Students in Villanova University’s Center for Social Justice Film have become an influential mouthpiece to the public, producing social justice documentaries that position them as advocates for important social change in the community. Recognizing the Center’s efforts towards “filmmaking dedicated to the greater good,” UCP National named Villanova’s Center for Social Justice Film Director and Editor the recipients of its 2011 Outstanding Youth Award.
Housed within the University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, the Center for Social Justice Film allows students from all majors the unique opportunity to learn the art and craft of filmmaking, and then use their experience to create documentaries that explore important issues and are utilized in the service of social justice.
A documentary which changes the way people see ability, Coming Off the DL takes an intimate look at the lives of two Villanova students with cerebral palsy. Frank Kineavy and Nick Gaynor are overcoming the prejudice of others, as well as the physical, academic, and social challenges of cerebral palsy to study at Villanova and be involved in campus life as managers for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The documentary has been recognized by six film festivals including GSFF, LA Reel Film Festival (Los Angeles), Peace on Earth Film Festival (Chicago), Heart of Gold Film Festival (Gympie, Australia), Hearts and Minds Film Festival (Wilmington, Del.) and the West Chester International Film Festival (West Chester, Pa.).
A six minute clip of the documentary Coming Off the DL was played at the Awards Dinner on April 12 and the award was presented to the student director Trish Campbell and the student editor Matt Marencik.
We look forward to the full documentary being made available.
Bruce Merlin Fried, Esq, UCP National Chair, Cheryl Hines & RJ Mitte, UCP Celebrity Ambassadors presented to the award winners: Trish Campbell, Film Director and Matt Marencik, Film Editor. Also part of the project was Stephen McWilliams, Producer/Director, Social Justice Film Center, Villanova University and Greg Hannah, Disability Advisor, Villanova University.