OFFICIAL SELECTION - Sundance Film Festival | BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY AWARD - Montclair Film Festival | BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD - MountainFilm | HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews OnlineGeneration Z & Mental Health/Trauma • Activism • Gun Violence Prevention • Inclusive Movement Building • High School • Civic Engagement • Mental Health • Gun Reform Legislation • Gun Violence Prevention Research • Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue
Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 86 minutes | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Kim A. Snyder | Producers: Maria Cuomo Cole, Lori Cheatle & Kim A Snyder
“Us kids are the only ones prepared to call BS!”
- X Gonzalez
From Kim A. Snyder, director of the Peabody Award-winning documentary Newtown, comes an insightful, rousing coming-of-age story of a generation of youth leaders determined to take the reins and fight for justice at a most critical time in our nation’s history. Sparked by the plague of gun violence ravaging schools, US KIDS offers unprecedented access to the March For Our Lives movement, following X Gonzalez and other co-founders and survivors over the course of several years. These teenage activists pull off the largest youth protest in American history, setting out to build an inclusive and unprecedented youth movement that addresses gun violence prevention, racial justice, a growing public health crisis and shocking a political system into change. At the same time, this group of driven, resilient, empathetic young people must navigate the personal consequences of their remarkable choice to dedicate their own lives to honor the fallen and take back democracy.
Los Angeles Times
"‘Us Kids’ is indispensable viewing for anyone who genuinely cares about the future of this country ... Snyder’s film navigates the waters of apathy and despair on a vessel of hope."
Educational Media Reviews Online | Kimberly Poppiti, St. Joseph's College, Patchogue, NY
Highly Recommended "Through action and activism, the students seek to heal and to affect change in the world ... It will be worthwhile viewing for general high school and college classrooms, and of specific interest to those in the areas of political activism, communication studies, social movements, psychology, and terrorism."
Highly Recommended "The documentary is unflinching. It lets the survivors talk eloquently, passionately, ranting, sarcastically, stuttering, and most important authentically."
Booklist | Reviewed by Candace Smith
"Teen viewers are sure to be moved to action by these young advocates."
The Hollywood Reporter
"A compassionate portrait eager to let its subjects speak for themselves."
"A potent testimony to the impact of citizen protest."
"Us Kids is not about a mass shooting; it’s about a generation with a fresh set of convictions."
"Us Kids is chiefly concerned with the weight of attention – its costs, inequality and real potential for more than lip-service change – on the [...] generation of young people traumatized by gun violence."
"Us Kids demonstrates the troubling realities this group of young people have had to absorb as a result of their activism."
MSNBC | Joshua Jackson
"It’s remarkable, it’s really really good."
Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights | Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Best Documentary Award | MountainFilm
Best Documentary Award | Crested Butte Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary & Audience Award | Milwaukee Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary Award | Montclair Film
Boulder Film Festival Impact Award | Boulder Film Festival
Best Documentary Award | Enfances dans le monde - Festival de films documentaries in Paris FRANCE
Runner-Up | NHK Japan Prize
Best Documentary - Children’s Juries Awards (over 13 years old). Voted by an all-youth Jury | Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People
Sundance Film Festival
Miami International Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival
Doc Edge New Zealand
Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
Calgary Film Festival
GlobeDocs Film Festival
Bergen Film Festival
Miami Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Greenwich Int’l Film Festival
Rocky Mtn Women’s Film Festival
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Alexander Valley Film Festival
Boulder International Film Festival
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH KIM SNYDERDirector of US KIDS
Kim A Snyder's most recent feature documentary, US KIDS premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Prior, she directed the Peabody award-winning documentary Newtown, which premiered in the US Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Newtown screened at premiere festivals worldwide and was theatrically released followed by a national broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens and Netflix. Her most recent short, Lessons from a School Shooting: Notes from Dunblane, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded Best Documentary Short followed by the DocDispatch Award at the 2018 Sheffield DocFest and a Grierson Award nomination. Lessons… is a Netflix Original and is streaming in 196 countries. Snyder’s prior works include the feature documentary, Welcome to Shelbyville, nationally broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2011, and over a dozen short documentaries. Kim’s award-winning directorial debut feature documentary, I Remember Me was theatrically distributed by Zeitgeist Films. In 1994, she associate-produced the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. Kim graduated with a Master’s in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and resides in New York City.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH SAM FUENTESYouth activist featured in US KIDS
On February 14, 2018 a gunman wielding an AR-15 entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and fired on students, faculty, and staff. Seventeen people lost their lives and many others were wounded. Samantha Fuentes was amongst the injured in the Parkland tragedy, and while fortunate to be alive, her body and life changed forever. She has bullet shrapnel permanently embedded in her legs and behind her right eye, and currently manages symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She lost revered friends and faculty members. Despite these tragic events, today, Samantha is resolved and committed to a poignant mission: to make sure that no child or adult is devastated by senseless and preventable gun violence ever again.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH ALEX KING
Youth activist featured in US KIDS
Alex King is a youth activist from Chicago, Illinois and a member of the North Lawn College Preparatory High School’s Peace Warriors Foundation, where he graduated in 2018 and has been a leading student voice against gun violence in America's schools and communities. Peace Warriors’ goals has been to interrupt nonsense, to interject love and kindness; they are ambassadors of peace. The members live off the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, living a non-violent life and teaching Kingian nonviolence. Peace Warriors partnered with March For Our Lives in 2018 to address gun violence reform in Chicago and across the nation.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH BRIA SMITH
Youth activist featured in US KIDS
Bria Smith is a 20 year old Junior studying Journalism and Africana Studies at Emerson college. Native to Milwaukee, WI, she started her organizing with black and brown collectives against gun violence. Smith has also mentored and taught young girls safe sex practices and health initiatives. After being crowned Miss Juneteenth in 2017, Smith entered political advocacy and joined the Milwaukee Youth Council as the 6th district representative. Later in 2019, Smith would become President of the council. In 2018, Smith teamed up with the Parkland students and embarked on a two month journey across 25 states to register youth voters and raise consciousness around gun violence. In 2019, Smith became one of the youth board members of March For Our Lives. During the summer of 2020, with the rise of a global pandemic and Black Lives Matter revolution, Smith and a few Milwaukee youth organizers teamed up underneath 50milesmore and Marched 65 miles to their state's capital, Madison. Since then, Smith has focused her political advocacy around Abolition Thought theory, gun violence prevention and the liberation of Queer folks.