Indie filmmakers David "Sudz" Sutherland and Jennifer Holness created Through Our Eyes (TOE), an exciting, new arts education program. This innovative project engaged 25 students, some of whom fall into the 'at-risk' category, and introduced them to the film/ video media. Meeting weekly for a period of four months, sessions with the young people featured visits from various film professionals, who gave brief biographical talks about how they made it into the industry. As professionals of colour, they highlighted the exciting, non-traditional career opportunities filmmaking potentially provides.
Over the course of the program, the students wrote, produced, directed and shot 7 'mobisodes' (short films made for cell phones), which were then screened at the 2006 Innoversity Summit Gala Event on October 23rd. Innoversity was very excited to showcase this pilot project, with the hope that it might be extended to many other schools across Toronto and possibly the country.
The program's young filmmakers ranged from grades 6, 7 and 8 from among a diverse student body. They were selected from the Elia Middle School located within the Jane and Finch community.
The Through Our Eyes Film Club program was made possible through partnership with Innoversity and the San Romanoway Revitalization Association, a charitable organization that was formed in 1999. The association's mandate is to create a sense of belonging in the San Romanoway community by assisting families, individuals and groups to support each other by building a safer and healthier environment. Innoversity is a not-for-profit organization founded to help provide access to the media community to talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and to encourage the media to open up its doors to this talent.
The TOE program was also funded through the generous support of the Toronto Police Services Board, Telus and the Ontario Arts Council.
Charles Street Video made a significant contribution when Ross Turnbull suggested that TOE use the Satellite CSV Mac G5's for editing the youth projects. CSV's help gave our team of volunteer editors the opportunity to spend a great deal more time editing the kids' projects.