A Film by Bess O’Brien
Ask Us Who We Are is a documentary film focused on the challenges and extraordinary lives of youth in foster care. The film is a reflection on loss and the search for belonging and finding family. Although the film highlights the heartbreak that many foster care youth carry with them as they move through their lives, the documentary also reveals the tremendous strength and perseverance that grows out of their determination to survive and thrive.
The documentary also focuses on the lives of foster care parents and kinship families that open their homes to children. Through small and large acts of kindness these adults can change the course of children’s lives and give them a sense of place if only for a brief time. In addition, the film highlights two parents who lose their children to the system and struggle to be reunited with them.
Ask Us Who We Are is about the search for home, community, and the transformative power of love in the midst of fractured and often broken lives. The film breaks open stereotypes and gives voice to those who are often not heard.
A Film by Bess O’Brien
Shout it Out is a feature film that tells the story of a group of teenagers making their way through high school. The film follows them through some of the more tumultuous moments of teenage hood: academic pressure; friction with peers, teachers, teen pregnancy, sexuality, cutting, class issues, body issues , relationships with parents; trying to fit in, trying to find one’s self, fear of the future; nostalgia for the past; friendship; and first love.
Shout it Out is a musical based on Bess O’Brien’s acclaimed live musical The Voices Project. The stories from the film stem from eight months of research with Vermont teens, all songs written by VT teens and acted by local teens.
Shout it Out is a raw, real, revealing, compassionate, powerful, funny and ultimately affirmative look at the transformative powers of young people The original songs, written by Vermont youth are dynamic and range from love songs to rap and hip-hop.
Shout it Out is about listening to the voices of youth, respecting and honoring their struggles and aspirations and hearing their voices loud and clear!