Canyon High School Places First in State at the Directing Change Film Festival

 Anaheim Hills, CA – May 29, 2019 – Canyon High School students Vito Lyles, Neema Wangyal, Nick Sherman, and Colette Grob took home the Directing Change Film Festival’s highest honor this week when they placed first in the state for “The Weight,” a 60-second PSA about Mental Health. Their winning entry can be viewed online at https://vimeo.com/323512618

Canyon High School students, under the direction of Alex Graham, had over 20 films awarded with regional prizes in various categories relating to Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at this year’s Directing Change Film Festival. The students collectively were awarded over $1,500 for their work and the school received a $500 grant for the video program.

The Directing Change Program & Film Contest is part of Each Mind Matters:  California’s Mental Health Movement.  The program offers young people the opportunity to support awareness, education and advocacy efforts about suicide prevention and mental health by creating 60-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs).  Learning objectives surrounding mental health and suicide prevention are integrated into the submission categories of the film contest, giving young people the opportunity to critically explore these topics. Program participants – whether they are making a film, acting as an adult advisor, or judging the films – are exposed to appropriate messaging about these topics, warning signs, how to appropriately respond to someone in distress, where to seek help, as well as how to stand up for others who are experiencing a mental health challenge.

Canyon’s Video Production students have participated annually in California’s Mental Health Movement by creating Public Service Announcement videos that focus on mental health and suicide prevention. This year’s winners had an opportunity to network and participate in panels about how to pursue both their passion for advocacy and interest in film in the future at the award ceremony event and screening held in downtown Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel.

All of the winning films can be screened here: http://www.directingchangeca.org/films/

Nicolas Sherman and Vito Lyles with their Awards

2019 High School/Youth and Young Adult Statewide Winners from Canyon High School:

 
High School/Youth and Young Adult – Mental Health Matters

First Place: “The Weight” 
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Vito Lyles, Neema Wangyal, Nick Sherman, and Colette Grob
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Suicide Prevention Regional Winners (Region 1 San Diego County, Imperial County and Orange County)

Second Place: “Speak Up” 
Orange County
School: Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Kira Sugihara, Izabella Perkins, Kathy Le, Cameron Shimono, Brynn Johnson, Angela De Guzman, Elyse Brown, Angelique Perkins, and Maximus Perkins
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

Third Place: “My Long Path”
Orange County
School: Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Anna Nguyen and Lauren Gonzalez
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Suicide Prevention Honorable Mentions

“A Friend in Need”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Georgia Axiotis, Erin Oreta, Natalie McCaskill, Talia Khalili, and Yasmine Shmara
Advisor: Alex Graham

“Overstep”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Zoe Lindberg, Colette Tagayun, Sean DeFrank, and Cameron Poole
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

“The Chat”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Sahir Hussain and Andrew Malouf
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

“Stare”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Melina Shafie, Nikki Yar, Kaitlyn Volk, and Bianca Rivera
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

”Prized Possessions”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Kristopher Brondum and Payton Curry
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Mental Health Matters Regional Winners (Region 1 San Diego County, Imperial County and Orange County)

First Place: “The Weight”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Vito Lyles, Neema Wangyal, Nick Sherman, and Colette Grob
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

Second Place: “Sinking” 
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Jarod Hagen, Kayla Sosin, Mark Conwell, and Jacob Hagen
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Mental Health Matters Regional Honorable Mentions

“By My Side”
Orange County
Filmmakers: Erin Hayashida, Katie Poon, and Roxanne Dimadi
School: Canyon High School
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

“Layers of Me”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Kathy Le, Kira Sugihara, Izabella Perkins, and Seriah Cromwell
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

“Same, But Different”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: James Harman, Megan Kukreja, and Madeleine Velarde
Advisor: Alex Graham

“Held Back”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Blake Roberts and Christopher Bangos
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

“Think Before You Speak”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Felicia Kong, Kotryna Lamoyd, Tina Malek, Simon Malek, Camille Guerrero, and Malia Weingarten
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Through the Lens of Culture Honorable Mention

“Help Me to Grow”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmaker: Tyler Vu
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Through the Lens of Culture – Mental Health Matters Honorable Mention

"The Conversation”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Kayla Sosin, Jarod Hagen, Mark Conwell, and Nicholas Oftelie
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 SanaMente Honorable Mention

“There For You”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmakers: Lauren and Alexis Moreno
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

 

2019 Animated Short Honorable Mention

“Drowning”
Orange County
Canyon High School
Filmmaker: Ryan Robinson
Advisor: Alex Graham
View & Download

###

The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.