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Program gives kids a chance to get in the picture

The Young Filmmakers Program, the beneficiary of Sunday's Oscar fund-raiser, is involved in two projects right now.

One is 'History on the Line,' made possible by the film center in cooperation with TriMet. Shooting begins this summer.

Budding filmmakers such as 22-year-old Hazel Malone will interview residents for a documentary about people who live near the new Interstate MAX line in North Portland.

Malone picked up her application for Young Filmmakers at a social service agency while living on the streets of Portland. It proved to be a life-changing move. Malone is currently an intern at the film center, located at the Portland Art Museum. She also has a job with Work Systems, a federal grant-giving organization in downtown Portland.

Malone says the filmmakers program has made a difference in her life:

'It's hugely important. I had been homeless for quite awhile, and I was trying to get everything together. Film was something I had always been interested in, but I didn't see a way in.'

Giving kids film and recording equipment and sending them out in the world, Malone says, results in something 'really beautiful and powerful.'

A second Young Filmmakers project is based in Sheridan, where kids are working on a documentary for a local methamphetamine-awareness program.

'We believe in putting cameras in kids' hands so they can tell their own stories,' says Kristin Konsterlie, the film center's education outreach coordinator. 'We try to develop relationships with kids that aren't hit and run, that are more ongoing.'

Ñ Michaela Bancud