KITS Press Releases

KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT CELEBRATES NEW PRODUCTION STUDIO WITH RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY

The event honored one of the first social enterprises in the entertainment industry focused on creating paid work opportunities for young adults aging out of foster care

March 30, 2023

LOS ANGELES – Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) is thrilled to announce the opening of their Production Studio with Purpose, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony that was held on March 30th, 2023 at the KITS studio located at 14200 Aetna St. Van Nuys, CA 91401. The ceremony was graced by the presence of esteemed dignitaries, including Mayor Karen Bass, a strong advocate for foster youth and the arts, whom KITS surprised with an Impact Award for her work. Officials from City Council District 6 and California Senate District 12 were also in attendance, with Senator Menjivar’s office presenting KITS a Certificate of Recognition for the grand opening. The ceremony program included KITS Ambassador Ty Burrell (Modern Family), longtime supporter Dawnn Lewis (Young Rock, A Different World) and Robin Winston, News and Traffic Anchor for NBC4’s weekday morning newscast ‘Today in LA’ serving as Emcee alongside CEO Tige Charity and alumni of the KITS Script-to-Screen program.  Read more at:

KITS CELEBRATES FOSTER YOUTH FILMMAKERS IN LOS ANGELES

Annual Event Recognizes Inspiring Talent and Their Stories

November 8, 2022

Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) recently hosted its 12th Annual KITS Film Awards at Regal L.A. Live in Downtown L.A. on Saturday, November 5th. The film screening and awards ceremony honored the creative achievements of foster youth and inner city filmmakers telling their stories their way. The emerging artists received awards from Tiffany Haddish, Nadine Ellis, and James Pickens, Jr. to name a few. The event was possible with the generous support of The Canet Foundation, Music is Unity and Picture Head. The night also acknowledged some of KITS’ biggest supporters. Zach King, filmmaker, illusionist and author received the Gary Burrell Humanitarian Award, named for actor Ty Burrell’s father and the work he did for foster youth. King, who is a foster parent himself, uses his platform to teach and inspire the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers. Additional event sponsors included Schimmel & Parks, The Refinery, The California Wellness Foundation, and She Ready Foundation. Read more at:

NON-PROFIT KITS TO PREMIERE FOSTER YOUTH FILM “BULLY” AT 11TH ANNUAL KITS FILM AWARDS, HOSTED BY TY BURRELL

“Bully” Stars Terry Crews and Ariel Winter, with the Latter Serving as Presenter at the KITS Film Awards Nov. 6th

November 1, 2021

Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) will bring together Hollywood stars to celebrate foster youth and their creative filmmaking. At the awards show, the 501(c)3 non-profit will premiere the short film “Bully,” directed by David Mahmoudieh and writtten by former foster youth Rodney Jackson-Brown, winner of the inaugural KITS National Short Screenplay Competition. The film also stars Hollywood actors Terry Crews (Brooklyn 9-9) and Ariel Winter (Modern Family). KITS Ambassador Ty Burrell of ABC’s hit show “Modern Family” will host the screening and awards ceremony, which will honor the creative achievements of young filmmakers in the foster care system who use filmmaking as an artistic expression of their lives. Special thank you to this year’s event sponsors for making the KITS Film Awards possible, including Schimmel & Parks, Picture Head, The Refinery, L.A. Care, Becky & Gregory Metzger, and The Camera Division. Read more at:

IN HONOR OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH, KITS CELEBRATES BLACK YOUTH STORYTELLERS 

A Special Screening and Q&A Event on February 18th Hosted by Malcolm-Jamal Warner

January 18, 2021

KITS will host a special screening event on the IndieFlix streaming service on February 18 at 5pm PST. The event will showcase short films created by Black and Brown youth storytellers in honor of Black History Month. Following the screening of “Brown,” directed by Julia Verdin, and “System Failure,” directed by Robert Munic, will be a Q&A panel moderated by Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Resident) in an authentic conversation about the social issues raised in the films such as race, prejudice and barriers to success for Black and Indigenous People of Color. Immediately following the panel, transitional age foster youth will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual career mixer with creative executives from NBCUniversal to learn about careers in production, writing, development, marketing, acting and directing. Read more at:

FOSTER FILM CHANNEL TO DEBUT ON INDIEFLIX

KITS Foster Youth Filmmakers to Celebrate Launch of Dedicated Showcase on IndieFlix Streaming Platform

December 7, 2020

Kids In The Spotlight will unveil the launch of their new dedicated IndieFlix streaming channel with a triple-feature and live panel, spotlighting the foster youth filmmakers on Friday, December 8th at 6pm PST. The featured short films will be “Heaven’s Hard Pitches,” directed by Mo McRae, “Love Just Is,” directed by A. Laura James and co-starring Nadine Ellis and Jordyn Curet, and “Cyverius,” directed by Alphonso McAuley. Please visit the all-new streaming channelat bit.ly/WatchKITS Read more at:

CELEBS COME TOGETHER TO SUPPORT KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT 

Ty Burrell, Kellee Stewart, Malcolm-Jamal Warmer, and other Hollywood pros volunteer to judge KITS National Short Screenplay Competition for foster youth

April 20, 2020

As the country shelters in place to flatten the COVID-19 curve, Kids In The Spotlight (KITS) is taking its Screenwriting & Filmmaking program nationally to service foster youth from across the United States. The KITS National Short Screenplay Competition (KNSSC) was created to ensure that the cognitive, creative, and social needs of transitional age foster youth from around the country are being met. The winning short script will be turned into a short film produced by industry professionals, and the organization is offering a free, 5-week Virtual Screenwriting Course to teach them how to use their personal stories to craft a screenplay that can connect and inspire others. Read more at: