Paparazzi was in full effect as media and idea makers of all ages took their place on the Public Media Network red carpet for the Inaugural Say Something! Media and Ideas Festival on April 13, 2019. The media festival offered an opportunity for local media makers of all ages to share their voice on a social justice issue, or to show how media can be just plain fun.
A total 15 projects were highlighted during the one-hour screening that included the categories of Spoken Word, Public Service Announcement, Documentary, and Music Video. The top winners in each category received a personalized clapboard and all participants received a certificate and book of their choice by author Angie Thomas, compliments of the Kalamazoo Public Library.
Before the awards presentations, the PechaKucha Kalamazoo featured six entertaining speakers. PechaKucha is an oral storytelling format that allows performers to use 20 slides to tell a story; each slide being on screen for only 20 seconds. Magician Stuart MacDonald shared of his opportunity to perform magic for legendary magicians Penn and Teller. His presentation, “What Does it Take to Fool Penn and Teller.”
Lillie Forteau shared, “Teenagers: Expectations vs. Reality.” Other presentations shared of everything from explaining not-so-proper hand jesters to a 7 year old, to the importance of appreciating family, to the role and importance of art.
After PechaKucha, Public Media Network Executive Director Matt Schuster announced the top winners in each category and the top youth and adult winners.
Maya Wanner took top youth prize for her project, “Kzoo is Burning.” The film explored Kalamazoo drag queens and the glamour, strength, political resistance, and joy of drag in the wake of the Trump era.
Tirrea Billings took top in the adult category with her documentary, “The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership.”
Public Media Network hosts media events such as Say Something! in order to increase use and creation of participatory media reflective of the community to increase community awareness, civic engagement, and individual expression.
All recognized as winners of the Inaugural Say Something! Media and Ideas Festival include:
Youth Spoken Word: “Interpretation” by Tess Cowles
Youth Public Service Announcement: “Time” by Alayna and Nya Kuhn
Youth Documentary: “Kzoo is Burning” by Maya Wanner
Adult Documentary: “The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership” by Tirrea Billings
Adult Music Video: “Little Miss Perfect” by MJ Harrell
Adult Short “In Case You Go (Por Si Te Vas) by Darius Gardner