August 19, 2021

The Andy Awards Film Festival

On August 12th, Avenues for Justice (AFJ) hosted our first Andy Awards Film Festival, featuring videos created by nine participants who completed the AFJ Story Crew film internship program. The six-week course, held at our Lower East Side community center, was led by videographer Gary Wachter and a host of guest professionals. The course included hands-on training on how to use professional equipment and culminated in each participant scripting, taping, and editing their individual videos. AFJ combined the training program with NYC’s Summer Youth Program (SYEP), ensuring that each participant received a salary for the duration of the course.

Our participants’ video topics ranged from nail salon careers to dogs to a study of the subway system and the impact of over policing on our City’s youth. After each video presentation, judges Namakula Mu, NYC artist, actor and producer, and Bill Muench, documentarian & cinematography instructor, analyzed each participant’s video for the audience. The judges presented awards unique to each story and skillset demonstrated in the films. The audience, which consisted of family members, friends, and supporters, also had an advance look at a moving public service announcement about AFJ created by Chimney Studios as a pro bono project. At the end of the evening, each participant was gifted a video camera generously donated by Carol Ott and her colleagues at Habitat Magazine.  

Best Documentary: Minah's ManiBar: The Journey by Aminah

Best Screenplay: Police Brutality by Nasir

Best Music Video: Save My Soul (Official Video) by David

Best Autobiographical Documentary: Tyreek’s Workout Journey by Tyreek

Best AFJ Story: My AFJ Story by Carlos

Best Comedy: AFJ Brain Teaser: 5 Questions by Menkie

Community Engagement Award: The MTA by Antonio

Best Editing: Peach Tree Garden by Wilmarven

Best PSA: i love my dog by Dajuan

This successful summer internship with SYEP could not have happened without Gary Wachter, AFJ’s Story Crew 2021 Internship Coordinator and Director. Gary dedicated his time, energy, expertise and professional network resources to our program participants—for which AFJ is very grateful!

Special thank you to all of the guest lecturers that came and presented physically and/or virtually to our summer interns to share their professional experience and advice for entering the film industry.

Todd Liebler – Director of Photography, Anthony Bourdain

Max Blecker – Editor, "We All We Got"

Keith McQuirter Director, "Whatever Means Necessary – The Godfather of Harlem"

Elivia Shaw Director, "The Clinic Screener"

Jon HokansonCameraman & Director of Photographer, "Savoy Night"

David NelsonProducer

Andrew LelandPodcaster

Joshue OttAugmented Reality Specialist

Haley Ott Reporter, CBS News

Andy Hayward Reporter, Vice News

Bill MuenchCinematography Teacher & Director, "The Artist & The Astronaut"

Julie HershanProducer, Chimney Group

Lez RudgeDirector, Chimney Group

Namakula MuActor & Voice Over Actor

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