Teen Digital Reel Showcase & Awards

The Tower of Youth Teen Digital Reel Showcase & Awards that had its first Annual event in 1997, organized all the Sacramento Sierra regional high school media arts educators and classes to participate in a competition showcasing the best works of the first pioneering students and teachers producing short movies in the 21st Century.

Nine content categories were developed among the educators representing the most challenging and important areas – Perspectives on the Environment, Documentary, PSA and Commercial Duets, Experimental Beauty, Sports Industry, Music Video and  Sound Design, Short Story Animation and Live Action.

Youth productions required a minimum of 2 co-producers and an industry production portfolio. The works were juried by regional professionals and state-of-the-art software and hardware awards were provided, a total of $2.5 million over the 17 years of the program, to build regional capacity for both teachers and the youth creators.  Stellar movie industry professional leaders presented “Career Vision” topics woven with timeless b-roll enriched interactive imagery electrified the large school audiences,.  In many instances this career, workforce and civic engagement structured showcase were powerfully life changing for the pioneering youth artists helped frame school media pedagogy.

Major corporate and civic agency sponsors underwrote each category and  executives presented the top awards at the events, held at Sacramento’s gorgeous Crest Theatre. These were professionally videotaped and live cast on public access TV stations. The prototype annual events were the pinnacle of youth media achievement for the initial 17 years of the Teen Digital Reel Showcase that was passed to a core of the region’s organized media teachers to continue after 2013.

Digitalism. The new economic paradigm. Youth are the solution. Not the problem.

The Strategy design of the Tower of Youth bi-annual Showcase events

  1. Demonstrate and establish the highest quality of youth digital media production and creativity aimed towards educational advancement and career success.
  2. Support teacher professional, and digital media arts curriculum development and 21st Century school modernization.
  3. Build magnets for digital media arts as a central proficiency and multipath learning in high school that will win high respect and school system support for the program and skill sets.
  4. Promote the most dynamic, professional and original media events to merge school, community and business sector relationships and policy partnerships.
  5. Emphasize and model youth creativity, peer networking and civic engagement to the general public  (Youth are the Solution)
  6. Influence the most significant media industry scions, artists and technology leaders to support youth growth, new workforce and ally with school system modernization efforts
  7. Catalyze regional collaboration, partnerships and organizational studio without walls around digital media arts and technology learning and training.
  8. Promote coordinated regional and statewide youth media showcase development.

The Objectives of the festival events

  1. Recruit, support and exhibit the finest youth digital media products at the Sac Sierra regional and North American source levels.
  2. Systematically build state of the art, standardized curriculum and web networking opportunities
  3. Assemble the largest ‘sanctioned’ student and community youth, educator and policy leadership audiences to influence and support TOY/SSDASP organizational growth and  pedagogy
  4. Build major industry support and direct involvement to invest and disseminate large amounts of digital goods and funding for regional youth media arts advancement
  5. Maximize the valued and status enhanced image of youth and digital creativity through all possible partnership and project associations
  6. Distinguish the identity and sector intermediary work of TOY/SSDASP to avoid competition with, as opposed to inclusion and association of,  all relevant regional organizations.
  7. Maximize access, familiarization with, and referral to, CA post secondary and career tech ed schools and programs for youth career planning.
  8. Inform and supply our regional youth community with cutting edge technology and its transforming applications
  9. Record and disseminate the best youth media works to public TV, webcasting and as marketable goods.
  10. Establish a business and market model for self-sustaining financial success.
  11. Evaluate and track educational, career and societal impact of youth participation in media.

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