NEW YORK, NY – March 1, 2012. The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces a retrospective of films produced by teenage filmmakers through the Educational Video Center’s Youth Documentary Workshop.  From the crack epidemic of the 1980s and explosion of hip hop in the 1990s, to the dislocation and housing foreclosure crisis of today, young people use their cameras to tell the stories of their times. Spanning three decades, this extraordinary documentary series captures moments in New York City’s history through the fresh, but unblinking eyes of emerging filmmakers.

Like opening time capsules, these 11 short pieces produced through the award-winning Educational Video Center’s (EVC) Youth Documentary Workshop, conjure up the past and take us on teenage-guided tours through the homes, school yards and street corners of their communities.  Driven by the burning questions, controversies, poetry, art, and music of the filmmakers’ lives, this three-part series of art and social inquiry explores: 1) Youth Culture and the Arts—hip hop, graffiti, and the politically controversial art of the 1993 Whitney Biennial; 2) The Epidemics in Our Lives–AIDS, crack and youth gun violence; and 3) Housing and How We Live–abandonment, gentrification and housing foreclosure. Portraits of struggle, resilience, and youthful discovery, these films brim with life and speak to us with as much honesty and immediacy today as they did when they were first created.

“EVC's student films are assertive and astonishing. These teens have a lot to say about their world. They boldly go where angels fear to tread,” says FSLC Programming Associate Isa Cucinotta who programmed the retrospective with fellow Programming Associate Marcela Goglio. “EVC gives teens the knowledge and facility to create telling documentaries about the social issues they deal with daily. The openness and honesty with which they explore these stories show us ever more clearly how universal their desires are.”

Each program will be screened twice at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater (an afternoon screening for school audiences and an evening screening for general audiences) followed by question and answer with the producers and participants. Tickets are priced at $10 for general public, $7 for members, $8 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at or in person at the box offices of The Film Society of Lincoln Center (Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam).

Through Our Eyes: 3 Decades of NYC Youth Documentaries
March – May
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center – Amphitheater

Program 1: Youth Culture and the Arts
March 13, 2012

Hip Hop: A Culture of Influence. 1999; 28m
Commissioned and exhibited by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, this exploration of the emerging culture of hip hop includes conversations with a young Mos Def, Talib Kweli of Black Star and other artists early in their careers, as well as critics concerned with the growing trends of materialism and misogyny in the music.

Street Art: From the Can to the Canvas. 2004; 16m
Exploring the controversy of whether graffiti is art or vandalism, EVC youth interview world renowned graffiti artists, city officials and police officers, while expressing their own opinions on the debate.

That’s What They Call Art! 1993; 32m
New to the world of downtown art galleries and Fifth Avenue museums, EVC youth chronicle the making and unmaking of the controversial1993 Whitney Biennial, interviewing the curators and artists as they are installing and, in some cases, even creating their works. A short version of this documentary was on continuous display in the Whitney’s lobby throughout the exhibition.

Program 2: Epidemics in Our Lives
April 17, 2012

Crack Clouds Over Hells Kitchen. 1988; 18m
Comprising interviews with addicts as they light up their crack pipes, and doctors who give the medical explanation for this terrible addiction, this chilling portrait captures the vicious cycle of drugs and crime on the city streets in the 1980s.

AIDS: Facts Over Fear. 1989; 21m
In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, fear and homophobia spread throughout schools and communities. There was an urgent need for public information. EVC youth addressed that need by interviewing a local New York City doctor and former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to inform their peers about the new virus, how it could and could not be spread, and how they could protect themselves.

Hard Times in Cypress Hills. 1990; 18m
Spurred by the tragic death of an EVC student, this portrait of the crack and gang fueled gun violence that took such a heavy toll on inner city youth gives an inside look at one student’s daily life in one of the most violent housing projects of the times.

Young Gunz. 1997; 22m
Combining images of violence in the media with poetry and brutally honest interviews, this documentary tells the stories of the victims of gun violence, some who admit to shooting others, and those who struggle to survive.

Program 3: Housing and the Way We Live
May 15, 2012

2371 2nd Ave: An East Harlem Story. 1986; 13m
EVC students document the living conditions of fellow student Millie Reyes’s family, who live in a rat-infested apartment building with no heat or hot water. They follow the story as Reyes leads the other residents to confront the landlord and go on rent strike.

Home Sweet Gone. 1993; 26m
Angry at the abandoned buildings and vacant lots in their neighborhoods in the early 1990s, youth producers investigate poor housing conditions in New York City owned apartments and bank “redlining” policies that prevent investment in low income housing. Community activists protesting the city’s landlord policies and youth construction programs give hope for change.

Mortgage Mayhem: Living Inside Fraud. 2011; 26m
EVC students turn their cameras on one of their classmates as she uncovers the truth behind her family’s struggle to keep their home in Queens. Combining personal stories and interviews with housing advocates and financial journalists, they give a human face to the foreclosure and predatory lending crisis in New York City in 2010.

As the Sun Comes Up, the Bricks Fall Down. 2010; 22m
Mixing spoken word, animation, interviews with youth activists and their own personal profiles, EVC filmmakers tell powerful stories of neighborhood gentrification and displacement living in the shadows of the newly built Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and condos in Brooklyn.

About Educational Video Center
A pioneer in media education, EVC has been teaching New York City teenagers the art of making powerful social documentaries in schools and its afterschool workshops since 1984.  EVC documentaries have been featured on PBS, NBC, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Sundance Film Festival, and the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York and in London. EVC has won more than 100 national and international festival awards and was presented the JVC President’s Award at JVC headquarters in Tokyo, and the President’s Committee’s Coming Up Taller award at the White House.

EVC's Youth Documentary Workshops and school programs are provided with generous support from: the Brenner Family Foundation, the Brightwater Fund, Gerald & Janet Carrus Foundation, HBO, Hyde and Watson Foundation, Milton A. & Roslyn Z. Wolf Family Foundation Teacher of Conscience Fund, National Board of Review, the Robert Bowne Foundation, Time Warner Inc, W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Wellspring Foundation; and with public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Education, New York State Council on the Arts – Arts Education General Program Support and Electronic Media and Film, and the NYC DYCD Summer Youth Employment Program; and individual donors; and with in-kind support from Benjamin Moore & Co, Claudia Giselle Design LLC, Gray Matters NYC, the Lawyers Alliance for New York, and Satellite Academy High School. For more information, visit or contact Paul Vitale, Special Events Coordinator,

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, 42BELOW, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit and on Twitter: @filmlinc.

For Media specific inquiries, please contact:
John Wildman, (212) 875-5419

David Ninh, (212) 875-5423