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The mission of the BOOST Film Festival is to support the work of talented and dedicated filmmakers and to share their work so that it may inspire, educate, and transform youth and professionals in the youth work field.  

The BOOST Film Festival strand offers attendees the opportunity to view films highlighting relevant topics in the education field including issues relating to today’s youth. Many of the featured films offer supplemental materials, such as curriculum, to take back and implement at your school or program. When available, the BOOST Film Festival strand also offers the opportunity for a post-film discussion with the filmmakers or representatives from the film company.

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Wednesday, April 26


Moderator: TBD

17 AND LIFE DOESN'T WAIT paints a lively, candid and emotionally charged view of life through the eyes of three teen girls. The film follows them during their senior year of high school, as they experience the impact of the outside world, their impending independence, and the conflicting expectations and often overwhelming anxiety that come with being a girl. It delves into the teens’ attitudes, actions and goals, as they dream about the future, and discover their passions and anxieties. While these smart, sassy, and tenacious young women may hail from diverse walks of life, each has the ambition to continue with her education, and meet her challenges head on, and in her own way. Shot over nine months, the film captures the girls’ laughter, struggles and victories. We watch them grapple with family, university acceptances (or rejections) and scholarships, engage in the perennial primping for senior prom; digest the devastation of the Parkland massacre; graduate, and confront issues around sexual identity, suicide, and assault. 

Click here to watch the trailer.

17 And Life Doesnt Wait 


Moderator: Ryan McCarthy, Executive Director, Global Kindness Initiative, San Francisco, CA

The film YOUTH v GOV follows the story of American youth taking on the world’s most powerful government, filing a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government. They assert it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

Click here to watch the trailer.


Thursday, April 27


The S Word
Moderator: TBD

A suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of unguarded courage, insight, pain, and humor. Along the way, she discovers a national community rising to transform personal struggles into action. THE S WORD chronicles her journey and these survivors in a powerful feature documentary that puts a human face to a topic that has long been stigmatized and buried with the lives it has claimed. Suicide affects people of all ages, races, faiths, ethnicities, gender presentations, sexual orientations, professions, and so much more.

THE S WORD skillfully weaves stories of survivors from a cross-section of America including LGBT, African American and Asian American communities, who candidly share their profoundly emotional stories of trauma, mental health challenges, survival, and advocacy. The film’s narrative flows organically from one story to the next, starting with personal moments and building emotional momentum before widening out to show how their journeys are driving the national movement to take the “S” word from unthinkable to preventable. 

Click here to watch the trailer.

The S Word 


Raise Your Voice
Moderator: Blair Freedman, Senior Director, West Region, Sandy Hook Promise, Newton, CT

Raise Your Voice follows the student journalists at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School navigating their school mass shooting as both survivors and journalists. The documentary explores youth free speech history in America (through the story of Mary Beth Tinker of Tinker v. Des Moines) connecting the Parkland students to a broader story about young voices and their power through social movements.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Raise Your Voice 


Moderator: Ana Danielson, Program Coordinator, Mono County Office of Education, Port Hueneme, CA

Against the backdrop of “English-only” initiatives in 31 states, one school district is proving that speaking a foreign language can be an asset. SPEAKING IN TONGUES follows students from diverse backgrounds as they become bilingual in language immersion programs. Their stories traverse a number of perennial challenges facing America: economic inequality, de facto segregation, and increasing nativist backlash towards immigrants. As bilingualism begins to change the students, their families, and their communities, it emerges as a tool for shifting what it means to be an American and a global citizen in a rapidly changing world. To explore the contentious debates surrounding the “English-only” movement, the film turns to Ling-chi Wang, a nationally known civil rights activist who pioneered efforts to establish multilingual education in the United States, and leads the charge in this school district.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Speaking in Tongues 

Friday, April 28


Possible Selves
Moderator: Dr. Michelle Lustig, Program Director, Foster Youth Technical Assistance Program, Los Angeles County Office of Education, Oceanside, CA

POSSIBLE SELVES follows Alex and Mia, two teenagers in foster care, as they pursue college dreams while struggling with lives torn between biological and foster families. Alex, a foster teen in Los Angeles, navigates four years of high school as he tries to overcome the odds and get into college–at a time when only 3% of American kids who grow up in foster care receive bachelor's degrees. Along the way, Alex struggles to balance his love for his biological family with the need to assimilate into his foster family. Meanwhile, we also meet Mia during her senior year of high school. She is a foster youth who has survived severe trauma and abuse and is now with a supportive and loving foster family. While the obstacles to success that the teenagers in POSSIBLE SELVES face are extreme, their resilience paired with the love and support of caring adults may make it possible for them to become the adults they dream of being.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Possible Selves 

In partnership with:

GOOD DOCS Logo Tagline

GOOD DOCS are films that do good in the world. Their award-winning collection engages and inspires students by featuring rarely-heard stories about individuals and communities working towards a more equitable world. They champion creative expression and complex films that provoke critical thinking. GOOD DOCS represents established documentarians and passionate new filmmakers driven by their experiences as educators, academics, journalists, artists, social workers, community members, and activists. GOOD DOCS films and the GOOD TALKS speaker series offer powerful educational experiences to students and communities everywhere.

Film Festival Contact

Do you have any questions or suggestions about the BOOST Film Festival?

 Melissa Perez

Melissa Perez, BOOST Leadership Team Lead
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Please note: Name badges are required to attend all BOOST Conference events including all meals and all workshops

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