmmaking to tell other people’s stories in hopes of fostering greater empathy and understanding towards others. She wants to use filmmaking to bring about positive social change, help those who are oppressed, and inspire people to help and stand up for one another. She provides a passion for filmmaking and people, a curiosity in trying new things, going to new places, and meeting new people, and a love for history. She would like to someday be able to travel the world and record the stories of different people.


Jessica Mao is a 16-year-old filmmaker from the Bay Area. She enjoys getting to explore storytelling through cinematography. She wants want to keep learning about everything and create social change through her art. She provides new perspectives and a bright disposition, and has a background in photography. Jessica would like to create relatable films that inspire change and make people’s days better.


Out of State Spotlight: Open Door by Vanilla

Two sisters go to the forbidden world with an iPhone. Like Open Door on Facebook!


Honorable Mention: Grit by Blake Sepe and Evan Stagnaro

A re-accounting of a Vietnam General and the acts of valor and strength during his service in the Vietnam War.

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Documentary by Filmmakers Ages 19-24

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Best Documentary (19-24): Cuando Planto Un Árbol (When I Plant A Tree)

Cuando Planto Un Árbol (When I Plant A Tree) is a portrait of environmental change centering around an Ecuadorian natural sciences teacher Moncho. The film depicts how Moncho's family went from being loggers to environmental stewards, focusing on issues of deforestation and education.

The Filmmaker:

Jonah Moshammer is a young filmmaker from San Francisco who is passionate about telling visual stories. Growing up in a creative family, Jonah began by taking photos backpacking through the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain range, or in the richly textured cityscapes of San Francisco. Jonah's work seeks  to depict the often forgotten natural world, the cultures, and the individuals who are making a difference — even if its small. His passion has led him from the tropical forests of Ecuador, to the deserts of Southern California, and the music clubs of Spain. He is thankful for the people who share their lives with him so openly, and is inspired to depict the countless stories waiting to be told.

Out of State Spotlight: The Extra Mile by Courtney Ross

A day in the life of Patrick Kato, a Ugandan immigrant and dedicated caretaker at an assisted living home for adult men with mental disabilities. From serving meals to bathing the men to even driving a bus, his love for his job and helping others is everlasting and inspiring.

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International Spotlight: Puoro by Komako Aroha Silver

A story following the journey of Jerome Kavanagh, a young Māori practitioner of taonga puoro (traditional instruments used in sacred, ritual and healing ceremonies) as he revives ancient ancestral practices in our contemporary world.

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Narrative Short by Filmmakers Ages 13-18

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Best Narrative Short (13-18): POWERLESS

A young boy is given a school project, but like his computer, his life has left him powerless. A touching story that is relevant to too many students in Los Angeles and around the world.

The Filmmaker:

Landon Roesch is a student filmmaker at the Cinematic Arts Academy at Millikan Middle School, in Los Angeles, California.


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Honorable Mention: School to Prison by Idaliah Chavez and Ernie Terrazas Jr.

Narrative Short by Filmmakers Ages 19-24


Best Narrative Short (19-24): Hands Up

The story of a black urban youth from Inglewood that is struggling with PTSD. His trauma stems from the death of his unarmed father whose life was ended when he was pulled over by police. The story occurs a few weeks after the memorial service and is meant to showcase that although bad things happen to good people, a mother's faith and love for her son can bring light to a very dark place.

The Filmmaker:

Michael Love is a cinematography student that has a deep passion for making films that are relevant in society. Although a film student, Michael has been acting and modeling since high school. As he spent more time on set his passion for filmmaking began to grow. He decided to change his major to film and has never looked back once. Since transferring to CSULB he has gotten the chance to direct and create his own films as well as start his own film company specializing in corporate and wedding films. Michael is very excited about his newest short, Hands Up and hopes that this fresh take on a trending topic changes the way we look at each other.

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Honorable Mention: Entre Sangre y Fuego by Emilio Kobak

Capitalism was born in blood and fire, and as this short film presents it, in blood and fire it will meet its end. Focused on the sense of community building, this story was constructed with the objective of honoring and learning from our ancestral traditions. As one of the murals in the Beach Flats neighborhood states, "Learning from the past, always looking towards the future". This narrative also serves as a metaphoric protest against the judicial system and police states around the world whose ultimate goals are to mantain total control over the people.

Music Video by Filmmakers Ages 19-24

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Best Music Video (19-24): Plus

Plus is about a young father who needs to compress after a long day. He is battling mental illness due to long work hours and not enough time to spend with his child.

The Filmmaker:

Leo is an emerging activist in the Oakland Bay Area, with extensive experience in recording arts, visual arts, and political education. PLUS is made with the support of UR Media, Green Eyed Media, Simphony Productions and the Change Media Scholarship.

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Honorable Mention: En Camino A La Gloria (On the Road to Glory) by James Diaz

A short film that explores the topic of immigration and why people leave their homelands. This film showcases the struggle and the danger that await these poor souls along their road to a better life.

Animation / Experimental
by Filmmakers Ages 13-18


Best Animation/Experimental (13-18): The Decision

Created by two middle school girls, this short animation asks what if a magic dart could make people think twice before shooting a gun? This film was produced during the Summer 2017 Summer Program at BAYCAT, a nonprofit community enterprise that trains low-income youth in media production.

The Filmmakers: 

Chevy Kee and Kaliyah Thomas are middle school students in San Francisco, CA.


Honorable Mention: Prison Labor by Jevani McLean

A satirical criticism of the prison industrial complex in the style of 1950’s propaganda. Created by a middle school youth artist during BAYCAT's Summer 2017 Media Program.

Animation / Experimental
by Filmmakers Ages 19-24

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Best Animation/Experimental (19-24): Hollow

After a dust storm, a child and her pet rooster grapple with starvation. Inspired by true events.

The Filmmaker: 

Olivia Pecini is a recent Film/Animation/Video graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Olivia has worked for Cartoon Network and Ignition Creative, and is currently a production artist at LA (Lindeman Associates). Her thesis animation Hollow has been an official selection of NFFTY, Citizen Jane, Cartoon Club, and numerous other film festivals. In her free time, Olivia runs Muse's Milk, a blog dedicated to shining light on exceptional women in entertainment and the arts. Recently Muse’s Milk collaborated with Laurence King Publishing, one of London’s most prominent publishers.

International Spotlight: A Life Like This by Isaiah Tour

A young New Zealander and his father explore their family's refugee story as survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime.

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