Nov. 29, 2016 - America Media and the Ignatian Solidarity Network have announced that Heather Mooney, director of the short film Trust, is the 2016 First Place winner in the Voices From the Margins Social Justice Film Festival.
Mooney is a recent graduate of Fairfield University, where she studied film, television, and media. She has chosen to pursue filmmaking because of her conviction that film is a beautiful platform to have a voice on social justice issues and express deeply held beliefs.
Trust tells the story of Sachin Manning, a Jamaican immigrant and student of The Daniel Trust Foundation, who was given a flying lesson as a step in realizing his dream of becoming a pilot. The foundation was started by Daniel Trust, a Rwandan genocide survivor and a committed advocate for refugee, low-income, and LGBT youth. Manning had been featured on the web series “The Daniel Trust Show.”
“Trust is an inspiring film that can give us hope,” shares Christopher Kerr, executive director at the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “We are grateful to Heather Mooney for her efforts to tell this important story.” The Ignatian Solidarity Network engages students and other individuals in advocacy related to humane immigration policy through an annual advocacy day at the United States Capitol and the Ignatian Family Advocacy Month.
Voices From the Margins is the nation’s largest social justice film fest for college students. Trust was screened in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13, 2016, before an audience of 1,700 at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Trust was chosen by a panel of judges, including prominent leaders in the realms of media and social justice, including Fr. James Martin, SJ, best-selling author and editor at large at America magazine; Lisa Sharon Harper, Chief Church Engagement Officer at Sojourners and Ignatian Family Teach-In 2016 keynote speaker; E.J. Dionne, Washington Post award-winning political columnist, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and professor at Georgetown University; and Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC News and senior news analyst for NPR.
In addition to Mooney’s film, finalists included second place winner Us Thereafter, created by Terry Beck, a student at Florida State University; third place and crowd choice winner Brochure Brother by LaDarius Torrey and John Dodderidge from Georgetown University; Made in the U.S.A., by Asia Hayes and Melissa Oei from the University of San Francisco; and Refugees Welcome, created by Loyola Marymount University’s Antonio De Loera-Brust. All five films can be viewed on the Voices From the Margins webpage.