Film by three local foster teens chosen for White House film festival

MID-CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Three local teens turned filmmakers were flown to Washington to meet President Obama after their film was selected for a White House film festival.

"It was breathtaking especially,(when) he entered 2 feet away from me and I literally started tearing up and I don't even know why cause I'm not a crier, but I started tearing up," said 18-year-old filmmaker, Leanne Caldejon, as she recalled meeting the president.

Their film "Time of Change" was selected as one of the finalists out of 700 submissions at the first South by South Lawn: A White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action event.

Their award-winning creation came to life thanks to Kids in the Spotlight, a unique program in Burbank that teaches filmmaking to foster kids and provides them the confidence to use their voice to change their lives.

"You get to write the ending to your life story that your situation and circumstance today, of being identified in the foster care system, does not get to define you," said the program's founder, Tige Charity.

"Use that to do something great, to make magic," added Charity.

The three teens used their own foster experience as the driving force behind their film and in the process gained a new outlook on life.

"But being in foster care you can blame a lot of people for why you're in here but at the end of the day, life is life and you have to keep going on and you have to take ownership of your life now and keep going," said the filmmaker Jevonne Davis.

Filmmaker Angel Velasquez furthered this sentiment and said, "No matter how hard your life could be or anything like that, if you keep pushing, you keep pushing, you take whatever chance you can, you make anything happen. You never know what's out there for you."
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