June 22, 2005

EVENTS / AWARDS: Media With a Message Stars At Youth Festival

Media With a Message Stars At Youth Festival
Anupama Narayanswamy

NEW YORK, Jun 25 (IPS) - At first there is nothing odd about the picture on-screen: a cyclist on the bustling streets of Manhattan, protected by a helmet, gloves and a cycling suit. Then the camera captures a wider angle, and the audience sees that the cyclist has only one leg.

The rider keeps pace perfectly in the traffic, neck-in-neck with speeding taxis. It is Dexter Benjamin, on one of his errands for B & L Courier Service.

Benjamin's story in the film 'Fast and Reliable' plays out in the next few minutes. In a first-person narration, he talks about his life after he moved to New York from Trinidad and Tobago.

?I came to New York in 1986 and '87 to compete in the New York marathon on crutches,? he says. In 1988, when he returned for a third time, he decided to stay.

'Fast and Reliable' is part of a series of 16 short movies by young filmmakers that won awards at the fifth annual Media That Matters Film Festival. The aim of the festival is to make audiences think about social issues -- from gay rights and racism to environmental justice.

?We want the films to inspire, create debates and make people take action,? said Shira Golding, director of education and outreach at MediaRights, which organises the festival.
FULL ARTICLE FROM IPS NEWS AT: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=29155
Chris Schuepp
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