Foster Care Film to Host Debut Preview Screening Event

10626809_1558140594407490_4204986421896784570_n Often when foster youth are moved from one home to another, their belongings are thrown into large black trash bags – a method that can hurt their feelings and damage their already-shaken sense of self-worth.

The Foster Care Film and Community Engagement Project (FCFCEP) is aiming to change that. On December 9th at 8pm, Brooklyn’s Bat Haus Film Club will present “Voices with Vision: Affecting Change in Foster Care,” a live-action documentary short film featuring countless stories from current and former foster youth who experienced the indignity of repeatedly moving from home to home with their belongings in trash bags.

The Foster Care Film is also partnering with Together We Rise to change this reality for youth currently in care.  ​This joint effort to raise funds to give foster youth in transition proper luggage to move their belongings with dignity ends December 11, 2014. 1618471_1558140711074145_4193199400942297606_n This debut preview screening will be followed by a foster youth panel and open discussion, both presented by the Bat Haus Film Club in Brooklyn, NY.

The event will celebrate the achievements of the project’s foster youth collaborators. FCFCEP is not just a film – it is a project that connects current and former foster youth to those who have an opportunity to make a difference within the system.

In addition to a series of live-action films profiling individual youth’s journeys’ through the foster care system, the project is an animated documentary film about perseverance and survival; an opportunity for foster youth to share their voice through storytelling, writing and art; and an outlet for foster youth to work behind the scenes on a film.

“The original idea was to create a 10-minute animated documentary short combining the voices of foster youth with animated visuals. However, once we began we realized foster youth wanted an outlet to share their experiences and we collected way more stories than could possibly fit into one film. As interest grew, the project grew with it,” Mistry said.

The Dec. 9 preview screening of the first live-action short film centers on entrepreneur and speaker Charell Star Charleston.

“Being a former foster kid comes with a lot of stigmas and labels that are usually assigned by people who have never known what it is like to be in such a challenging situation. Over the years, I’ve fielded some tough questions about my background and some hurtful glances, but taking part in this project has been a way for me to help re-frame the conversation,” said Charleston.

In addition to the debut preview screening and panel, a donation drive in partnership with Together We Rise will give attendees the opportunity to contribute toward the purchase of luggage for youth currently in foster care. This event is sponsored in part by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).