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The Rise Against Homophobia Youth Film Contest (RAH) began in 2008 as the Speak OUT for Reel Change Anti-Homophobia Student PSA Competition. The contest began as a partnership between Out In Schools and the Vancouver School Board, but grew to have a national focus by the time it ended in 2016.
RAH centred LGBT2Q+ and allied youth and allowed them to creatively express themselves and share their experiences through film. The contest’s focus was on creating opportunities for young people to speak to other young people.
Unlike Troublemakers or our later partnership with The Cinematheque and GSAs throughout the Lower Mainland, RAH participants were self-directed. Youth created 30-60 second films in a Public Service Announcement format which spoke out against homophobia in their schools, spread messages of equality and social justice, and promoted inclusive and safe school communities.
The top three winning entries of the contest would be screened at the VQFF each summer and became part of the Out In Schools film library. Other prizes varied from year to year, but generally focused on celebrating and sharing youth creativity. The program ran from 2008 through 2016, after which the growing demand of the Out In Schools program, Troublemakers, and other youth-focused projects meant we didn’t have the capacity to continue running RAH. Over the program’s eight year run, more than 120 films were submitted by youth.