Ronald Reagan said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”
Some of the filmmakers who submitted to Undebate’s recent contest were able to show us how.
First place jury winner, Morgann Gicquel, wrangled a crew from “three and a half continents” to put his animated short History of unDebates together. “Has a debate ever truly changed the world?” the film asks, right off the bat. Together with a French-Algerian cartoonist, a Colombian musician and a voiceover artist on Long Island, Gicquel was able to put together a 1:56 short which proved what the team realized as it attempted to hash out what they wanted to do: “After a month of debating over the scenario and aesthetic this short film should take, we realized how silly it was to argue over something that was to promote enlightened dialogues and clever compromises.” They discovered that, though it didn’t turn out to be an exact version any of them had in their minds, it turned out better as a “collective mix of all of our ideas.”
First place audience award went to Jon Addison’s Daytime Deceiving, a disturbing picture of the impact of the “immediate availability of senstionalist media and propaganda.” Seeing his film as an “attempt to expose this old way of brainwashing pushed through new media,” Addison felt his biggest triumph in producing this film was simply “getting it out there.”
Adam Chhour, a high school junior, took home the second place jury prize for his film Ignite. The beautiful piece – full of profound images of teenagers and sources of light – is highlighted by a slam poet’s elegant script. Though Chhour speaks of the stress of shooting the film over two days and editing it in one all-night session, we have high hopes that the talent he showed as a first-time student filmmaker is going to prove his optimistic statement true: “Our generation carries the power to wield our future and steer us in the right direction.”
Congratulations to the filmmakers that put so much thought and effort into creating work that illustrated so powerfully Undebate’s search for meaningful solutions to the problems our world faces today.