Give Back! Testimony On The Joys Of Mentoring

It's that time of the year that we've reserved for remembering what we are thankful for, and for giving back to those less fortunate.  It is an incredible privilege to use your labor to produce art, whether we get to do it as a means to earn our living, or as an additional extension of who we are and what we care about.

Today'g Guest post from filmmaker and mentor Rodney Evans captures our thanksgiving quite well.

Passionate. Brave. Generous. Determined. Rebellious.

These are some of the words that come to mind when I think about the teen Documentary Lab students at Reel Works. Working with them for the past year has been a profound, life-changing experience for me. It has been such a privilege to watch these seventeen students develop the skills and fortitude that it takes to be a successful filmmaker in today’s world.

Every Tuesday and Thursday for the past year has been filled with so much spontaneous creativity and unbridled energy that it was really infectious to all of us who were a part of it. All of them showed such a strong commitment to grappling with complex and difficult topics while never settling for the easy way out.

After almost twenty years of filmmaking, teaching the Reel Works Documentary Lab has really helped rekindle that initial spark that made me fall in love with filmmaking and for that I will be eternally grateful. I am so proud to be able to share this powerful and inspiring collection of short films with the world. Here's to the Reel Works Documentary Lab students and the many years of creativity and passion that lie ahead for each of them. I, for one, cannot wait to see what they do next.

-Rodney Evans
Reel Works Documentary Lab Instructor

The screening for the Reel Works Spring Documentary Lab films takes place Sat., Nov 20th at 5pm at Brooklyn Lyceum (President and 4th Ave, R train to Union St.) Filmmaker mentors included Heidi Ewing (12th and Delaware, Jesus Camp), Michael Sladek (Con Artist), Paola Mendoza (Entre Nos) and Shari Carpenter (Kali's Vibe).  http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=166168766737215

Rodney Evans is the the writer/director/producer of the feature film BROTHER TO BROTHER which won the Special Jury Prize in Drama at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. He is currently in development on his second narrative feature, DAY DREAM, starring Anthony Mackie (THE HURT LOCKER) and IDRIS ELBA (TAKERS, THE WIRE).