Buffalo students create film to shed light on social issues

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The end of summer break brought with it the end of a six week project for a group of Buffalo high schoolers. The young men and women spent a portion of their summer working together to write, film and produce a short film.

The Long, Long Now is a documentary style narrative film that imagines how technology might someday be able to fix social issues like racism, intolerance, poverty and access to healthcare. The student filmmakers tell the story of a present day film project that was lost and recovered 300 years in the future.

"I thought that was a very unique, creative way to tell a story," Kevin Hanna, regional director of external affairs at AT&T, said. "And the story that they told was 'how can we use technology to better our communities, better ourselves and better society?"

The summer film project was made possible through a donation by AT&T and in partnership with Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology and Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center. The program was tuition free and accepted students from schools across Buffalo.

"We basically want the issues that we talk about now to be controversial in the future and people seeing that image," explained student filmmaker Savannah Worth.

"They're not jaded yet," Kevin Kline, Squeaky Wheel's director of education, said. "They can really engage with these ideas and still feel like they can change those things. And they can."

The film imagines futuristic machines that solve different social problems. Hopefully, the student filmmakers say, their work inspires real change in the communities they call home.

"I just hope they become aware of the issues going on and you can make something, like this film, to show all these issues going on," Breanna Roberts, a student at Health Sciences Charter School, said.

"The machines that were shown in the video, we can make these," Zaire Goodman, a student at City Honors, commented. "It all just depends on how much people want to help do this."

A Long, Long Now has been accepted for screening at the Buffalo International Film Festival in October. You can watch the full film here.

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