California’s Directing Change Program and Film Contest Announces the New Addition of a Hope and Justice Category

First Winners Announced from San Joaquin and Orange Counties

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--()--The Directing Change Program & Film Contest is a free and evaluated program that engages young people to learn about mental health, suicide prevention and other critical health and social justice topics through film and art. Recently the Directing Change Film Contest launched its newest category “Hope and Justice” to stay responsive to the pressing mental health needs of young people in California.

“This new category goes a step beyond our traditional submission categories around mental health and suicide prevention to make the connection between social justice and wellness. Young people are looking for ways to share what they are experiencing, how they are coping, and to explore what drives them to stay hopeful for the future. Hope & Justice is an opportunity for youth living through history to express their feelings and to inspire others through art,” said Shanti Bond Martinez, Senior Program Manager.

Hope submissions highlight a film, song, narrative, or art that inspires others to find their own way to get through tough times. Justice submissions focus on personal experiences with bias or injustice to encourage others to take a stand against social injustices. The category also includes an additional cash award incentive which can be used to support a community action project the winner creates.

“Right now, youth and Gen Z are the hope and future of America, and most of us are filled with great ideas and inspiration,” commented one of the participating students. “Oftentimes we feel as if we aren’t allowed to participate in these conversations, that it’s not our place when nothing could be farther from the truth.”

The first submissions addressed the monthly prompt “What This Election Means to Me.” The top winners for ‘Hope and Justice’ and the monthly prompt included:

Hope and Justice:
Autumn Harris from John C. Kimball High School in San Joaquin County won for the film “Put Yourself in Black Women’s Shoes.”

Monthly Prompt “What This Election Means to Me:”
Carter Audet Marrero from Canyon High School in Orange County won for the film “VOTE.”

To see winners and honorable mentions in each category, visit the Directing Change website. Art submissions can be viewed on the Directing Change Facebook page.

Each month, Hope and Justice category submissions and monthly prompt submissions will be due at midnight of the last day of the month. Any art form suitable for sharing via social media will be accepted: original music, dance, spoken word, art, poetry, a speech, Tik Tok and more. November submissions are due on November 30th, and the prompt is: “My Reasons for Wearing a Face Covering.” To participate and submit entries, please visit the Directing Change website.

About The Directing Change Program & Film Contest

As part of Each Mind Matters, California’s Mental Health Movement, The Directing Change Program & Film Contest engages students and young people throughout California to learn about the critical health topics of such as suicide prevention and mental health by creating short films that are used to support awareness, education and advocacy efforts on these topics. The program is one of many initiatives that are part of Each Mind Matters’ comprehensive statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.


Allie Delehant 916-446-9900

Release Summary

The Directing Change Film Contest a “Hope and Justice” category to stay responsive to the pressing mental health needs of young people in California.


Allie Delehant 916-446-9900