FONTANA, CA – Harnessing the power of film and committed to helping the mental health and well-being of their classmates and community, seven Fontana Unified film production students have been recognized for excellence in the Directing Change Film Project.

Jurupa Hills High School seniors Gustavo Lopez, Christian Guerrero, Caleb Oard, Lyza Garay and juniors Brian Moreno and Alexzander Zavala, along with Summit High School senior Audrey Juarez, received honors for 60-second public service announcements touching on subjects such as social distancing, immigration rights, racism, voting and keeping a healthy daily outlook. The winning students received Amazon gift cards as prizes.

“It is my pleasure to work with such a hard-working team of students,” Jurupa Hills TV production teacher Jhoann Acosta-Idda said. “It makes me proud to see how they have transferred all the skills they learned in the classroom to the world of distant learning.”

The Directing Change Film Project, sponsored by Each Mind Matters: California Mental Health Movement, is a monthly contest with two categories for high school students. The Hope & Justice category is an open submission for any film topic that encompasses social justice and equal rights issues. The Monthly Prompt category asks for films concentrating on a single subject; October’s prompt was “Creative Ways to Measure 6 Feet Distancing”; September’s prompt was “What the Election Means to Me.”

“Audrey is everything a teacher could hope for in terms of leadership and work ethic; she sets the bar higher for her fellow classmates by holding herself accountable inside the classroom and as a key member of the SkyHawk community,” Summit TV production teacher Artie Casas said. “Her talents will only continue to grow at the next level wherever she chooses to pursue a higher education.”

The winners and prizes:

Gustavo Lopez, second-place winner in Creative Ways to Measure 6 Feet Distancing for “Pandemic Safety”: Lopez takes a humorous approach while explaining pandemic safety guidelines, employing double screens and animated graphics. Lopez received a $150 Amazon gift card.

Christian Guerrero, third-place tie in Hope & Justice for The Real Struggle”: Guerrero interviews an immigrant who was detained by ICE in 2016, employing cable news footage and graphics citing detainee and deportation statistics. Guerrero received a $100 Amazon gift card.

Brian Moreno, honorable mention in Creative Ways to Measure 6 Feet Distancing for “Give Me My Space”: Moreno details several ways people can communicate while social distancing, including calling, texting and Face Timing. Moreno received a $25 Amazon gift card.

Caleb Oard, honorable mention in Hope & Justice for “Outcast”: Oard describes the struggle of being Black in America, how he and his brother cope with racism and the lack of recognition for Black innovators. Oard received a $25 Amazon gift card.

Audrey Juarez, honorable mention in Hope & Justice for “Overcome”: Juarez promotes coping methods designed to keep a positive state of mind, including exercise, practicing good hygiene, painting, listening to music and reaching out for a hug. Juarez received a $25 Amazon gift card.

Lyza Garay and Alexzander Zavala, honorable mention in What the Election Means to Me for “I Do It For You”: Hoping to inspire higher Latino turnout in the election, Garay and Guevara cite voter data, incorporate current events and provide information on mail-in ballots. Garay and Guevara received $25 Amazon gift cards.