Riverside County Films

Directing Change is an evaluated suicide prevention and mental health program with the mission to educate young people about critical health topics through art and promote social justice and health by changing conversations in schools and communities.
Suicide Prevention

The Light in the Darkness

First Place Regional - Suicide Prevention
2022
Artist: Enrique Ibarra Jr., JP Mansour, Haoyu He, and Mia Sandoval
RIverside County
Grade: 11
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jacob Fuller
Through a vlog, a youth describes his expeience with thoughts of suicide, and reachign out for help.

Dear Diary

Second Place Regional - Suicide Prevention
2022
Artist: Janessa Serrano, Joshua Vazquez, Reiya Gulosino, Hannah Lozada, and Lorenzo Alexander
RIverside County
Grade: 12
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jacob Fuller
A youth writes in a diary about her mental health and her hopes for the year before she turns 16.

Breaking Your Trust

Third Place Regional (TIED) - Suicide Prevention
2022
Artist: Jasmine Auge and Addison Codrey
RIverside County
Grade: 9
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A girl notices warning signs of suicide in her friend, and seeks help for her from a trusted adult.

The Promise

Second Place Regional - Suicide Prevention
2021
Artist: Olivia Bettencourt and Lexi Tentman
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A film that shows how to empathetically start a conversation with a friend who exhibits changes in their behavior and connect them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Moving Too Fast

First Place Regional and Second Place Statewide - Suicide Prevention
2020
Artist: Ingrid Peirce, Matthew Marcade, Gabriela Mora and Alyssa Watson
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jacob Fuller
This film depicts the struggle of a teen contemplating suicide. Life speeds past her as she feels out of touch and hopeless. A close friend notices the warning signs, reaches out to help, and offers numerous resources that provide further support.

You Saw the Signs

First Place Regional - Suicide Prevention
2019
Artist: Victoria Ringer
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A girl notices her friend showing the warning signs of suicide. She asks her friend directly if she’s thinking of suicide, connects her to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and provides her with support.

Direct Message

First Place Statewide and Second Place Regional - Suicide Prevention
2019
Artist: Taylor Krutsch, Joshua Guerrero, Alexis Parano
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Encore High School
Advisor: Jared Nelson
A film about how it’s okay to break a friend’s trust to get them help. A girl texts her friend that she’s thinking of suicide, so he reaches out to another friend for help, and they share the Crisis Text Line.

A Journey You Don’t Fight Alone

Third Place Statewide - Suicide Prevention
2019
Artist: Tanaka Agere, Allysa Canatingan, Gianna Barrantes, Daniel Melgoza
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jacob Fuller
A spoken word from a girl to her friend, talking about the pain she sees her friend in and offering her comfort and support.

The Empty Seat

First Place Statewide - Suicide Prevention
2017
Artist: Billy McVeigh
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
Friends recognize warnings signs in a friend and reach out to support her. Together, they connect her to help.

Speak Out

First Place, Youth and Young Adults - Suicide Prevention
2017
Artist: Marc Logan, Elijah Masullo, Tyrone Allen & Jesse Garcia
Riverside County
Boys & Girls Club San Gorgonio Pass
Advisor: Shane Arch
Friends notice the warning signs for suicide in a friend and seek the advice of their basketball coach, a trusted adult who reaches out and follows up with their friend.

Leap of Faith

Third Place Statewide - Mental Health Matters
2016
Artist: Benjamin Finnie
Riverside County
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A story of two best friends and how one notices the warning signs for suicide, confronts him directly, and reaches out to connect him to help.

Pain Never Lasts

First Place UC Winners - Suicide Prevention
2014
Artist: Jared Odom and Morrise Richardson
Riverside County
UC Riverside
A spoken word/poetry film about the struggles young men face, narrated by an African American male who reminds young people that pain never lasts and to hold on.
Mental Health Matters

Vergüenza

Third Place Through the Lens of Culture - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Angelica Muñoz, Evaisa Murillo, and Carolina Muñoz
RIverside County
Grade: 10
Valley View High School
Advisor: Jim Long
A film about how a youth in the latinx community may feel shameful when experiencing signs of struggling with mental health or a mental illness.

Transposed

Fifth Place Through the Lens of Culture (TIED) - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Darla Salazar, Tommi Abueg, and David Contreras
RIverside County
Grade: 11
Ramona High School
Advisor: Dacy Nottingham
A film about the personal experience of a transgender youth navigating an often hostile and unhelpful society, and the impact this has on thier mental health.

Solitude

First Place Through the Lens of Culture - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Shea Manning, Danik Soudakoff, and Abigail Frausto
RIverside County
Grade: 12
Polytechnic High School
Advisor: John Enyeart
Film about a deaf student, who relied on lip reading, navigating the pandemic while everybody is masked.

El Secreto

Second Place Through the Lens of Culture - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Mariana Vicencio-Mendiola
RIverside County
Grade: 10
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A youth discusses the lack of access to mental health help and education in her community.

Another Light

First Place Statewide and First Place Regional - Mental Health Matters
2021
Artist: Lizzie Waddleton and Leyna Vo
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Murrieta Mesa High School
Advisor: Timeree Kristell
This film portrays two girls who reach out to people they trust and get the resources and help that they need.

Stronger Together

Second Place Regional - Mental Health Matters
2020
Artist: Raul Chavez, Esha Jacob, and Dylan Shifflet
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jacob Fuller
A boy exhibits changes in his behavior and gets diagnosed with depression. His friends notice these changes and reach out to support him.

Frozen Sunshine

First Place Regional - Mental Health Matters
2019
Artist: Sophia Wolfe, Halie DeVries, Madelyn Aguilar, and Sajah Kuderman
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Encore High School
Advisor: Jared Nelson
A girl is “frozen” by her mental health challenges, but her friend directly asks her what she needs to better understand how to help.

It’s More Common Than You Think

Second Place Regional - Mental Health Matters
2019
Artist: Christina Batte
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
This wasn't my original film plan, but I had to improvise. I had no idea if it would even come together until i started editing it: everything fell into place. I am super satisfied with the product and hope it will affect many. The song in this film is one I wrote last year on my guitar... it sounded like something you'd hear in one of those trendy shorts you come across online; and sis was here for that. #enjoy

Awake

Third Place Regional - Mental Health Matters
2019
Artist: Off the Rails Productions
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Murrieta Mesa High School
Advisor: Timeree Kristell
Chandler realizes the difficulties he is facing through his life. His anxiety begins to overwhelm him when things in his life begin to pile on his plate. He find that he needs to talk to someone he trust about his situation and lets his mother know.

Colors

2019
Artist: Jacob Klein & Jessica Flores
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Encore High School
Advisor: Chill Kerney
In the story we have 7 Colors and each colors has a different emotion. Red is the main person of the film red's emotion is Willpower! Each dancer has a color and a different emotion.

Scribbled

First Place Statewide and First Place Regional
2018
Artist: Sophia, Perrin, Isaiah, Zoey & Riley
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Encore High School
Advisor: Jared Nelson
A boy with depression learns he’s not the only one struggling, so he shares his story to make others feel less alone.

Feeling Locked

First Place, Youth and Young Adults - Mental Health Matters
2017
Artist: Tyler N., Lawrence W., Zeferino M., Donny O., Jalen H., Nathaniel C., Elver V.
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Youth Treatment & Education Center
Advisor: Nancy Salcedo
This film encourages youth to open up to others about their mental health and to reach out for help.
Through the Lens of Culture

Solitude

First Place Through the Lens of Culture - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Shea Manning, Danik Soudakoff, and Abigail Frausto
RIverside County
Grade: 12
Polytechnic High School
Advisor: John Enyeart
Film about a deaf student, who relied on lip reading, navigating the pandemic while everybody is masked.

El Secreto

Second Place Through the Lens of Culture - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Mariana Vicencio-Mendiola
RIverside County
Grade: 10
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A youth discusses the lack of access to mental health help and education in her community.

Vergüenza

Third Place Through the Lens of Culture - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Angelica Muñoz, Evaisa Murillo, and Carolina Muñoz
RIverside County
Grade: 10
Valley View High School
Advisor: Jim Long
A film about how a youth in the latinx community may feel shameful when experiencing signs of struggling with mental health or a mental illness.

Transposed

Fifth Place Through the Lens of Culture (TIED) - Mental Health Matters
2022
Artist: Darla Salazar, Tommi Abueg, and David Contreras
RIverside County
Grade: 11
Ramona High School
Advisor: Dacy Nottingham
A film about the personal experience of a transgender youth navigating an often hostile and unhelpful society, and the impact this has on thier mental health.

Plus Que Forte

First Place - Through the Lens of Culture
2021
Artist: Christina Batte
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A film that explores the expectations placed on black women and encourages them to reach out when they need support for their mental health.

I Want You to Know That…

Third Place Tied - Through the Lens of Culture
2020
Artist: Eve Liu, Jasmine Pan and Olivia Feng
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A film about the stress and mental health challenges that international students may face, in which a girl shares a message of empathy and hope.

Silence Speaks

2019
Artist: Jaden Krause, Manuel Stepleton & Trevor Schott
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
This is a video about a deaf boy who feels isolated living in silence and is thinking about suicide. A friend notices and decides to talk to him about it. Together, they go talk to their counselor and she shows them Each Mind Matters.

Falling in Silence

Third Place - Through the Lens of Culture: Mental Health Matters
2019
Artist: Adam R., Danik S., Andrea L., & Zoey C.
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Encore High School
Advisor: Jared Nelson
A deaf student expresses the challenges faced by the deaf community and shares that help is available.
SanaMente

Puedo Enfrentarlo

First Place - SanaMente
2021
Artist: Gabriela Sanchez Flores, Jocelyn Pacheco, Justin Quick, and Mark Wysocki
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
A pair of girls discuss the pressure they carry to succeed but also rely on their family and resources.

Primer Generación

Third Place - SanaMente
2021
Artist: Erica Barron and Julia Aversa
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jacob Fuller
A young girl shares how the pressure of being a first-generation American affects her wellbeing and not being able to share her feelings with her family.

La Vida Nunca Para

Second Place - SanaMente
2019
Artist: Andrea Leon
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Encore High School
Advisor: Jared Nelson
In the Latino community, having a lot on your plate and being constantly busy may seem like a positive thing; but many don't consider the negative effects it has on someone. It leads to mental health issues such as high-stress levels and anxiety that causes life to feel as though it is moving too fast and you can't keep up. While making this I was going through what I am describing in my film and I felt like I was drowning, and no one seemed to care. I have learned that I need to take a break from time to time and do something I enjoy; which led me to create this film.
Animated Short

Yellow

Honorable Mention - Animated Short
2021
Artist: Eunice Saba
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Vista del Lago High School
Advisor: Cindi Dolan
A film about the how the pandemic affects our mental health and how to directly ask the question to someone who shows the warning signs of suicide.

You Are Not Alone

Honorable Mention - Animated Short
2020
Artist: Brianna Oliverio and Jacob Hereford
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Murrieta Valley High School
Advisor: Ella Harrison
A friend notices a student is acting differently and talks to a counselor who provides the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The friend reaches out and helps the student.
Walk in Our Shoes

Basketball Hero

Fourth Place Walk in Our Shoes – The Superhero in Each of Us
2022
Artist: Jerren White and Stephen Anderson
RIverside County
Grade: 7
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
A youth experiencing mental health challenges loses interest in basketball, and reaches out to his coach for help.

Unfiltered

Third Place Walk in Our Shoes (TIED) – What is Mental Health
2022
Artist: Crista Kerr, Kayla Chase, and Angel Martinez
RIverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
A film about social media and the pressures on youth to filter their images.

Consider The Following

Fourth Place Walk in Our Shoes – What is Mental Health
2022
Artist: Elidia Lopez, Raiden Scharsch, Eduardo Martinez, and Jayden Kong
RIverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
A film about mental health and resources available for youth if they are in need of help.

The Overcomer

Second Place - Walk in Our Shoes: The Superhero in Each of Us
2021
Artist: Mark Wysocki
Riverside County
Grade: 7
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
The Superhero that resides in each one of us can be found! Mark is an animator, and he shows us that understanding the choices we face and choosing to reach for light in the darkness is so important. In a 100% virtual environment, creating this animated PSA was a huge accomplishment as well as an eye opener. How we support one another matters. How we continue to learn and move forward matters. Mental Health Matters- and we can be an overcomer!

My Life

Third Place - Walk in Our Shoes: What is Mental Health
2020
Artist: Ruben Martinez
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
A boy is diagnosed with ADHD, feels alone and is struggling in school until he reaches out for help and starts to see the light.

Make Your Mark

First Place - Walk in Our Shoes: What is Mental Health
2020
Artist: Jazmine Carillo, Natasha Powers, Jocelyn Pacheco, Tiffany Bravo, Casandra Viscarra and Crista Kerr
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
A girl hides her true feelings behind a smile and laughter until she finds friends that like her for who she is. She finds power and strength in expressing and being her real self.

Keep an Eye on Me

Second Place - Walk in Our Shoes: The Superhero in Each of Us
2019
Artist: Angelo Gilbert, Katelyn Dwelley, Ellis Garrett & Madeline Bielman
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
A student describes his struggles with depression and loneliness and expresses how his friends give him hope.
Hope and Justice

White Noise

First Place Hope & Justice – Hope (TIED)
2022
Artist: Elida Lopez, Krystal Hernandez, and Savannah Lawrey
RIverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
A film about a youth feeling overwhelmed by the 'noise' of present day society - from social media, the needs of their friends, and world events.

Too Faced

1st place (tied) Monthly Prompt - March 2022
2022
Artist: Sofia Larson
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Liberty High School
Advisor: Deanne Dean
My art shows that even if someone looks happy all the time, they aren’t. You just need to look deeper not just see what you want to.

Hopes For 2022

Featured TikTok
2022
Artist: Kaitlyn Franco 
Riverside County 
Grade: 7
Mountain View Middle School 
Advisor: Noal Garrett
This TikTok is what people are hopeful for 2022. Hope is an important thing to have, because without it, you could lose yourself. That is why I made this video to show other peoples hopes, even if they are little, it can impact you life majorly.

Calling YOU to Vote

Honorable Mention
2021
Artist: Hayden Harbison
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Valley View High School
Advisor: Jim Long
A student explains the history of voting and the importance of casting your ballot on election day.

We Can See Hope

Third Place - February 2021 Hope & Justice Contest
2021
Artist: Cody Fyfe, Crista Kerr, Justin Quick, Jocelyn Pacheco, Tiffany Bravo, and Mark Wysocki
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
“We CAN See hope. This project was completed 100% virtually with all students/teachers online. We wanted to express what this past year has held within education and how all of us can still see HOPE. This is their reality, and with the help from their community and state, they can succeed. Mental Health Matters to ALL of us, and this is the most important time to SEE HOPE!”

Gratitude is a State of Mind

Honorable Mention - November 2021 Monthly Prompt: "Art of Gratitude"
2021
Artist: Elidia Lopez
Riverside County
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pittoti
Our class talked about what it means to be grateful and living a life filled with gratitude. We had a lot of things in common that we were all grateful for, but we found that some of us had unique reasons to be grateful. As we made this film, we realized that we all have something to be grateful for, and focusing on it can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Aware

Honorable Mention
2021
Artist: Genesis Morales
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Nicholis Kalantar
In a world where we at times we get overwhelmed with problems we tend to forget to be thankful about what really matters in life. We shut down and end up being distracted by our struggles and it makes it difficult to enjoy moments spent with the ones you love. It may be hard to be grateful when we feel the world closing in around us but gratitude is what helps us move forward, it helps us see the good in a situation and make sense of it all.

What Am I Grateful For?

Honorable Mention - November 2021 Monthly Prompt: "Art of Gratitude"
2021
Artist: Sophia Vargas
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
My entry includes all the things that I'm grateful for and how they make my life better. It includes many pictures of my family and some videos as well.

Redefined Hope

Second Place - October 2021 Monthly Prompt: "Back to School: The Good, The Bad, and The Unexpected"
2021
Artist: Crista Kerr,Mark Wysocki,Jazleen Fowler,Isabel Soto,Angel Merida Cano
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
This film shares students’ renewed hopes for the future as they reflect on adapting to changes from the pandemic.

New Beginning

Third Place - October 2021 Hope & Justice Contest
2021
Artist: Genesis Morales
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Heritage High School
Advisor: Nicholis Kalantar
A film about accepting and growing from change, which can be difficult to cope with, but can also bring new opportunities.

Never Alone

Third Place - September 2021 Monthly Prompt: "You Are Not Alone"
2021
Artist: Mark Wysocki
Riverside County
Grade: 7
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
In Middle School, so many students feel like they are alone. It doesn't matter what culture or language- we all share that same struggle. Thankfully- knowing we are not alone has great power in every language. The students at DAB want others to know that you are NEVER ever alone.

Social Distancing with Trigonometry

Honorable Mention - October 2020 Monthly Prompt: "Creative Ways to Measure 6 Feet Social Distancing"
2020
Artist: Vivek Kumar
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Valley View High School
Advisor: Chris Lorenz
The submission uses mathematics to determine a way to measure the appropriate social distance of six feet. More precisely, it utilizes trigonometry to determine the angle of vision required when two equal height individuals are six feet away and looking at each other.

Six Feet Apart

Honorable Mention - October 2020 Monthly Prompt: "Creative Ways to Measure 6 Feet Social Distancing"
2020
Artist: Clarissa Mariscal and Greer Dean
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Valley View High School
Advisor: Chris Lorenz
This film shares the importance of social distancing and ways to connect during the pandemic.

Creative Social Distancing

First Place - October 2020 Monthly Prompt: "Creative Ways to Measure 6 Feet Social Distancing"
2020
Artist: Kylee Maszczack
Riverside County
Nuview Bridge Early College High School
Advisor: Cassie Hammond
“My entry is for the monthly October Hope and Justice Prompt. My entry is about some ways we could identify 6 feet and social distance creatively. It is a 59 second animation.”

A Little Hope

Second Place - November 2020 Hope & Justice Contest
2020
Artist: Justin Quick
Riverside County
Grade: 7
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
In a 100% virtual Title 1 public school, these kids used whatever they had at home to produce and edit this short film. After-school Zoom meetings, class brainstorming and virtual instruction made it possible even without the technology and resources we would normally have at school. Although it's not perfect, the love and effort it took to do this brought us closer together as a class and taught the students how to adapt and inspire in ways they did not know was possible.