'Doing it for Me' premieres at Sitar Arts Center

Sitar Arts Center and Meridian Hill Pictures are thrilled to host the premiere of the new youth-produced documentary Doing it for Me, to be held at 7pm on Tuesday, September 17, at Sitar Arts Center1700 Kalorama Road NW, Suite 101, Washington, DC 20009.

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Doing it for Me is a unique documentary, exploring the dropout crisis from a young person's point of view. Doing it for Me offers audiences the opportunity to empathize and engage with the complicated circumstances that lead young people to drop out. Across the 2011-2012 school year, only 61% of the city’s young people graduated high school within four years and 1,953 youth left school without indicating if they were enrolling in another program.

One in 10 DC youth aged 16-24 is not in school and unemployed. Jessica, Victoria and Precious’ journey to better their lives, their education, and their friendship is an inspiring story that offers hope in the power of education, art and storytelling to change lives. The film was produced during the Spring and Summer 2013 semesters, funded in large part through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Sitar Arts Center-Meridian Hill Pictures youth documentary program and partnership began in 2011 with the production of Life as a Collage, a 24-minute documentary about beloved local art teacher Tim Gabel. Life as a Collage demonstrated exceptional artistic and storytelling craftsmanship, as it explored a reflexive portrait of a dying artist, his philosophies on life, art and his impact on the community. 

In 2011 and 2012, Life as a Collage received a series of local and national accolades, including being named as an Official Selection at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle, WA; a feature on WAMU-NPR's Kojo Nnamdi Show; coverage in the Huffington Post and on ABC-7's Harris' Heroes.

In the Sitar-Meridian Hill Pictures youth documentary program, a group of teenagers create a participatory documentary film told from their own perspective. The students focus on a story that explores an issue relevant to their lives and their community. Students learn advanced skills in non-fiction storytelling, technical production, and community outreach and engagement strategy. Through the process of making a documentary, students learn to appreciate their own worldview, develop their creative voice and cultivate a purpose-driven artistic mindset.

Following the September 17 premiere, students will collaborate with staff at Meridian Hill Pictures and Sitar Arts Center to launch a broader outreach strategy for the film, connecting with local partner organizations to host additional screenings and also submit to a variety of film festivals. Co-directors Precious Lambert and Leah Edwards hope Doing it for Me offers audiences the opportunity to empathize and engage with the complicated circumstances that lead young people to drop out. Jessica, Victoria and Precious’ journey to better their lives, their education, and their friendship is an inspiring story that offers hope in the power of education, art and storytelling to change lives.

To RSVP for the premiere, reserve your tickets online: http://docfilmscreening.eventbrite.com/ 

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