The MyHero Film Project, which aims to enlighten and inspire people of all ages with hero stories from around the globe, recently celebrated its 15th anniversary at the annual International Film Festival in Los Angeles, where eight aspiring filmmakers from Laguna Beach received awards for their touching documentaries.
Held at the Ray Stark Family Theater at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, the event showed screenings of 37 winning films from more than 20 countries, and awarded filmmakers in an array of categories for outstanding work.
"It's really taken off since our first film festival in 2005, where we screened in a 75-seat theater," said Wendy Milette, director of the event. "It's so great working with these young people and helping them to learn to creatively use digital media to tell hero stories."
Among winners from Laguna were El Morro Elementary student Luc LaMontagne, for his documentary about ZeroTrash founder Chip McDermott, whose mission is to "green" the planet; Thurston Middle School student Jackie McMahon for her visual celebration of creativity; and Laguna Beach High School students Austin Dodge and Ryan Cavanaugh, for their documentary about fellow filmmaker and activist John Anthony's work in Burma, now known as Myanmar.