CMAC Youth Voices

Youth Voices 2021

Join us on Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 1 p.m. on YouTube as we present the documentary films from this year’s youth cohort.There will be a Q&A immediately following the screening and the audience is encouraged to ask questions via the YouTube comments feature.

This year’s cohort is comprised of high school students from Fresno, Clovis, Kerman and Visalia. These young filmmakers began meeting in January 2021. CMAC staffers Lisa Talley and Dom Zamora guided them through a comprehensive 14-week training program that included topics such as media literacy, idea generation, scriptwriting, field production, audio production, editing, and post-production. Participants produced their own documentary films focusing on social justice issues relevant to the Central Valley. Topics include contemporary education barriers in Fresno, disparities in access to high-speed internet, immigration, homelessness, and LGBTQ+ visibility.

CMAC Youth Voices is made possible by funding from The California Endowment and from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The goal of the program is to increase the health outcomes of youth through video arts. Research shows that sharing stories not only connects people but is also good for an individual’s mental health. The film screening is suitable for audiences of all ages.

Documentary Titles, Descriptions, and Filmmaker Names

Bisexual Visibility: Acknowledging the OverlookedBy Isabella O’Neal

Often people who identify as bisexual are overlooked and discriminated by both the LGBTQ+ and straight community. This film shares the experience of two bisexuals to alleviate some of the fears and discomfort associated with coming out.

Contemporary Education Barriers in Fresno’s Concentrated PovertyBy Eunice Choi

The lack of adequate funding in public schools is largely due to geography and zip code placement. It’s a phenomenon that perpetuates decreased access to class mobility in modern society. This film explores how insufficient funding for schools has become a contemporary education barrier.

CASABy Brianna Mendoza

This documentary focuses on the non-profit organization Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Fresno and Madera, what they hope to accomplish, as well as the struggles foster kids face.

Meri Mitti. My Land.By Ishan Singh

India was built on the backs of farmers. However, the country has turned against its people, it has turned against its Kisans with the passage of key legislation that greatly impacts their livelihood. The film is about the fight for life, rights, and land. This is the farmer protest of India.

404 Connection Not FoundBy Ruben Diaz

This documentary focuses on the digital divide – the disparity of high-speed internet access between our urban and rural areas.

Immigration in the U.S.By Jennifer Garcia-Villa

Immigration has become a hot-button issue fueled by misinformation that creates stigmas that are often, only myths. The issues surrounding immigration from Central America are driven by poor policies and misunderstandings. This documentary aims to raise awareness to the issues within our system and debunk some of those myths.

Field WorkersBy Oscar Ledezma

This documentary takes an intimate look at the lives of field workers and the struggles they overcome on a daily basis.

She/Him/TheyBy Alicia Lopez

Pronouns are not a preference, but an integral part of one’s identity. This documentary shares the significance of pronouns by telling personal stories in an effort to normalize pronouns in a way that promotes asking others about, and using, their correct pronouns.

Teen DepressionBy Laila Jordan

Life is never as it seems, and those who seem “ok” on the surface may not be deep down. This story explores the personal story of the filmmaker struggling with depression and the ways others can potentially recognize it in their children and family members.

Unhoused in a PandemicBy Jackie Schuster

In 2020, many of us were stuck in our homes, unsure of what the future held. For people experiencing homelessness, this uncertainty was made worse by a lack of shelter and safety. This documentary explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected homeless people in the Central Valley.

Perseverance is KeyBy Yaeleen Garcia

Wanting to start a business is challenging. Trying to run a business is even more difficult. This documentary focuses on two individuals who give insight, based on their experiences, on how to overcome obstacles to achieving long-term goals and dreams.

Watch the video below to hear from some of last year’s cohort.

For more questions about this program, please contact CMAC’s Education Coordinator Lisa Talley at

Our partners


Youth Voices 2020

Our inaugural Youth Voices cohort produced three documentary films that were screened to the public on Sunday, March 1, 2020, at Maya Cinemas in Fresno. Our 2020 program was made possible by funding from The California Endowment. Watch the three documentaries, a behind the scenes video, and a Q&A with the filmmakers in the playlist below:

Tolteca: A Story of Success: A documentary about Aaron Ordaz, an immigrant and owner of Candies Tolteca. Produced by Ruben Diaz, Gabby Rivas, Mark Pizana.

Fresno: A Home For All: A documentary about resources for local homeless. Produced by Raymart Catacutan and Melissa Andrade.

Intergenerational Politics in Fresno: A documentary about politics in Fresno from different points of view. Produced by Gabby Rivas and Johnsen Del Rosario.

Behind the Scenes: Watch our short behind the scenes look at the cohort’s work.

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