Two teens bring a message of encouragement from a Mexican grandmother, whose education stopped after 6th grade, to Mayan girls in Guatemala, who have committed to transforming their lives through education.
In the summer of 2016, a group of Los Angeles teens traveled to Guatemala to create digital storytelling projects in photography and video. This film shows the photographic works of Derek Blumenfield, Jay Lassiter, Milo Hensley, Elena Montoya, and Sarah Traenkle.
A U.S. teen travels to Guatemala to learn about its music and finds that it has deep roots in the revolutionary struggle as well as a vision for the country’s future. Written, directed and edited by Mia Nelson.
A teen travels to Guatemala to meet some Mayan “girl pioneers” who are transforming themselves and their country. Written, directed and edited by Jonah Cho.
A teen travels to Guatemala to meet members of a coffee farming cooperative and with them tastes her very first cup of coffee.
A brother and sister travel to Guatemala to tell an uplifting story about the hopes and dreams of a Mayan girl who is transforming her life through education. Written, directed and edited by Dylan and Esther Ollivier. Music by Esther Ollivier.
When Cole Kawana traveled to Rwanda he discovered that, in addition to recovering from a devastating genocide, the country also lacked clean water, so he found a way to help his neighbors halfway around the world.
Justyn Chang & Christopher Park show another side of Vietnam past and present, and the country’s dedication to moving forward into a future of understanding and forgiveness.
“I created this documentary to tell my mother’s story of her escape from the Vietnam War,” shares Kinley McCaffrey. This heartfelt narrative of the war, told 40 years later, tells a frightening, hopeful, and very personal story.
A privilege we often take for granted in America, freedom of speech is regulated in Vietnam by the government. Chance Washburn & Ben Kater interview an activist who lives with the risk of being thrown in jail for content he publishes.
Why is Cuban food the best? “We cook with love.” Isaac Bedford and Paul O’Mara show us a peek inside the food culture of Cuba, and their love of the most basic of all Cuban dishes.
Caleb Ullendorff explores the Vietnamese appreciation for mealtime, and the meaning of truly “fresh food”.
“When the country is at war, even the women must fight”. Lauren Kim researches the history of the female warriors who made up 40% of the war’s regional commanders, and the draft discrimination that women in America face today.
Does our patriotism blind us? How will American influences affect Cuba, and will it be positive? Noelle Parker, Morgan Mongomery, and Dylan Lenze turn the camera’s eye upon the cultural effects of the end of the government-imposed embargo, over 50 years after it was imposed.
James Kanoff and Nicholas Witham explore the lingering effects of Communism in Vietnam, 50 years after the “misunderstood” war.
Many Vietnamese women cover themselves from head to toe to protect themselves from the sun. Nina Milligan explores this “skin lightening” cultural phenomenon, and the universal dangers, both physical and psychological, of colorism.
In a city of 8 million bikes, Andrew Klein takes a look at how the post-war motor mania has affected the country’s culture and economy.
Founded in Vietnam, this relatively young religion has over 4.4 million devotees. Jakob Klein explores “The Great Faith for the Third Universal Redemption”, and its roots in Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
Dehumanization: it’s a big concept. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, this compelling video shows how humans of all colors and creeds can use self-awareness to preclude the tendency to dehumanize the “Other.”
Self-Reliance. Education. Sustainability. The chasm between wealth and poverty narrows in this insightful celebration of successful social enterprise and youth development programs of Cambodia.
The transcendent power of music heals both individual — and national — trauma. Packed with rich historical and contemporary footage of Cambodia, this short film shows how music is the universal cure to a healthy existence.
“Let me tell you a story” The power of language to harm or heal is profound. History shows: we can use our words to persuade our listeners for positive action, or we can inspire propaganda campaigns for hate. With our talent for rapid communications in the modern world, the ability to create or destroy with mere words, ask yourself “What kind of story will you tell?”
The sex-industry has exploded in Cambodia and poverty drives young people to sell their bodies. Four Los Angeles teens expose the issue while imploring viewers to consider the issue through a lens of compassion.
Landmines in Cambodia leftover from the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge genocide maim or kill at least three innocent people per week. Teen filmmakers Milo Hensley and Sam McCabe conduct expert interviews, imploring citizens to ask U.S policy-makers to sign the Landmine Ban Treaty.
“Art Saves Lives” Henry DiNapoli shows how the non-profit organization founded by visionary Khmer Rouge genocide survivor Arn Chorn Pond has revitalized Cambodia’s ancient artistic legacy as an agent of healing.
A teenage son traces the journey of his family who escaped Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge genocide. William Chow’s heartfelt tribute to his family’s tenacity is a lesson for all people transcending their past.
Radical Empathy: the ability to feel another’s experience as if it were one’s own. Eun Seo Choi (Elly) and Maddy Daum artfully show the disparities between their education and those of Khmer children while inviting viewers to take action.
“I couldn’t bring myself to watch my own film” writes Marcy Park of this profound piece which earned her and co-producer Sarah McAllister multiple awards in National student film festivals. Once Upon a Childhood artfully illustrates how a war that ended decades ago continues to impact children and families in Laos every day.
There’s nothing more American – and Cuban – than baseball. In this compelling look at the national sport which unifies Cold War rivals, student filmmakers Justin Ciccone, Michael Stokdyk and Joe Levin explore what it means to be a professional baseball athlete on the island and mainland America.
What lessons from Hiroshima can bridge the gap between a devastating past and a hopeful future? In this multiple-award winning film, two Japanese-American teens journey to Laos with origami papers in hand.
In Cuba, love and music are the same. Award-winning student travelers Ryan Finley, Sarah McAllister and Sophia Dienstag show the therapeutic beauty and artful resistance Cuban musical traditions offer people of all talents.
Multiple-award-winning filmmaker Lauren Rothman tells a story of harmony, family heartbreak and the hope for unity across the Florida straits dividing Cuba from its expatriate loved ones in the United States.
How do you convince someone to kill their neighbor? Noah Bennet and Max Cho’s film answers this chilling question as it delves into the 1994 Rwanda genocide in which one million people were slaughtered, mostly by people they knew, in a period of 100 days.
On a school trip to Rwanda, high school sophomore Mike Mapes met Kizito, a child survivor of the 1994 genocide. At age 6, Kizito saw his father killed, his mother raped and his home burned to the ground. As Rwanda rebuilds after the genocide, survivors like Kizito struggle. Kizito and Mike bonded in a special way.
Murambi is a memorial site of a notorious massacre from the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which thousands of preserved human remains are on display. Seventh grade student Milo Hensley shares a short reflection upon this style of commemoration, and questions whether it is respectful and necessary.
Dancer Imani Cook-Gist shares the healing power of music and dance in Rwanda, a country devastated by a 1994 genocide in which one million people were slaughtered in 100 days. Traditional dancers, musicians and the country’s most famous Gospel singer share their experience of joy through music.
Katherine Calvert’s film gives a historic perspective on the horrific crime of rape as a weapon of war and genocide. She grounds her story in the 1994 Rwandan genocide where rape’s lasting impact tears apart its victims as well as the very fabric of society.
As a child, Lauren Rothman starred in a play that children were made to perform during the Holocaust. As a teen, she travels to Rwanda to learn about the 1994 genocide. Her film makes connections between the experiences and asks us to consider what part we play when we are inhumane towards others.
Award-winning filmmaker Nina Miligan explores how the 1994 Rwandan genocide continues to affect children today. She shares stories of young people rebuilding their lives, and interviews President Paul Kagame himself about a country evolving from an unthinkable past.
Peace Works Travel student journalists explore Laos to reveal important stories about the collateral damage of the Secret War.
Max Cho’s film offers testaments from a U.S. military veteran, bomb victims and human rights activists to elucidate the dimensions of transforming Laos’ bomb-riddled landscape into a productive land, free of subterranean munitions.
Insightful student traveler Delilah Napier takes a historic look at the effects of the Secret War in Laos. Its citizens, most born decades after the war ended, confront unexploded bombs on a daily basis.
Bill Morse, Director Cambodian Landmine Museum, Siem Reap
Briggs Boss, Sophomore, Thacher School
Stacy Serrette, Teacher and Dean of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Paul Rusesabagina, Real-life Hotel Rwanda hero who saved over 1200 people during the Rwandan genocide.
Shirley Hahn, Beverly Hills, California
The Santa Barbara Independent
Alex Greer, Junior, Laguna Blanca School
Kelly Bennett, history teacher, Santa Barbara Middle School
Alexandra Kall, Francis Parker School
Spencer Barr, English Teacher, Santa Barbara High School, California
Stacy Serrette, Director of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Eric Taylor, Francis Parker School, San Diego, California