Ent Center to host ‘Shifting the Lens’ documentary film festival

The Ent Center’s upcoming “Shifting the Lens” event aims to spark conversation on mental health, immigration, colorism, transgender lives, toxic masculinity and other critical issues faced by Colorado Springs’ youth.

The Ent Center has partnered with the Youth Documentary Academy and the UCCS social work club to host a free film festival on Feb. 8 showcasing youth documentaries that focus on today’s critical issues.

The event will take place over two time blocks, one from 1:40-4:20 p.m. and the other from 4:45-7:20 p.m. in the Ent center’s Shockley Zalabak Theater. Four different documentaries will be shown during each block, followed by an intimate discussion led by panelists made up of filmmakers, professors and experts on the subjects. The event will conclude after a Q&A with refreshments.

The first block will show documentaries “Skinned Knees,” “After War,” “Right of Mind” and “Generational Curses.” The second block’s documentaries include “Shade,” “Transforming Media,” “Behind the Masc” and “Leaving Africa.”

Student services specialist in the UCCS social work department Laurel Cartwright explained that Colorado Springs organizations such as YDA and the Colorado Springs Health Foundation have worked for the past few weeks to put this event together and select relevant films.

“The films are produced by youth and provide a variety of perspectives on what help looks like, what if feels to seek help, and in some cases what waiting for help continues to look like,” Cartwright wrote via email.

The event hosts are hopeful that students who attend will learn about local resources and gain insights into some of the issues impacting the Colorado Springs community.

“Students will gain a new perspective on social issues and how this plays out on an intergenerational level,” Cartwright wrote. “The films are made by teenagers and many of our students may have struggled with these issues in their own lives as teens or continue to struggle with these issues in their lives now, exemplifying how these social issues become intergenerational.”

While the event is sponsored by the social work department, Cartwright encouraged students of all majors to attend. “The issues discussed in these films are applicable to a diverse population and may have impacted or currently are impacting everyone’s lives,” Cartwright wrote.

Though the event is free to attend, students must register for tickets here in advance.

Graphic via The Suicide Prevention Collaborative of El Paso County.