2008 Selected DVDs and Video for Young Adults

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), today announced its 2008 Selected DVDs and Videos for  Young Adults list. The list recognizes productions for technical merit, content, and use with, and interest to young adults ages 12-18 and is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

The 2008 Selected DVDs and Videos for Young Adults Committee chose eight films, including such profound and diverse true stories as The Grace Lee Project, which explores the concepts of identity and belonging, and Juvies, an unflinching look at juveniles behind bars, as well as the creatively composed short film The Guarantee, which offers a humorous look at the impact our physical features can have on our opportunities.

“It’s a film-fabulous list! The films selected address the diverse needs of the teens served in our libraries as they come of age in this rapidly changing world.” said Michael T. Wallace, committee chair.

Members of the Selected DVDs and Videos for Young Adults Committee are: Michael T. Wallace, chair, ReadingHelp4Teens, Rockville, Md.; Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport (Texas) High School; Rachel Aronowitz, San Francisco (Calif.) Public Library; Zahra M. Baird, Chappaqua (N.Y.) Library; Krista Britton, Old Bridge Elementary School, Woodbridge, Va.; Lynn Carpenter, Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library; Jacquelyn Caverly, Eden Prairie (Minn.) Resource Library; Danielle Dreger, Boston (Mass.) Public Library; Melanie Metzger, Cy-Fair College Branch Library, Cypress, Texas; Angela Semifero, Marshall (Mich.) District Library; Kerry Sutherland, Akron (Ohio) Summit County Public Library; Brooke Young, Salt Lake City, Utah; Sue-Ellen Beauregard, consultant, Booklist, Chicago, Ill.; and Katie Boyes, administrative assistant, Maple Valley (Wash.) Library.

Fiction

Fishbowl. 28 minutes. Center for Asian American Media, College/Institution, purchase DVD $175, rental DVD $50; K-12/Public Library/Community Group, purchase DVD $75, rental DVD $35. http://distribution.asianamericanmedia.org In a slice-of-life story set in Hawaii, twelve-year-old Lovey yearns to be anything but herself as she juggles class rivalries, her teacher ridiculing her for speaking pidgin English, and the betrayal of her best friend Jerry.

Nightmare at School. 8 min. 43 sec. National Film Board of Canada. DVD $99. www.nfb.ca Who hasn't felt apprehensive at the thought of starting high school? This short animated film plays on imagination and humor. The director offers viewers a thought-provoking piece dealing with one of the major transitions teens face.

Nonfiction

The Grace Lee Project. 68 min. Women Make Movies. Purchase DVD $295, rental $90. www.wmm.com In this documentary, filmmaker Grace Lee asks the eternal question, “What’s in a name?” As she pursues an investigation of women who share her name, she finds that while her subjects have a lot in common, the name does not dictate their identity.

The Guarantee. 11 min. New Day Films. Institutions (Colleges/Universities), purchase DVD $229; Community Groups/Public Libraries/High Schools, purchase DVD $99, DVD rental $65. www.newday.com Hand drawn images breathe life into a dancer’s hilarious story about his prominent nose and the effect it has on his career.

In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Bursts. 52 min. Media Education Foundation. High School and Non-Profits, DVD $125; Public Libraries, $34.95. www.mediaed.org This hard-hitting documentary investigates why so many Americans, college and high school students in particular, are being strangled by debt.

It’s Not About Sex. 23 min. Educational Video Center. List price DVD, $150; Schools, $75. www.evc.org This documentary produced by teens for teens, addresses sexual victims, sexual crimes, and defines sexual predators.

Juvies. 66 min. Chance Films Incorporated. DVD $19.95; VHS $12.95. www.juvies.net  The product of an innovative video-production workshop at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall, this documentary takes an unflinching look at juveniles behind bars. It challenges concepts of justice by exploring how teens are tried as adults and their experiences in the criminal justice system. Minor nudity and language.

Unintended Consequences: Eminent Domain. 15 min. izzit.org. DVD $9.99. www.izzit.org A succinct introduction to the history of the use of eminent domain in the United States for students. Through the use of personal stories, this short documentary highlights arguments for and against eminent domain use for private development.