Kids In The Spotlight

by Ersi Danou April 11, 2018
Kids In The Spotlight

HFPA Grantee

Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) is a non-profit organization that provides motivational training in film for foster children and youth (ages 11-19). KITS works with Foster Group Home Agencies around Los Angeles County and provides services to two-four group homes per year. Tige Charity, who founded KITS in 2009, has been the heart and soul of this initiative and is supported by an active Board of Directors.

KITS includes two main activities:

  1. A ten-week film training program that involves five weeks of screenplay training. During this period, each subgroup of children and youth decide on the story they want to write (for an approximately 10 min. video) with the guidance of professional instructors. Weeks six-eight are dedicated to basic training in acting. Week nine involves casting for the specific project, and the final week culminates in production. The actual filming is completed within one day. The students have about 12-14 hours of footage. The day of production becomes the highlight of the program. The footage is then edited by professional editors, who, in the absence of the original creators, have to strictly follow the script.
  2. The young filmmakers don’t see their films edited until the KITS annual festival and awards ceremony, which usually takes place in November at the Fox studio lot. According to the Founder, this is the KITS version of the Oscars, during which the filmmakers have a unique opportunity to taste a bit of the town’s glamour by walking on the red carpet, posing with celebrities, dressing up, and, most importantly, by seeing their works for the first time – completed and on the big screen. 

The most important service of KITS is toward the underprivileged youth, which, unfortunately, abounds in LA County. These are children and youths that lack the opportunities of those in normal family situations. The majority of them have psychological and behavioral issues, as well as incomplete education. Only 3% or less graduate from college. And yet, these are youngsters who are forced to mature, think, and feel at an intensity that is rare. KITS, in association with the foster agencies, works on offering them a safe platform where they may understand the value and uniqueness of their stories, feel free to express them along with their peers, and, through the creative process, heal, develop self-esteem and acquire vocational skills.

Visit their website: http://kitsinc.org