Doc off campus: Youth FX
David Salmon (Student Filmmaker), Darian Henry (Program Assistant), Bhawin Suchak
(Program Director), Imani Peterkin (Student Filmmaker) at their film screening on campus.
Youth FX is composed of talented high school students from Albany who learn to make creative short documentaries with the help of professional mentors. Their collaborative work has earned them recognition at some well-known film festivals, including Woodstock and Sundance. During a recent campus visit, I joined them for a discussion over lunch in LI 113, the MDOCS/Project Vis lab.
As we munched on the delicious chicken satay and sweet salad, we talked about how the program got started. The program started off small with a couple of students only during the summer. Over the years, Youth FX gradually became a competitive program for Albany high school students. Seeing the members interact with each other, there is no question why their short films are intriguing and pleasing to watch. Their strong and family-like collaboration and connecting ideas are apparent in their films.
That collaboration is important to what makes Youth Fx a unique program. The program founder/mentor, Bhawin Suchak, creates a productive and safe space for students to test out their creativity. Many participate not just for one summer, but for several summers and now year-long programs.
"Our conversation with the Youth FX filmmakers was a moving example of how passion and collaboration contribute to the making of wonderful films. I appreciated how the representatives from Youth FX who came to Skidmore were encouraging and thoughtful in their feedback to our own ideas for documentary projects. I highly encourage those interested in grassroots arts programs to take a look at Youth FX’s films." —Rachel Castellano, '16
"The best part is seeing their collective creativity on the screen. As we finished our last bite of salad, Skidmore and Youth FX students shared notes on our favorite film documentaries. These included, (T)error (which screened at Skidmore last fall) and Meet the Patels. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of their films on the big screen one day." —Annie Kornaranok '19
YouthFX director Bhawin Suchak, Assistant Director Darian Henry and filmmakers Imani Peterkin and David Salmon visited campus on March 1. The award-winning crew showcased recent work in "Principles of Documentary," met with students over lunch, toured the Borrowed Light exhibition at the Tang Teaching Museum and screened some of their award-winning short documentary and narrative films in the evening. Catch an encore screening of 2016 films at the Spectrum on April 6.
While on campus, the Youth FX team visited exhibits Borrowed Light and No Place to Hide
at the Tang Teaching Museum.